Franchise Opportunity Rating
Review completed: November 2019
$2,295 - $23,617
In the early 1990s, Michelle Fee sat at the desk of her travel agency business and thought, “If we don’t change, we will be dinosaurs: extinct.” This thinking was certainly not common. At the time, there were 34,000 retail travel agency locations in the United States with steady streams of customers. But Michelle could sense a change coming.
So despite the fact she was a young mother living paycheck to paycheck, in 1994, along with two other travel agents, Michelle set out to change the travel world and launched Cruise Planners.
Today, Michelle continues to lead Cruise Planners as the CEO and majority owner. She is joined by an executive team with 127 years of experience in the travel industry. With so much travel experience, we understand better than anyone the needs and challenges of travel advisors. That’s why we remain committed to providing the best training, support, technology, marketing and partnerships you need to start a travel agency and be successful.
Actual owner reviews from our third party, independent surveys.
"It is staggering how much progress the [Cruise Planners] HO has made over the last 15 years. Mind blowing. We can always do better and I feel like the HO spends every waking hour striving towards perfection."
Phillip, Single Unit, Major Metro (500,000 + population), Overall Brand Rating: 84 FSI
"Unbelievably rich training and support...This system gives us the best possible chance of making money in a volatile travel industry."
Patrick, Single Unit, Major Metro (500,000+ population), Overall Brand Rating: 95 FSI
"It is excellent, they provide everything that we need for training, technology is kept up-to-date. We are very happy and would refer people to our franchise."
Carlos, Single Unit, Medium Market (100,000 - 249,999 population), Overall Brand Rating: 100 FSI
As a Cruise Planners franchise owner, you own and operate your own travel advisor business. You earn money helping clients plan and book a variety of travel experiences and services including cruises, hotels, car rentals, passport services, insurance and more. This money is paid to you in the form of a commission from the travel provider. The client is not required to pay a fee. The franchise owner pays a royalty to Cruise Planners ranging from 1%-3% of gross commissionable sales.
Cruise Planners marketing is comprehensive and award-winning.
The franchise cost is $10,995. We have special incentive programs available for veterans and military family members, first responders and existing travel agents. Franchise owners pay a monthly administrative fee of $59 and a royalty ranging from 1%-3% of gross commissionable sales.
As with any business, this depends on several factors. While marketing your Cruise Planners business is important, the most important factor is you and the effort you invest in your business. We have franchisees who work their business part-time and others who work fulltime. It’s completely up to you, but this too will affect your earning potential. While we cannot tell you how much money you will make, during your due diligence period, you’ll have the opportunity to speak with other Cruise Planners franchisees about their experiences with running a home-based travel business.
You can start selling travel the day you finalize your franchise agreement. You’ll immediately be given access to start your self-guided orientation process and online training through Cruisitude Academy. We will then help you plan your in-person, hands-on training in Ft. Lauderdale, FL which is offered every two months.
No previous industry experience is needed. In fact, the majority of our franchise owners have no prior travel experience. We provide comprehensive training and ongoing coaching to help you succeed.
Yes! Cruise Planners offers veterans:
Flexibility: Our home-based model gives franchise owners the flexibility to work their business on a schedule that fits their lifestyle, whether full time or part time, and from anywhere they choose — no storefront is required .
Included in the franchise fee is STAR University, a 6-day in-person training in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Each franchise owner also gets a personal business development coach who provides ongoing, one-on-one coaching to help establish and grow your business. Additionally, franchise owners get access to Cruisitude Academy, an online learning platform that houses hundreds of training videos and learning experiences. Finally, our home office team hosts six to eight live webinars per week, each of which is housed in Cruisitude Academy for future reference.
Not only was Cruise Planners identified as a top franchise opportunity because of their high franchise owner satisfaction, but the travel franchise was also recently recognized for its commitment to building a strong company culture. Franchise Business Review last month announced the franchises named to its first-annual FBR Culture100 awards list, of which Cruise Planners was one of the franchises named.
Andy and Lilly Popick, owners of a Cruise Planners franchise in Broward County, Florida, had planned to lead a group of 47 people on a trip to Australia in April. The trip was canceled, and instead, both worked as part of two federal emergency response missions aimed to support individuals and medical professionals affected by the coronavirus.
While travel sales slowed down during the pandemic, as restrictions begin to ease, there will be a huge amount of pent up demand and customers will increasingly seek experts to help them navigate the new travel landscape in the upcoming months.