Susan Palenick’s Cruise Planners Franchise Puts Her in Control of Her Success


After being a faithful employee for nine years, Susan Palenik was laid off. She wanted to ensure she would be in control of her career moving forward, so started looking into franchising. Her Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative franchise, which is often referred to as Cruise Planners, has allowed her to control her destiny while working in travel, which she has always had a passion for. She shares what she has found beneficial about the franchising model and advice for franchisees with Franchise Business Review. 

What is it that you like best about owning your franchise? Being in control of my own success. I can work from anywhere at anytime.

How is it that you entered franchising? After losing my job of nine years due to its being outsourced, I wanted to create my own personal destiny working in an industry that would give me joy. I always had a passion for travel, so when I researched Cruise Planners knew it was a perfect fit for me.

I didn’t have to over think how to get my business of the ground or worry about start up costs. Cruise Planners is a business in a box.

What have you found particularly beneficial about being a franchisee. I didn’t have to over think how to get my business of the ground or worry about start up costs. Cruise Planners is a business in a box. My only job was and is to sell because Cruise Planners simplified getting my business off the ground with accounting, setting it up, and handling marketing. I enjoy feeling part of a business “family” the members of which, my franchisor and fellow franchisees, help each other succeed. My coach receives my calls and will always help me come to the best decision for my business and me. My peers provide guidance and support.

What advice do you have when it comes to achieving success as a Cruise Planners franchisee? Plan your schedule around your clients. My clients do not normally book a vacation during normal business hours, so I am available after 5pm and on weekends. You have to be able to pick up a phone and build a relationship. People have to know who you are, trust you, and just plain like you for them to give you a credit card number.

Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Services Representative Background Information

The worldwide travel industry grossed almost $750 billion in 2015 and more than 34 million Americans plan to cruise during the next three years. Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Services Representative, is a home-based travel agent network. Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Services Representative travel agents work from home selling full-service travel packages, including cruises, land-based vacations, travel insurance, car rentals and more.

Susan saw something special in the Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative franchise opportunity while researching franchises. To facilitate your research, we pulled together the information below about the brand.

To see how Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative franchisees rank it in area’s that are crucial to the health of a franchise including leadership, culture, and training, read its full franchisee satisfaction report.

For more information about franchising with Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative call 888-582-2150 or visit
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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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