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Group get luxury liner preview

IT WAS full steam ahead for a group of travel counsellors this Bank Holiday weekend when they enjoyed a sneak preview of the world's largest cruise liner Freedom of the Seas.

Launched by Royal Caribbean, the impressive ship can hold 4,370 passengers and offers a host of exciting features, including the first surfing simulator at sea and an interactive water park.

Nicola Benson, Steve Norris, Janice Bruce and Lynne Karmouth were among 330 staff of the travel company invited on board the ship, which is as long as 37 London double-decker buses. They were also joined by Marie Enright of London Colney.

As one of the UK's largest independent travel companies, Travel Counsellors PLC has more than 588 travel consultants in the UK and Ireland who work from home.

Janice said: "Freedom of the Seas is an absolutely fantastic ship and I feel very privileged to have been one of the first people to see it and try its facilities for myself.

"The whole weekend was wonderful and I can't wait to tell my customers all about this amazing ship."

During their two-night stay, the group checked out the onboard ice rink, rock climbing walls, two cantilevered whirlpools that extend 12-feet out from the sides of the ship and a pool deck that transforms into an open-air nightclub.

Nicola said: "The ship was absolutely magnificent, there really is something for everyone families, couples, people looking for peace and quiet or those who want a holiday jam-packed with activities.

"We enjoyed two fantastic fireworks displays, an ice-show and a medley of West End shows.

"There was also 445 feet of shopping, dining and entertainment on offer along The Royal Promenade."

Travel Counsellors won the prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise in 2003 and was the winner of the technology in business category of the 2005 CBI Growing Business Awards.

n Freedom of the Seas will sail seven-night Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami calling at Mexico, Grand Caymen, Jamaica and Royal Caribbean's private destination, Labadee, Hispaniola.

Travel Counsellors has a special rate of £513 per person (including taxes), staying in an interior stateroom onboard Freedom of the Seas. The cruise departs on September 17 flights are not included.

For details on Freedom of the Seas or for any other travel requirements call Janice Bruce on or Nicola Benson on 0845 058.

9:00am Saturday 6th May 2006

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