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Travellers Choice winners enjoy the pleasure and the pain

April 15, 2016 Accolades No Comments Email Email

For seven award-winning Travellers Choice agents a recent cruise around South East Asia turned out to be a scream – literally.


The group – all recipients of Travellers Choice’s prestigious Silver Choice Awards – travelled on a five-night Sapphire Princess cruise from Singapore to Thailand as guests of The Cruise Team and Princess Cruises.

First stop was Laem Chabang in Thailand, where some of the agents decided to pop in to Pattaya in order to try an authentic Thai massage. Managing Director Christian Hunter says the experience was not quite as relaxing as envisaged.

“Five of us were in a room with just a curtain separating us, and we had people literally jumping up and down on our backs and contorting us into all sorts of positions,” says Hunter.

“All you could hear were grunts and groans coming from behind every curtain. It may not have been soothing, but it was certainly very memorable. I for one will never forget the moment my masseuse dropped his knee into my back.”

The rest of the cruise involved some genuine relaxation on the Sapphire Princess (during which Queanbeyan City Travel & Cruise’s Jim Cooper embraced karaoke night and entertained 300 passengers with his best Elvis impersonation) and a shopping excursion in Ko Samui.

On the trip’s final day the group visited Universal Studios in Singapore where they decided to try Battlestar Galactica: Cylon – an inverted roller coaster that offers some horribly inventive manoeuvres, such as “a zero-g roll”, “a Cobra roll” and a plunge into a 5-metre deep pit filled with artificial fog to give thrill seekers the sensation of almost hitting the ground.

Hunter had nothing but admiration for the courage of host, Nicola Strudwick from The Cruise Team.

“She had no idea what we were in for until they showed a video just as we were being strapped in. The colour drained from her face and she screamed the whole way around as if she was having her fingernails pulled out one by one. By the time we got off she was physically shaking. Then she went on another one. What a trooper.”

Each year Travellers Choice presents its top 30 agents with Gold, Silver or Bronze Choice Awards (10 in each category). The winners – determined by their level of support for the national retail group’s broad stable of preferred suppliers – each receive a spot on an unforgettable reward trip, access to exclusive sales incentives and service grants worth up to $1500 per agency.

This year’s Gold Choice Award winners travel to France in May 2016 to experience Scenic’s seven-night ‘Idyllic Rhone’ river cruise from Nice to Lyon, while Bronze Choice winners will enjoy an eight-night South Pacific journey this month onboard Celebrity Solstice.

For more information on Travellers Choice please visit

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