Cruise Planners has been named to Sun Sentinel’s South Florida Top Workplaces, and recently hosted a land tour of Italy for its top-producing agents.
“It is a huge honor to be named a top workplace,” said Michelle Fee, CEO and co-founder of Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative. “We value our employees and create a family-like environment, which creates loyalty and breeds success. Our dedicated team is why Cruise Planners stands with the best.”
In order to achieve the title of “Top Workplace,” Cruise Planners employees ranked high levels of satisfaction in six key categories, which include direction, execution, connection, workload, management and pay and benefits. The anonymous survey was conducted by Workplace Dynamics, LLP, a research firm that specializes in organizational health and employee engagement. Workplace Dynamics conducts regional Top Workplaces programs with 40 major publishing partners across the United States.
Cruise Planners’ Home Office has seen significant growth over the last few years. From a start-up company envisioned by Fee more than 20 years ago, Cruise Planners’ Home Office Team has grown to a staff off 74 people.
Italy Trip for Top-Producing Agents
The company also recently invited its top-producing travel agents on a week-long Italy land tour. The group was escorted by Fee and Cruise Planners co-owner Vicky Garcia, as well as representatives from Europe Express and Oceania Cruises.
The group started in Florence and visited many Italian cities, complete with wine tastings at local wineries, private cooking lessons in a Tuscan villa and exclusive city excursions. The group stayed at the Villa La Palagina in Tuscany, experienced a tour of Milan complete with a visit to the Duomo de Milan, and toured Lake Como with a final night’s stay at the Grand Hotel Bristol Resort & Spa in Lake Maggiore.
“This year, we have grown our land-based business so it was a natural decision to experience Europe with so many of our top-producing agents,” said Fee. “Europe Express showed us an exceptional itinerary, guided hospitality and culturally immersive experiences, which will only help positively impact our total land sales.”
Agents also learned about Oceania Cruises’ product and European sailings while on the trip. The collaboration showcased a combination of pre- and post-cruise extension packages for travelers throughout Italy.
About Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative
Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, is the nation’s largest home-based travel agent franchise network in the travel industry. Cruise Planners operates a franchise network of more than 1,000 franchise owners who are experienced travel professionals who independently book amazing vacation and travel experiences for their clients. The Florida-based 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 12 consecutive years. Cruise Planners was recently featured in Entrepreneur as one of the top 30 franchise innovators in technology and named to the Fast 50 by the South Florida Business Journal .
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 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 .
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Caitlin Murphy, Director of Public Relations
Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative