Cruise Planners Proclaims, “We Will Survive” During Day One of its First Virtual Forum

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The executive team shares how Cruise Planners travel advisors will Outwit, Outplay and Outlast this pandemic

Cruise Planners traded in its usual three-day, in-person Convention for its first-ever virtual forum, CP Forum, Virtually Yours themed, “Survivor.

“We are optimistic for the return to travel,...” said Michelle Fee, CEO and founder. "Our franchisees have displayed the agility and endurance needed to become Survivors – together, we’ve outwitted the competition, we will outlast the nasty pandemic and outplay to rebuild the travel industry.”

This year, Cruise Planners traded in its usual three-day, in-person Convention for its first-ever virtual forum, CP Forum, Virtually Yours themed, “Survivor.” More than 2,200 franchisees participated across the country in the complementary educational and networking opportunities in preparation for what is expected to be a very busy year ahead for the travel industry.

“We are optimistic for the return to travel. Ships will be sailing soon, real soon, and we will be ready – it’s full speed ahead,” said Michelle Fee, CEO and founder. “We are all adapting to coexist with COVID, and our franchisees have displayed the agility and endurance needed to become Survivors – together, we’ve outwitted the competition, we will outlast the nasty pandemic and outplay to rebuild the travel industry.”

Cruise Planners Continues to Outperform; Pillar in the Industry

Cruise Planners announced it is confident that 2021 will mark the rebirth of travel, with travel advisors being the tip of the spear. Throughout the opening session were video snippets from weekly Cruise Planners video messages featuring the industry’s highest profile executives singing the praises of the Cruise Planners advisor network and Home Office Team for their commitment to continue to forge ahead and for creating programs to keep their agency at the top of each line’s revenue performance lists. From the start of the crisis, Cruise Planers co-owners Michelle Fee and Vicky Garcia were prominent and transparent with multiple video messages each week. Cruise Planners developed hundreds of communication touchpoints throughout the year – knowing communication with the advisors, and on behalf of advisors to their clients, is a key element to remaining strong and optimistic.

“Not only did we react to the crisis with new tools to help our advisors manage the thousands of cancellations, but we also continued to innovate and create marketing to drive sales,” said Vicky Garcia, COO of Cruise Planners. “While other agencies were cutting back, Cruise Planners continued to be a leader in MarTech and we won’t stop. Our team is intact, and we have launched new programs and tools during this time to help our agents come out of this strong.”

Cruise Planers Advisors Primed for a Rebound in ‘21

Some of the resources Cruise Planners has launched during the pandemic include targeted marketing, cutting-edge mobile technology and a revamped business development structure. These tools and resources are some of the reasons how Cruise Planners advisors will rebound quickly in 2021.

To continue expanding in the land-based travel marketplace Cruise Planners introduced the All-Inclusive Resort System. It’s proven to simplify the way advisors sell more land vacations identifying properties matching client's preferences and delivering a detailed breakdown of resort information and amenities in a cohesive, beautifully designed and mobile-friendly “Resort Sheets.” Cruise Planners is also launching the ability for its agents to book escorted tours with The Travel Corporation brands through their proprietary CP Maxx booking system.

At a time where travel options were limited, Cruise Planners wanted to give clients something to look forward to and encourage bookings for future departures. The Where2Next Virtual Event Series is a completely turnkey marketing program produced by Cruise Planners Home Office. The virtual series takes viewers on an experience to tour vacations to popular and exotic destinations, historical cities, enchanting rivers and all-inclusive resorts, which has led to strong sales and even record-breaking sales weeks. This series will continue throughout 2021 to feature even more destinations virtually.

Cruise Planners, a data-driven marketing powerhouse, further developed the Where2Next Survey collecting client’s desired destinations they would like to visit over the next three years and their vacation style preferences. With this data, Cruise Planners will create targeted campaigns customized to the client’s desired destinations and travel styles.

Also recently announced, Cruise Planners enhanced its CP Marketing Hub for its advisors to easily create a customized marketing plan, create supplier co-op proposals and even track the ROI on marketing efforts. Launching soon, Task Manager allows advisors to create tasks related to clients or reservations to help advisors work more efficiently and provide the highest level of service in the industry. In the spirit of making it easy for the advisors, Cruise Planners created templated task lists for the most common booking scenarios such as group bookings, planning a consumer event, and more that populates the most effective task list associated with each.

Silver Lining: Increased Efficiency As a Result of COVID

Cruise Planners’ newly restructured Business Development Team is designed to enhance the company’s already high-touch consultative programs helping advisors grow their business and reach their individual goals. The company also announced a “Care Team” of dedicated, multi-faceted trained Home Office Team members who will help advisors quickly and efficiently as the one-stop shop approach to issues. With these new enhancements, Cruise Planners has significantly increased engagement by providing more group coaching sessions, furthering the sense of community that is part of the brand’s signature culture of Cruisitude®, while also maintaining one-on-one business reviews for individual goal setting and coaching. Furthering the sense of community, Cruise Planners will be launching the Partner Rating System which will allow agents to share their experiences or their client’s experiences on an itinerary or with a supplier to help share important information with each other. The rest of the first day included a peer-to-peer travel advisor panel and day two of the virtual forum continues on Tuesday with even more Cruisitude,® a cruise line executive panel, and actionable tips for how Cruise Planners advisors will survive in 2021.

“Cruise Planners was set up for its most successful year going into this pandemic,” Fee said. “We know we will survive once this is all over and Cruise Planners will be a significant player in the recovery of the travel industry.”

About Cruise Planners

Cruise Planners, the nation's largest home-based travel advisor franchise network and an American Express Travel Representative, has more than 2,500 franchise owners who independently book vacations and travel experiences for their clients. Headquartered in Coral Springs, Fla. since 1994, Cruise Planners provides its travel advisors with access to award-winning, innovative marketing; cutting-edge mobile technology; dynamic, hands-on training; lead-generating tools, as well as professional coaching and development. Cruise Planners has achieved top producer status with every major cruise line, many land vendors and maintains a philanthropic drive earning an International Franchise Association FranTech award for innovation, the Cruise Lines International Association highest honors, Magellan Awards from Travel Weekly and The American Society of Travel Advisors first-ever Franchise Partner of the Year. Learn more at


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Valeria Mendoza
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