Mystery shopper: Barnstaple, island-hopping in Croatia

Mystery shopper: Barnstaple, island-hopping in Croatia

Location: Barnstaple, Devon
Wanted: A couple would like to go island-hopping in Croatia for a couple of weeks in July or September, avoiding the school holidays.
Budget: £3,000

Green Lanes shopping centre
The shop was bright and well laid out, and the agent was knowledgeable and enthusiastic. I was recommended a seven-night Dalmatian Highlights Cruise trip from Balkan Holidays’ Discovery Summer 2017 brochure for £1,931. Flying from Birmingham on September 30, the price included transfers, some excursions and half-board accommodation in a lower-deck cabin. The cruise offered a night at Korcula, Omis, Split, Vela Luka and Slano. The agent said I could upgrade my cabin for £110, and I was told about excursions, available at extra cost. The consultant gave me a lot of detail about the destination – she loved her job and her enthusiasm was infectious.

Go Travel
Holland Street
The shop looked attractive from the outside and clean and tidy. I was acknowledged as soon as I walked in by an agent who was friendly and enthusiastic. I was recommended the seven-night Croatian Islands Southern Explorer cruise with Omega, flying from Bristol on September 30, for £1,658. This included flights, transfers, half-board in a lower-deck cabin and some excursions.  However, I was not offered an upgrade.

Thomas Cook
High Street
The agent was friendly and worked hard to find out about the destination, as she was less knowledgeable about it. I was offered Titan Travel’s seven-night Dubrovnik and Dalmatian Islands Cruise on the Adriatic Queen, on an all-inclusive basis, for £2,698. The price included British Airways flights from Gatwick on September 29 and a home pick-up. I was also offered a quote for insurance. This agent made the most of my budget.

Winning agent

Claire Vickery, travel consultantmysteryshopper-2303

“I have been at Thomson for seven years and try to make every booking as individual as the people who come in and ask for a holiday.”


The three agents all did extremely well this week but the winner clinched the top score with her knowledge and enthusiasm.

Elite resorts caribbean

Top-scoring agent each month will win use of a car for 10 days.

The winning agent must be at least 25, for insurance reasons. Winners under 25 will win a week’s all-inclusive holiday at an Elite Islands Resorts property. The prize is non-transferable and the car must be driven only by the winning agent. The winner must not have any serious driving convictions. Elite Island Resorts will endeavour to supply the car to the agency but reserves the right to request the winning agent to collect and return the car from Essex or a central location


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