Cruise Planners/American Express, the nation’s largest home-based travel agent franchise network in the cruise industry, has recently signed on Dan Hicks as the company’s new director of franchise development. Hicks joins the home office team with more than 18 years of experience in franchise sales and development.       

As the new director of franchise development, Hicks is responsible for expanding the company’s franchise name on a national level by promoting Cruise Planners/American Express’ low-entry cost, recruiting prospective franchise owners, and training and educating new home-based agents in all areas of starting a travel agency from home. 

“Dan is schooled on how to develop and increase franchise growth for a company and he has the passion we look for when it comes to supporting new franchise owners,” said Michelle Fee, CEO and co-founder of Cruise Planners/American Express. “Dan fits perfectly with our corporate culture mentality where we not only work to assist each other, but team up to create new tools and initiatives used to build knowledgeable and successful home-based agents.”     

Prior to joining Cruise Planners/American Express, Hicks was the executive vice president of franchise sales for Diversified Health and Fitness where he was responsible for the company’s franchise portfolio. Hicks was also the former vice president of franchise sales for Lady of America, where he assisted new franchisees with on-going operational support from starting a new business to site selection.

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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