Why There’s No Glass Ceilings at Cruise Planners

Why This Women-Owned Company Values Leadership, Teamwork and Diversity

Over the years, our home-based travel franchise business model has evolved, but one thing remains constant: Cruise Planners has stayed true to empowering and embracing everyone, including women. Leadership, teamwork, diversity and charity all remain true to our core.

Cruise Planners CEO and Founder, Michelle Fee, and COO and Co-owner, Vicky Garcia are known throughout the travel industry for their vivacious spirits, winning attitudes and of course, incredible friendship.
Cruise Planners CEO and Founder, Michelle Fee, and COO and Co-owner, Vicky Garcia are known throughout the travel industry for their vivacious spirits, winning attitudes and of course, incredible friendship.

At Cruise Planners, women hold 65% of our leadership roles and are the majority owners of our company and franchisees predominantly have a woman as a part of the franchise. Having women in such influential leadership roles doesn’t go unnoticed and it’s earned us a few awards:

  • Top Women-Owned Business – South Florida Business Journal
  • EY Entrepreneur of The Year® 2016 Award for Hospitality and Leisure in Florida – awarded to Michelle Fee, CEO and Founder
  • Top Franchise for Women – Franchise Business Review
  • Cruise Planners Home Office Team named Management Team of the Year – Stevie Award

“Cruise Planners continues to be the round peg in the square hole, and we celebrate standing out because we do things differently. It’s our secret sauce in a sea full of sameness,” said Michelle Fee, Cruise Planners CEO and Founder.

We pride ourselves on being the best, not just as a travel franchise, but as people and that includes both women AND men. Choose entrepreneurship and choose Cruise Planners. Welcome to our CP Family!

Catch Cruise Planners’ CEO talking about franchise ownership at 30,000 feet

Exclusively on American Airlines in-flights this month, Michelle Fee, offers travelers an in-flight Benefit: franchise ownership and special offer

If you are flying on American Airlines in the month of April, make sure to check out Business 360’s video of Michelle Fee, CEO of Cruise Planners. Michelle will be featured as she shares the benefits of owning a Cruise Planners Franchise and talks about how people with a passion for travel can make a living selling travel, being their on boss and traveling the world. The video even goes on to include some real-life travel agent success stories from Cruise Planners franchise owners who all have unique stories how they chose franchise ownership.

So, if you’re flying high on American Airlines this month, make sure to check out the in-flight entertainment and let us know if you see Michelle’s message!

Cruise Planners® Travel Agents Share Insight on How They Became Successful and Achieved Millionaire Status

Cruise Planners Welcomes Growing Number of New Travel Agents to its Millionaires Club for 2018

Cruise Planners®, an American Express Travel Representative, has announced the network’s top-producing travel agents is its highest ever with 19 new members to its elite Millionaires Club for 2018.

Cruise Planners is a network that specializes in training and coaching travel agents with a passion for travel and business know-how on how to start a travel agency. The new crop of Millionaires Club members has reached their business goals and increased their annual sales crediting their growth to top-producing travel agent status to Cruise Planners amazing tools.

This year, Cruise Planners® an American Express Travel Representative, has announced the network’s top-producing travel agents who are new and continuing members of its elite Millionaires Club for 2018 – the highest ever for the home-based travel franchise. Florida Cruise Planners® franchise owner, Celeste Belyea, and travel agent Holly Marocchi were featured in the Ormond Beach Observer for reaching millionaire status and simultaneously smashing business sale records last year as top-producing travel agents.

Celeste Belyea and Holly Marocchi, Cruise Planners® Travel Agents and American Express Travel Representatives
From left to right: Celeste Belyea and Holly Marocchi, Cruise Planners® Travel Agents and American Express Travel Representatives

As full-service travel agents, Belyea and Marocchi are dedicated to offering superior customer service and planning customized vacations on land and at sea for their clients. When people book through a Cruise Planners Millionaires Club Member, they can confidently know their vacation is being handled and managed by a proven travel professional.

“As a travel professional, I am also a small business owner and entrepreneur dedicated to ensuring every customer has a personalized and memorable travel experience,” said Beyea. “Being recognized for my hard work and achievements pushes me to keep growing my business and climb higher.”

Cruise Planners is a network that specializes in training and coaching travel advisors with a passion for travel and business know-how. The franchise model is ideal for those who want to take charge of their own schedules and write their own paychecks. Cruise Planners offers a remarkable toolbox of travel agency technology that agents would have trouble creating themselves. The Home Office Team also provides support and answers to questions that you need to hit the ground running. Another Millionaire Club Member and superstar, Sue Palenik, ­began her travel franchise and found success soon thereafter.

What will your story be? Sign up with Cruise Planners® today and get access to one of the most profitable franchises packaged in a business-in-a-box model. Cruise Planners is a low-cost franchise, created for you to reach your potential as an independent travel agent and a home-based business owner.

Cruise Planners Receives Rep Excellence Award from American Express Travel Year After Year

Top-Producing Travel Agents Are Honored at the Annual Travel Forum Hosted by American Express


One hundred and thirty Cruise Planners® Travel Agents strike a pose at the 2017 AMEX Travel Forum in San Antonio, Texas

Cruise Planners®, an American Express Travel Representative, has won the American Express Travel Representative Excellence Award, a prestigious award chosen by American Express because of exemplary excellence in travel and cruise sales. Cruise Planners has received this award for over ten years and counting, a testament to the franchisor’s commitment to providing the best tools in the travel industry so Cruise Planners agents can best serve their clients.

As a prize of obtaining this award, a top-producing Cruise Planners Travel Agent is chosen to accept the Pacesetter Award on behalf of the franchise. Each year, a different Cruise Planners franchise owner is chosen and this year, that lucky person is Ruthelise Thompson, and maybe next year it could be you!

Each year, American Express Travel invites top-producing independent travel agents to a special, invitation-only training session and dinner, also known as the American Express Travel Forum where agents can learn from American Express executives and Preferred Suppliers directly, enabling them with opportunities to further their goals and success in growing their travel agency franchise. At the forum, industry pros train agents on the ins and outs of platinum card privileges and benefits.
“It’s a privilege to attend the forum and it’s only possible for these agents to do so because of Cruise Planners’ exclusive relationship with American Express Travel,” says Mirna Plana, Cruise Planners Special Programs Manager.

Cruise Planners Director of Business Development, Diana Riel and Plana help manage Cruise Planners’ relationship with American Express Travel and the duo annually attends the forum alongside Cruise Planners’ very best, merit-based independent travel franchisees. Director of Business Development, Diana Riel (left) and Special Programs Manager, Mirna Plana strike a pose as they welcome Cruise Planners® Travel Agents to the American Express Travel Forum

“Our attendees tend to steal the show––for the last 2 years, Cruise Planners has had approximately 130 travel agents in attendance, and some have been appointed as American Express Travel Insiders,” says Riel.

The relationship is as exclusive as it gets. Cruise Planners has a high brand presence and elevated partnership with American Express Travel since Cruise Planners top executives are on the American Express Travel Advisory Board. Since Cruise Planners continues to be a top-producing travel agency collectively, this advisory board status gives Cruise Planners travel agents representation when important decisions are being addressed. Cruise Planners continues to have a dynamic and strong relationship with American Express Travel, and they’re here to stay. Join a winning team and invest in one of the best franchises to own today.