Russ Russell’s Franchising Career Sets Sail With Cruise Planners


Russ Russell began his career as a Cruise Planners franchisee in 2013 while holding down a full time job. He shared with Franchise Business Review how he did it and what his franchising experience has been like.

Why did you purchase a travel franchise?
Travel agents fill the void left by the online booking engines. As Internet search engines get “smarter”, information overload is becoming more common, so consumers are seeking expert human interaction.

Has it been difficult to get your business off the ground?
My business in 2014, my first full calendar year in business, grew 270% over 2013 when I was still working a full-time job as a trauma nurse researcher and covering the business only on evenings and weekends.

Why didn’t you opt to start a business from scratch?
I had no previous business experience and knew the tools and education provided by Cruise Planners would help me be successful. From the initial franchisee training to marketing programs, continuing education, familiarization trip opportunities, and industry recognized cutting edge technology tools and support, Cruise Planners has always been at my side. Having Cruise Planners backing me up has also been extremely helpful in cultivating strategic relationships with sales support staff within the various cruise lines and tour operators that I work with daily.

What advice do you have for prospective franchisees?
There is much more to building a successful business than “If you build it they will come.” Building your business, however, with good decisions, great support and expert tools (all of which Cruise Planners provides) is a definite way to set yourself up for success.

For more information about Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative opportunities, call 888-582-2150 or visit For Cruise Planners full franchisee satisfaction report, click here.

Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative holds the honor of being one of only 200 franchise brands that were ranked high enough by their franchisees to make Franchise Business Review’s Top Franchises List.

If you are interested in learning what it takes to invest in a franchise and how to do so wisely, visit FBR’s Franchise Buyer’s Toolkit



As the Editorial Director at Franchise Business Review, Emma Pearson reports regularly on today's top franchise opportunities and the latest trends in franchising. She also writes and oversees the publishing of Franchise Business Review's annual Top Franchises, Top Low-Cost Franchises, Top Franchises for Veterans and many other specialized franchise reports. They feature the only lists of top franchises based on feedback from those who know best - the franchisees who own them.

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