Eleven agents competed at Mercedes Benz World in Surrey for the final place on a VIP fam to Dubai with Royal Caribbean. Natalie Marsh joined them

Pinned to the back of our seats, our instructor at the wheel, we hurtled towards orange cones at more than 80mph. “Shout when you would brake!” he says. “Now!” we yell from the back, but he ignores us and drives on.

Just as we’re about to touch the cones at the end, he swerves around them at the last possible minute, sending us flying to the side. This is the adrenaline-fuelled afternoon agents experienced at Mercedes Benz World courtesy of Royal Caribbean.

Agents also got their chance to tear around the track, accelerate and brake on the straight, and put their drifting skills to the test on the wet skid circle.

But before they could burn real rubber on the circuits, the 11 agents took to the Formula One simulators for a nail-biting five minutes each to secure as quick a lap time as they could to nab the last spot on the Dubai trip. It was a delicate balance between speed and accuracy. Some chose to tactically slow down ahead of the corners while others kept their foot to the floor. Craig Balderson, of Tui in Hertfordshire triumphed, becoming the 15th Club Rewards winner, with an impressive lap time of 1 minute 54 seconds.


The competition garnered entries from 2,184 agents in total, who won points by making bookings, answering questions and posting Royal Caribbean content on social media to move around a virtual track.

“It’s an incredibly exciting way to conclude our Lap of Luxury competition, plus very apt given the agents taking part in the competition were racing around the virtual Lap of Luxury track to make their way up the leader board,” said Ben Bouldin, associate vice-president and UK managing director at Royal Caribbean International.

The 15 winners will be jetting off to Dubai for a five-night, all-expenses paid trip in May, staying at Atlantis The Palm and visiting some of Dubai’s top attractions as well as Spectrum of the Seas when the ship sails through the Emirati city.