Cruise Planners/American Express, the nation’s largest home-based travel agent franchise network in the cruise industry, today announced that its annual convention scheduled this fall for agents and home office executives has sold out in record time. In less than four months, more than 400 home-based agents from across the nation registered for the event.

The key message at the 2010 Cruise Planners Convention, kicking off November 10-13 at the oceanfront Westin Beach Resort in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is “C.H.A.N.G.E.” – an acronym that stands for Cruise Planners, Have Fun, Agents, New Stuff, Growth and Evolve. Following the three-day land portion of the convention, agents and Cruise Planners executives will embark on their anchor-partner Celebrity’s new Eclipse for a two-night sailing from Port Everglades on November 13.

“Our agents will be surprised to see what we have cooked up for convention this year. We are introducing new topics to the discussion panels and have created sessions essential in assisting our agents with what it takes to thrive in today’s competitive market,” said Michelle Fee, CEO and co-founder of Cruise Planners/American Express. “We have a sold out event, which means our agents are geared up and ready to come together to sharpen their skills on newly implemented tools and learn about new innovations launching in the year to come.”

Home office executives are planning and organizing an impressive line-up of speaker presentations, breakout sessions and panel discussions that include topics on how to develop effective marketing strategies, leveraging technology to host local and virtual events, maximizing efficiencies with the new eREZSM tool as well as “fireside chats” with the Cruise Planners’ executive team. Cruise Planners has even nabbed top cruise line executives such as Vicki Freed of Royal Caribbean International, Lynn Torrent with Carnival Cruise Lines, Dondra Ritzenthaler with Celebrity Cruises and Andy Stuart of Norwegian Cruise Line, just to name a few, to participate in an executive panel discussion.

“We are two months away from Cruise Planners’ biggest event and the buzz is growing. This year, we will touch on every topic related to cruising and marketing from discussion panels with top producing peers sharing best practices, selling river cruises and several sessions on social media techniques that help build clientele,” said Vicky Garcia, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Cruise Planners/American Express. “Our goal is to have our agents leave convention better equipped and more informed with a drive to increase their sales and utilize the tools we have created for them.”

To find the latest updates, news and teasers on the 2010 Cruise Planners Convention, become a fan on Facebook at and follow Cruise Planners on Twitter @CPMichelle and @Cruisitude.

About Cruise Planners/American Express

Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Services Representative, is the largest home-based travel agent network in the cruise industry with more than 700 franchise owners across the country that independently book cruises and associated travel. Named No.1 Cruise Tour / Travel Agency by Entrepreneur magazine for the past seven years, Cruise Planners positions franchise owners for success by providing them with innovating 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 Royal Caribbean International Home-based Partner of the Year (2007 – 2009); Regent Seven Seas Cruises Top Producer (2009); and American Express Travel Representative Excellence Awards (2004 – 2009). For more general information, please visit

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