Cruise Planners – American Express Travel Releases New Technology and Reveals Wave Season Sales Numbers

First Mid-Year Conference in New York City Wraps Up on the Breakaway Cruise Ship

May 09, 2013 // Franchising.com // CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. – More than 400 Cruise Planners travel advisors convened in New York City this week for the company's first mid-year conference where they released new, exclusive technology and announced overall sales are up with record-breaking wave season purchases.

"Cruise purchases are up 25 percent over this period last year," said CFO Tom Kruszewski. "The 2013 wave season purchases are off the chart. The luxury segment is trending high with a 60 percent growth on average and river cruising continues to show the most demand with sales up 75 percent. The overall purchase mix is expanding with land tours continuing to increase our piece of the pie."

With the rising sales, the executive team emphasized that now more than ever, agents must take advantage of the power of the Cruise Planners brand.

"Our brand is different and our award-winning marketing materials add value to our travel advisors," said CEO Michelle Fee during the opening ceremony. "Consistency is key when it comes to branding and we need to make sure our agents stay relevant in the marketplace."

In typical Cruise Planners style, the company released a number of new programs developed to improve the agent business model including new cruise sheets that allows agents to create and distribute multiple cruise sheets at one time, as well as a new Email Builder that provides various templates for agents to use to send special offers to separate client databases. However, it was the announcement of the Cruise Watcher tool that was very well-received with the largest round of applause from agents. The new tool, which was officially launched at the conference, allows agents to watch when a specific cruise line, price or sailing becomes available and it automatically alerts the customer. “These are exactly the kinds of innovative tools that set us apart in the industry, says JJ Kuykendall, Cruise Planner advisor from Houston, Texas. “In order for us to continue to offer a competitive edge, we need to be the first to provide the information to our customers, so this is perfect and so easy.”

The conference continues today on the inaugural sailing of the Breakaway, Norwegian Cruise Lines’ much-anticipated new ship. Agents will be among the first to "walk the plank" and sample the Ice Bar.

See updates and take-aways from the conference by following @CPMichelle, @VickyGarcia621 and @Cruisitude on Twitter and use hashtags #CPSocial, #CPinNYC and #CruisePlanners or connect with Cruise Planners on Facebook.

About Cruise Planners - American Express Travel

Named No.1 Cruise Tour / Travel Agency by Entrepreneur for the past ten years, Cruise Planners 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.

Headquartered in Coral Springs, Fla., Cruise Planners has achieved top producer status with every major cruise line. Accolades include a record nine Magellan Awards from Travel Weekly in 2012, 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 – 2012), Royal Caribbean International President’s Award for Overall Achievement for 2012, Norwegian Cruise Line Franchise Agency of the Year (2011-2012) and Home-Based Agency of the Year (2010), Celebrity Cruises 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. For information, visit www.cruiseplanners.com.

SOURCE Cruise Planners

Media Contact:

Holly Zawyer | Veronica Villegas
Cheryl Andrews Marketing
P: 305-444-4033
holly@cam-pr.com | veronica@cam-pr.com

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