Fort Lauderdale, FL (PRWEB) April 25, 2014
Wednesday night, Vicky Garcia, COO and co-owner of Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel representative, was honored by Viking Cruises as godmother of the European longship, Viking Magni. The event was held at the Ritz Carlton Fort Lauderdale and was also a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society® (LLS).
“I am honored Viking Cruises wanted to continue the godmother celebration in my hometown with my family and industry friends,” said Vicky Garcia, COO and co-owner of Cruise Planners-American Express Travel who actually christened the ship in Amsterdam last month. “Hosting last night’s spectacular event and encouraging us to raise money for our LLS campaign showcases Viking’s dedication to Cruise Planners and our mutual desire to help end cancer.”
At the event, partygoers were able to bid on auction items including sports memorabilia, art, cruises, trips and other travel-related swag to raise money for the South Florida chapter of LLS. Garcia serves on the LLS Board of Trustees and was named LLS Woman of the Year in 2012 where she raised $115,000 during the 10-week campaign. To continue supporting LLS’s mission, Garcia nominated her best friend and Cruise Planners CEO, Michelle Fee, for LLS’s Woman of the Year 2014, with a mission to beat Garcia’s record. Since then, Cruise Planners, which is the nation’s largest home-based travel agent franchise network in the travel industry, has been on a mission to proactively raise money for LLS.
“Vicky’s sister, Myra, lost her battle with cancer last year and is a huge inspiration behind our campaign to support finding a cure,” said Michelle Fee, CEO and co-founder of Cruise Planners. “When Myra’s tribute video played – showcasing some of the fond memories we shared – there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.”
Through Cruise Planners’ “CP Cares” umbrella program, Cruise Planners is committed to supporting LLS and various charities. The event raised more than $20,000 toward Fee’s LLS goal of raising $115,000 during the 10-week campaign.
About Cruise Planners–American Express Travel
Cruise Planners-American Express Travel is the nation’s largest home-based travel agent franchise network in the travel industry. Cruise Planners operates a franchise network of more than 900 experienced travel professionals who independently book amazing vacation and travel experiences for their clients. The Home Office team positions franchise owners for success by providing them with innovative marketing, booking and lead-generating tools as well as professional development and hands-on training with the industry’s top executives. The company continues to be lauded and was named No.1 Cruise Tour / Travel Agency by Entrepreneur for the past 11 years and recently featured in Entrepreneur as one of the top 30 franchise innovators in technology.
Headquartered in Coral Springs, Fla. for 20 years, Cruise Planners has achieved top producer status with every major cruise line. Accolades include a record 11 Magellan Awards from Travel Weekly in 2013, Special Needs Group Accessible Travel Advocate Power Partners™ for 2012, American Express Travel Representative Excellence Award for eight years in a row (2004 – 2011), American Express Agency of the Year (2010), Royal Caribbean International Home-Based Partner of the Year (2007 – 2013), Royal Caribbean International President’s Award for Overall Achievement for 2012, Norwegian Cruise Line Franchise Agency of the Year (2011-2013) and Home-Based Agency of the Year (2010), Celebrity Cruises Home-Based Account of the Year (2013) and Southeast Region Travel Agent Partner of the Year (2010), American Express Vacations Globe Award (2008 – 2012), Globus Family of Brands Premier Agency Partner (2009- 2012), Platinum Circle Member with Viking River Cruises (2009-2012) and Regent Seven Seas Cruises Top Producer. Cruise Planners is one of the Top 50 franchises for Veterans according to GI magazine, has been named one of the Top 25 franchises for African-Americans by Black Enterprise magazine and is a member of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association. For information, visit http://www.cruiseplanners.com.
Stay in Touch: Media can stay up-to-date with Cruise Planners by visiting our media room, following us on Twitter @Cruisitude or on Facebook. For additional information or to make reservations, vacationers should locate a travel advisor near them. For those interested in becoming a franchise owner, please visit our franchise site.
About Viking River Cruises
Viking Cruises offers destination-centric river and ocean cruising designed for experienced travelers with an interest in geography, culture and history. Featuring onboard cultural enrichment and included shore excursions, Viking’s journeys are competitively priced for genuine value. Debuting its maiden season of ocean cruising in 2015, the sophisticated state-of-the-art Viking Star will host 930 guests on itineraries in Scandinavia and the Baltic; and the Western and Eastern Mediterranean. As the world’s leading river cruise line, since its 1997 inception the company has grown to a fleet of 35 river vessels (in 2013) offering scenic cruising along the rivers of Europe, Russia, Ukraine, China, and Southeast Asia. Viking has been honored multiple times in Travel + Leisure’s “World’s Best” Awards and Condé Nast Traveler’s “Gold List” as well as recognized by the editors of Cruise Critic as “Best River Cruise Line,” with the entire Viking Longships fleet being named “Best New River Ships of 2012” in the website’s Editors’ Picks Awards. The travel trade has ranked Viking as the “Best River Cruise Line” by Travel Weekly, Recommend and Travel Agent magazines, “Best Cruise Line for Luxury River Cruises” at the Luxury Travel Advisor Awards of Excellence and as “Best Overall Cruise Line for River Cruising” and “Best River Cruise Line for Travel Agent Support” in TravelAge West’s WAVE Awards.