“Considering we just weathered one of the toughest times in the travel industry, I can’t tell you how much this means,” said Michelle Fee, CEO and Founder of Cruise Planners. “Our franchisees are passionate and dedicated travel professionals, and they continue to show up, rain or shine, pandemic and all. We’re so proud to be able to offer a high value, low-cost franchise to so many people to be able to work from home and create their own business opportunities.”
This marks the 17th annual ranking of the 200 best franchise opportunities as rated by franchise business owners. Franchise Business Review is the leading market research firm in the franchise industry, where ratings and reviews are provided directly by franchise owners, who are able to offer the best testimonials about what it really is like to own a franchise. Cruise Planners joined FBR’s Hall of Fame in 2020, meaning the company has made the Top Franchises Awards list 10 separate times.
“As an independent research firm, Franchise Business Review is committed to helping prospective franchisees get an objective view of the best franchise opportunities, based on actual feedback from franchise owners,” said Michelle Rowan, president & COO of Franchise Business Review. “We survey franchisees from franchise companies in the marketplace today and identify those with the highest levels of satisfaction and performance in order to educate potential buyers and help them choose which franchise to invest in. The companies on this year’s list of Top Franchises are the top-ranked brands in the key areas critical to their franchisees’ success.”
As the nation’s largest network of home-based travel agents, Cruise Planners also scored well in FBR’s Franchisee Satisfaction Index (FSI)™ by ranking 87.4 against an FBR benchmark of 72.1 — 15.3 points HIGHER than their industry standard benchmark. In addition, Cruise Planners’ increased their satisfaction rating by 6.4 points compared to their 2020 survey results of 81—all of this during the worst year in our industry’s history.
By focusing on the agents, Cruise Planners created an award-winning virtual series titled “Where2Next”, reaching 18,000+ subscribers and generating $20 million in sales, and worked to support their travel advisor network by implementing twice weekly livestreams consisting of updated information and conversations with suppliers. Cruise Planners also announced more than twenty new initiatives at the 2021 Cruise Planners Conference, making sure agents were ready when things settled down.
“I bought this franchise in March of 2020, right at the start of the pandemic, and the leadership team, from Michelle Fee on down, did everything in their power to help both new and old franchisees survive the dramatic downturn in travel,” said Marine veteran Bill Brown. “From reducing monthly/annual fees to retaining incentive ratings at previous levels, the Home Office went above and beyond what other corporations were doing to ensure survival of their franchise owners.”
Cruise Planners was among over 300 franchise brands, representing more than 30,000 franchise owners, that participated in Franchise Business Review’s research. Cruise Planners franchisees were surveyed on 33 benchmark questions about their experience and satisfaction regarding critical areas of their franchise systems, including training & support, operations, franchisor/franchisee relations, and financial opportunity.
“We have been with Cruise Planners going on 22 years and there has been so much that the Cruise Planners team has helped us with,” said Rick Carlson Cruise Planners franchise owner and top producer. “From the exceptional marketing materials, social media posts and the exclusive specials that we are provided by the cruise lines, booking tools and our software, everything that is provided to us has helped us grow to a member of the millionaires club. What I like about this company is that as big as it is, you can still talk directly with the leadership team. Everyone is there to cheer you on and help you to excel.”
“The support from Home Office is amazing,” said Carolyn Leibowitz, who celebrated 15 years with Cruise Planners in November. “You can call anytime and they’re right there. The technology is phenomenal. As we have evolved, with online and social media, Cruise Planners has been on the cutting edge. They’re doing all the work on the backend sending e-cards and marketing to your clients and they just make you look great.”
The Cruise Planners’ home-based franchise model provides entrepreneurs the ability and flexibility to work from anywhere in the world, even while traveling. Its network of more than 2,500 travel advisors receives access to unmatched hands-on training, dynamic marketing, innovative mobile technology, lead-generating tools and continuous business development and coaching.
“This just reaffirms that we are doing right by our franchisees when it comes to equipping them with the best, cutting edge, proprietary technology, award-wining marketing tools and Home Office team support,” said Fee. “This gives us the extra pep in our step to go the extra mile for our franchisees and we predict even bigger things for the year to come.”
The rankings are a testament to the Cruise Planners brand and business model, which offers flexibility, support, and opportunity to travel for those looking for a change in career, ready to be their own boss, or seek a part-to-full time options that are equal parts rewarding and profitable. The low-cost investment with Cruise Planners is a suitable fit for anyone looking to jumpstart their new career with no prior experience.
Visit FranchiseBusinessReview.com to see the full description of the 2022 Top Franchises.
Company Background: Cruise Planners, an award-winning American Express Travel Representative, is the nation’s largest home-based travel agent franchise network. Cruise Planners positions a nation-wide network of 2,500 franchise owners for success by providing innovative marketing programs, proprietary and cutting-edge booking and technology tools, as well as professional development and hands-on training with the industry’s top executives. The company continues to be an industry leader and was named the No.1 travel franchise by Entrepreneur magazine for 18 consecutive years. Cruise Planners was recently featured in Entrepreneur as one of the top 30 franchise innovators in technology, has been consistently named as one of the Top Women-Owned Businesses by the South Florida Business Journal, is on the Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America, has been ranked as the #1 travel franchise by Franchise Business Review for 5 consecutive years, and was recognized as one of the Top Workplaces by the Sun Sentinel.
Headquartered in Coral Springs, Fla. with more than 25 years of experience, Cruise Planners has achieved top producer status with every major cruise line, many land vendors and maintains a philanthropic drive assisting in raising over $2 million in charitable contributions. Cruise Planners is one of the Top 50 franchises for Veterans according to GI magazine, the Top Franchise Brand for Veterans according to Franchise Business Review, 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.
Visit our website, www.cruiseplanners.com, for more information or to view the complete list of awards and honors. For those interested in becoming a franchise owner, please visit https://www.cruiseplannersfranchise.com/.
SOURCE Cruise Planners Franchising, LLC