I guess I should say right now that I didn't win the Face of Travel. Instead the female's crown went to Karen Eason from Sunshine Travel and the men's went to Ryan Inman from Cruise Thomas Cook. It's impossible to be a bad loser in this scenario as both really deserved to win.
Coincidentally, both winners used a superhero theme in their presentations, Karen unveiled a 'Travel Girl' outfit and Ryan pretended to be Clark Kent reporting back to Lois Lane from the ship.
The final was held onboard Royal Caribbean's newest mega-liner, the Independence of the Seas while she was docked at Southampton for her launch celebrations. I was one of the 16 finalists and we were all as nervous as each other - which in itself brought great relief!
Each of us had to face an X-Factor-style showdown during which we tried our best to persuade the panel of judges from TTG and Royal Caribbean why we should be the Face of Travel for 2008. After the presentations we had to wait a painful 6 hours for the result of the judges deliberations. In that time we fitted in a tour of the ship, an ice show, a concert by Scouting for Girls and quite a few glasses of champagne. In fact later that night we had the opportunity to meet Roy from the band who turned out to be a jolly nice chap - Hi Roy (he reads my blog all the time - lol!).
The competition was a great experience for me, I don't regret entering for one moment. I met some fabulous people and enjoyed my time on board the ship. I'm looking forward to reuniting with all the finalists on the Celebrity Solstice launch and of course, reading TTG to catch up with the latest antics from Karen & Ryan.
Just for a recap, the finalists were:
From the Boys Under 35 category:
Alastair Baker, Gill's Cruise Centre
Ryan Inman, Cruise Thomas Cook
Aaron McMordie-Ives, Bookable Holidays Ltd
James Revis, The Co-operative Travel
From the Girls Under 35 category:
Karen Eason, Sunshine Travel
Amie Fuller, First Choice
Emily Plunkett, Scotland’s Cruise Centre
Carla Prosser, Ideal Cruising
From the Boys 36 & Over category:
Ian Calvert, Have A Nice Stay Travel
Phil Dargan, Choose and Cruise
Nick McKay, Travel Designers
Mehmet Tepeli, Packyourbags Travel Store
From the Girls 36 & Over category:
Janette Bell, Future Travel
Deanne Gatfield, First Choice
Emma Sanger, Future Travel
Janet Whittingham, St Andrews Travel
CONGRATULATIONS we were all winners in our own way!