Genting Highlands have long been a popular destination among Singaporeans for a short holiday, and to make money at the casinos. The immense popularity of Genting Highlands have prompted many of the express bus operators to launch ever more luxurious buses to this City Of Entertainment. Passengers are spoilt for choice when opting to travel to Genting Highlands. Transtar deploys its First Class Solitaires and Premium double-deckers, while Five Stars Tours regularly operates its Executive Class double-deckers as well. Luxurious coaches are becoming a norm for operators. It is a known fact that Singaporeans are willing to pay more for comfort and services while travelling on the express buses. One of the ‘Big Boys’ to Genting Highlands, WTS Travel and Tours recently launched their first double-decker coach, dubbed the CEO Platinum Deluxe Cruiser on trips to Genting Highlands.
I got to know of the new coach while shopping at Tampines One. WTS Travel had also opened a new branch at Tampines One and featured the CEO Platinum Deluxe in its shop. I knew I had to ride on the bus very, very soon. The CEO Platinum Deluxe Cruiser is WTS Travel’s first full double-decker coach, launched in March 2009. Currently only 2 units are operating, PC6886R and PC8558A. These Euro-4 Scania K380EB 6×2 buses are also the first to be fitted with SC Auto’s new double-decker bodywork. The bus has a licensed capacity of 25 passengers. A unique feature of the new model is the existence of 2 different classes onboard, a configuration rarely seen on express buses in Singapore and Malaysia. In fact, the only other operator with such a configuration are Airebus’ Business Class coaches. On the upper deck, the front section of the bus seats 5 passengers in the new large-sized seats, dubbed the Platinum Deluxe seats. The rest of the upper deck seats 15 passengers in the usual Platinum-class seats. Over at the lower deck, only 5 seats are available – 4 Platinum Deluxe seats and one Platinum seat. All seats are of the cocoon or snoozer-style, and comes with a personal TV with multi-channel entertainment. An integrated massaging function are also available. However, WTS Travel does not provide onboard food and beverage services. One-way low season ticket for adults starts at SG$45 and can be bought at their retail branches or online at http://www.wtstravel.com.sg. WTS Travel are one of the few operators that allows boarding and alighting from 8 different locations across Singapore, such as Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Choa Chu Kang, Tampines and Toa Payoh.
The return trip from Genting Highlands to Singapore leaves at 1.30pm. It departs from the First World Bus Terminal. Actual checkin time was 15 minutes prior to departure but I was keen to get a ‘gunzel seat’, so I checked myself in at 1pm. To my surprise, I was told by the ticketing officer that all other passengers had already checked in and was waiting for me. In actual fact, there were only 6 passengers, including myself for the trip back to Singapore. Immediately after the documentations were done, I was ushered onboard PC8558A which was waiting outside the coach parking bay. This was usual as the large number of incoming coaches sometimes prevents normal boarding activities to be done at the Terminal itself. I was greeted by smiles from the oboard guide, Eric and the captain, Suria. The bus left Genting Highlands promptly at 1.05pm.
A short briefing was done by Eric while the bus was making its way down the steep slopes of Genting Highlands. The captain ensures that the ride downhill was as smooth as possible, with his superb manoeuvering skills. As the bus inched closer to the lower grounds, Eric informed each passenger that the bus will not be making any stops at Yong Peng for dinner. However, passengers may be able to buy lunch at a McDonald’s outlet near Sungai Besi. This arrangement was made because of the small number of passengers. All passengers, me inclusive, agreed to the idea.
The bus reached at the intended McDonald’s outlet at around 2.10pm, some one hour after we left First World Bus Terminal. 10 minutes was all it takes for the other passengers to buy their lunch, and soon, off we went for a long journey back home. Eric then went around and switched on the TV monitors. There were 8 channels showing various movie titles and a dedicated channel for games. No headphones were provided as the audio system are integrated into your headrest.
The captain Suria certainly has superb driving skills, judging by his smooth and consistent driving style. The journey was free from any jerkiness. However, I’m quite disturbed by the constant rattles of the seats. The comfortable ride actually made me fell asleep. I was sleeping so soundly for almost 3 hours, before the bus made a short break at the Kulai lay-by. The break lasted 10 minutes and the bus continued on towards the Gelang Patah Toll Plaza. The bus cleared the Tuas immigration at around 6pm. The passengers will be dropped off at 2 different locations, Ang Mo Kio and Tampines. It finally reaches its terminating point at Tampines MRT Station shortly after 7pm.
The CEO Platinum Deluxe had little features that are significant or notable. Except for the concept of ‘two-classes-in-one-bus’ and the unique ’1+2′ seating configuration, almost every other amenities onboard can be found on existing coaches. However, I must commend on the level of comfort that the Damrong seats offered, coupled with the super-smooth driving skills of the captain and the ambience in the saloon. Another plus point for the service, it’s flexibility in allowing boarding and alighting activities to be done at 8 different locations across Singapore. This service ultimately offered passengers more choices to choose their boarding point and not be restricted to just one or two locations.
WTS Travel has plans to introduce more of the CEO Platinum Deluxe Cruisers in the coming months, to allow more passengers to enjoy the brand-new service. With such warm and hospitable crew, and a level of service that matches its low price, I’m more than pleased to give the CEO Platinum Deluxe Cruiser a 4-star rating.
Ps. Lookout for a surprise by WTS Travel in the coming months.
Singapore – Tampines 1
10, Tampines Central 1, #04-16
Tampines 1 Shopping Mall
Tel: 6587 8558
Ang Mo Kio (Heart Travel and Tours Pte Ltd)
861, Ang Mo Kio Ave 10
Teck Ghee Community Club, #01-02
Tel: 6452 2262
Bukit Timah Plaza
1, Jalan Anak Bukit
#B1-59, Bukit Timah Plaza
Tel: 6467 8558
Bukit Panjang Plaza
1, Jelebu Road
#04-14, Bukit Panjang Plaza
Tel: 6764 8558
Choa Chu Kang Lot 1
21, Choa Chu Kang Ave 4
#04-14, Lot 1 Shopping Mall
Tel: 6346 8558