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Top Review

January 27, 2018
01/28/2018 Update: It has been 18 months since I wrote my initial review, and I wanted to follow up on the success I am having as a member of Cruise Brothers home program. TRAINING: On top of countless webinars, and specialized trainings, in 2016-2017, I successfully completed the top level graduate programs for Disney, Omni Resorts, Royal Caribbean, NCL, Princess, Cunard, Viking, and (one class away on purpose from) Carnival, amongst others. 2016 was my first full year of working this and I achieved enough in commissions to earn my individual CLIA card. OPPORTUNITIES With that card, I am able to take advantage of the many travel and discount opportunities these cruise lines and resorts offer. Yes, it is possible to earn "free" cruises and travel doing this as a part time from home job (Note, it is not free - you must pay taxes, port expenses, resort fees, gratuities, etc.). My 2016 success improved in 2017 where I made a calendar year $275K in sales, more then doubling my commission from 2016, again earning my CLIA and now IATA as well. SUPPORT Cruise Brothers continues to provide top notch support and services, and because of their top-tier status with every cruise line, the commissions are higher rates then other home based agencies. ADVANTAGE The group space advantage has helped me compete against some of these other home based businesses who do not have the volume of group space allocation Cruise Brothers has. I have also received added perks with some lines because Cruise Brothers was top tier in volume (added room credit, and extra air credit, dedicated call in lines for shorter holds!) 2018 is off to a great start - I would highly recommend you getting on board with Cruise Brothers and enjoy the growth of cruise ship vacations in the years ahead. Talking to some agents who went thru other companies, I see that I made the right choice! _____________________________________________________________________________________ After booking many cruises with Cruise Brothers, I inquired about their home based program so that I could begin to sell cruise travel myself as a way to learn the industry, build a clientele for when I retire, as well as travel at discounted rates. I new to stay away from any scam company that tries to push an expensive website, charge fees to "open your company", or any of those other fee based approaches. With Cruise Brothers, you are an agent / employee of the company, working from the comfort of your own home. There is no gimmick, no pushy sales people telling you that you need a useless website, and no one breathing down your neck saying "make more sales." you work at your own pace and are backed by them. With the best commission structure in the industry, as well as volume pricing, i have never lost a sale due to pricing. I do not have a sales website as I do all sales directly with clients, and there are a ton of reasons why this approach works much better - to many to list. Training in plentiful, both with the team at CB, as well as all cruise lines and resorts. I even have the Disney certification. Daily emails and messages from my team lead, who is incredibly knowledgable and helps if anything arises. I have been very successful due to word of mouth, repeat customers, and ability to build groups, with over $150K booked and/or sailed (and another $15K in cancelled trips) in just over 16 months. Yes, I have hustled and continuously hand out cards and talk up the products. I can not speak about the 1 star, old reviews other then it appears to be from people who expected an easy gig where people would line up to buy from them - this is sales, you must get out there and work it yourself. Start with friends and family, and word will travel fast. No need to pay a dime out of pocket and get the useless site. Believe it when I say it, this is the program you want.
January 27, 2018
Old Review

01/28/2018 Update:

It has been 18 months since I wrote my initial review, and I wanted to follow up on the success I am having as a member of Cruise Brothers home program. TRAINING: On top of countless webinars, and specialized trainings, in 2016-2017, I successfully completed the top level graduate programs for Disney, Omni Resorts, Royal Caribbean, NCL, Princess, Cunard, Viking, and (one class away on purpose from) Carnival, amongst others. 2016 was my first full year of working this and I achieved enough in commissions to earn my individual CLIA card. OPPORTUNITIES With that card, I am able to take advantage of the many travel and discount opportunities these cruise lines and resorts offer. Yes, it is possible to earn "free" cruises and travel doing this as a part time from home job (Note, it is not free - you must pay taxes, port expenses, resort fees, gratuities, etc.). My 2016 success improved in 2017 where I made a calendar year $275K in sales, more then doubling my commission from 2016, again earning my CLIA and now IATA as well. SUPPORT Cruise Brothers continues to provide top notch support and services, and because of their top-tier status with every cruise line, the commissions are higher rates then other home based agencies. ADVANTAGE The group space advantage has helped me compete against some of these other home based businesses who do not have the volume of group space allocation Cruise Brothers has. I have also received added perks with some lines because Cruise Brothers was top tier in volume (added room credit, and extra air credit, dedicated call in lines for shorter holds!) 2018 is off to a great start - I would highly recommend you getting on board with Cruise Brothers and enjoy the growth of cruise ship vacations in the years ahead. Talking to some agents who went thru other companies, I see that I made the right choice!

_____________________________________________________________________________________

After booking many cruises with Cruise Brothers, I inquired about their home based program so that I could begin to sell cruise travel myself as a way to learn the industry, build a clientele for when I retire, as well as travel at discounted rates. I new to stay away from any scam company that tries to push an expensive website, charge fees to "open your company", or any of those other fee based approaches.

With Cruise Brothers, you are an agent / employee of the company, working from the comfort of your own home. There is no gimmick, no pushy sales people telling you that you need a useless website, and no one breathing down your neck saying "make more sales." you work at your own pace and are backed by them.

With the best commission structure in the industry, as well as volume pricing, i have never lost a sale due to pricing. I do not have a sales website as I do all sales directly with clients, and there are a ton of reasons why this approach works much better - to many to list.

Training in plentiful, both with the team at CB, as well as all cruise lines and resorts. I even have the Disney certification. Daily emails and messages from my team lead, who is incredibly knowledgable and helps if anything arises.

I have been very successful due to word of mouth, repeat customers, and ability to build groups, with over $150K booked and/or sailed (and another $15K in cancelled trips) in just over 16 months. Yes, I have hustled and continuously hand out cards and talk up the products.

I can not speak about the 1 star, old reviews other then it appears to be from people who expected an easy gig where people would line up to buy from them - this is sales, you must get out there and work it yourself. Start with friends and family, and word will travel fast. No need to pay a dime out of pocket and get the useless site. Believe it when I say it, this is the program you want.

October 19, 2017
Old Review

I chose Cruise Brothers as my first host agency when I was just starting out in 2011. They had zero fees, and it was a good way to get my feet wet without spending a lot of money. Now that I have moved on and spent the last 4 years with another host, I feel I can provide a good overview of what I liked and did not like about Cruise Brothers.

First, the good. My BDM was always a phone call or email away, and he was very prompt with his answers, though not very thorough. They provided a fair amount of training including webinars, which were impossible for me to participate in because I worked a second job. But I was able to watch the recorded versions, however, which was a help, and the supplier training was all there if you were willing and made the time to learn each one - independently with little help. The website provided was a cookie cutter site, and not very useful, but it at least gave my clients and prospective clients a landing spot. Combined with a site I built from scratch, it all worked out well. That's pretty much where the good ends.

Now, the not so great. Commission split was awful. After two years, I was only making 50%. I was gradually building up my client base and my business, and actively selling, but I felt I wasn't getting paid for the amount of work I was putting in. The other piece missing was fellow agent support. There was no agent forum to go to for answers to questions or problem-solving. Many times, I felt like I was alone out there, ready to sink or swim. Another odd thing was that while they encouraged agents to be independent, their back office wanted final payments to be called in directly to them so they could make them with directly with the vendor. I'm not sure why they wouldn't trust agents with making final payments.

Cruise Brothers is not only a host agency, but also a travel agency, and sometimes I got the feeling they are not fully committed to the outside-agent side of the business. In fact, you can see it, in the first two lines written on their home page, what their business model is all about: "If you just absolutely love to cruise, and you want to do it often, for little or no out of pocket expense, and even earn money while doing it, then our Cruising Free! program might just be what you are looking for! If your primary goal is to simply travel the world for Free! or at discounted rates...plus earn money while doing it, then our Cruising Free! opportunity is designed especially for you." Sounds pretty self-serving - sell cruises with us and cruise for free. Yes, it is possible to earn free cruises - but it takes a lot of hard work and time to get to that point. Besides, I always thought the goal was about service to the client and finding them the perfect vacation fit.

There are much better hosts out there. Fortunately I found one which pays a much higher commission split, has better support, a forum for agents, tons of training, CRM, booking, invoicing and payment tools, group tools, sales & commission reports, and a basic website for very low cost. We're encouraged to use preferred suppliers, but they have so many that it's no trouble finding a suitable one for the client.

Host Agency Response
November 2, 2017

As a Senior Team Leader for Cruise Brothers, and career travel specialist, I would like to address many of your concerns and update everyone on the changes that have happened here at Cruise Brothers since you left the agency 4 years ago.

It should be noted that Cruise Brothers is one of only 30 agencies (from over 13000) in the world to be rated as a PREMIUM member of CLIA, providing our agents the highest commission structure possible. While other agencies offer a higher percentage of the commission, the overall amount received ends up being nearly identical and often lower. Add to this that Cruise Brothers will split the cost of any gift given to clients, offers 50% off individual CLIA memberships, has zero monthly fees or start up costs, the advantage for almost all agents will be the model we have developed. We do not push personal websites for added costs to our agents (though available), as we feel it is best for agents to talk one on one with guests to provide the more personable touch as well as identify discounts their clients may not know they qualify for.

A team leader, such as myself, provides agent support. Available round-the-clock via phone and email, team leaders are on hand to provide complete and accurate information when ever necessary. In our absence, an agent in the office will cover for us. Add to this the daily distribution of emails and messages providing up-to-date information, and our agents are provided with a vast amount of information. We have also expanded the effective training program you complimented and webinars are recoded for on-demand viewing.

We had not gone the “agent-to-agent support group” route in the past because we found there were a vast amount of “agent only” Facebook groups already in existence. With your feedback, and discussions with a few of my teammates, I am motivated to build a team group in the near future for that pier support network.

We have also updated the final payment options, allowing the client to call our agent, Cruise Brothers home office, or pay online via our secure payment portal.

You are correct in saying we are not only a host agency, but also a physical travel agency. Our signs are an institution in Rhode Island, grazing above RT 95 for generations before outgrowing the facility and relocating to a new office a few miles away. The family owned business also expanded brick and mortar operations to Florida just to handle the volume our home agents are producing! Unlike many host agencies that are created on paper, we are a family operation that extends out to our home-based team. In such, our agents are able to offer resorts, destinations, excursions, and exclusive travel opportunities many host agencies are not selling.

I hope I have addressed all your concerns and wished we had heard directly from you 5 years ago, perhaps we could have addressed some issues earlier. We have a wonderful full time support team that takes recommendations from agents and clients alike and works to ensure complete satisfaction. Happy Sailings!

August 2, 2016
Old Review

I started with Cruise Brothers a few years ago but had to stop because I was relocating. I have began again with them about 3 weeks ago. My BDM is awesome and constantly sends me emails of all the promos the various cruise lines are running. With that said, I have to laugh at the posts that give low stars when the majority of the complaints are about not being able to make bookings. Well, guess what, in the last 3 weeks I have made two bookings! Why, because I network myself. I have a Facebook page, a Facebook Group and Cruise Brothers has just released their new agent web sites that are 90% customizable and allow you to enter pics or even videos. You don't have to live in a big town to sell cruises. You just have to invite your friends to your social pages and let them share your pages and deals. The online training at the different cruise line websites geared towards agents is excellent and gives you the knowledge to sell their brand. If you want to succeed you have to "put it out there". If you want to succeed you have to invest time for training and dedicate time but NO money! Don't expect CB to hold your hand every step of the way because YOU have to sell the product. Free to join, no monthly fees and consistent support from your BDM! What more do you want?

May 31, 2016
Old Review

I have been working for them. One of the things that attracted me to the Cruise Brothers, is that they are a family owned business. I did not want to work for a big corporation or a franchise. Also their extensive training menu. I like to educate myself so, this was a big plus. I like that the sales managers and team leaders are always available by phone or email. You can make as much money as you want or as little as you want. I am in this to make a living and because i LOVE IT! i am not playing “travel agent”. So for me growing my sales every year is a most. If you by any reason have a team leader who is less than helpful, you need to contact Jim, He will help you and switch you to another team leader if need be. I would recommend this place. I would recommend that aside from their training you put in your time to learn everything about the cruise and vacation industry they can help you up to a point and the rest its on you. If you love travel and are great with people in person and the phone, then this might be for you. Sales is not everyone, in my opinion. But if you are selling to friends and family then you might be okay, this takes time, practice and building your clientele def takes patience. Signing up with Cruise Brothers is free, but for sure i can tell you that making money at this it is up to you 100%.

April 12, 2016
Old Review

I havent had any problem with this agency since I signed up with them, my BDM is very helpful and always quick to respond. She even sent me some documents she made herself to help me when I am qualifying clients. I haven't got any bookings yet, but I have only been with them for about a month. It may take a little longer because I live in a rural area with only small towns around, and it could be the economy as well. But I am not giving up. The sales and marketing training was awesome and really helped me. I am still trying to get the word out and network, the best I can. I am moving shortly to a larger town with more people so there will be more opportunities to network, other than that, I am very pleased with this agency. You definitely have to work and put something in to your career to get something out. I try to do something for my business everyday.

June 9, 2015
Old Review

I am happy with Cruise Brothers as a host agency. Like others have said the website is not the best but was not pushed on me either. Team leader actually told me he prefers that I learn the cruise line agent portals as the training is excellent and the group rates are published there. The Cruise Brothers site is more for an internet presence than anything. What I love about this company is 3 things.
It does not cost anything and they are actually a reputable company
There group rates are lower than anything I can find online
My team leader Mike is very knowledgeable and is prompt answering my emails and phone calls even after hours.
The service has surprised me the most since they are free. I would recommend this agency

May 22, 2015
Old Review

I have been working very hard to book trips for several months now and nothing. It would be very helpful for a user-friendly booking site to provide to us as so many clients use the Internet to book their own trips. I have pretty much given up trying to find clients as they do it themselves.

Host Agency Response
March 25, 2017

I have been with the Cruise Brothers for about a year now and find their system very simple to use. Their training program is only the basic elements of the overall process as you gain all of the most valuable training from the various Cruise and land vacation providers that exist; if you don't take advantage of those programs then you are destined to fail. Nothing happens overnight and there may be some changes necessary to the tactics and methods used to obtain leads; I have had moderate success with gaining bookings and I live in a rural area, a very rural area. Delivery of the message and the product is key to every business.

January 25, 2015
Old Review

I signed up with cruise brothers because it was free. I saw an ad on craigslist and answered it . Not knowing how far I could take it and go. I started to look at this as a career and was trying to build it up. Their training sucked. It was 45 minutes with mt team leader over the phone where he talked me through their little system. I had gotten my training form Cruise lines but their marketing was not good. All their marketing plans were basically the same 30 minute webinar. With them it is sink or swim. They do not put any marketing toward their agents. I didn't buy the website because after i talked to a couple other agents it really did nothing for them. When I went to cancel my contract with them i was contacted and asked why. I told him greener pastures and when he asked me if there were fees involved I said yes. He then told me to watch out for agencies like that and i am I am watching the money build in my bank account. To me Cruise Brothers is just a place to start off and learn.

Host Agency Response
December 23, 2015

Hi Phil,
I started with Cruise Brothers in January this year and have many years experience in the travel business as an agent and owner of an agency. As a BDM (Business Development Manager) I am very excited to share what I do with the general public that have no access to our rates and suppliers that can not be shopped. Most people book online and direct with the Cruise Lines or properties. We are really in need of great people to help others buy travel that can not be shopped to provide great pricing and sound advice. Will your friends and family support your travel business?
We are looking for people who are tired of trading hours for (not enough) dollars at a J.O.B. and want to invest in themselves buy training in this great career. (Invest=spend time, study your craft and read, read, read). Like every thing what you put into it you will get out of it.
I challenge you to reach out to me directly and lets see if we can put a plan of action together for you to be a successful travel professional remember we do not charge monthly fees or for our time and training. To have our BDM as your trained partner you have a free partner in business with a vested interest in your success. That is worth it's weight in gold.
Regards, Diane Fish. (https://dianefish.cruisingfree.com)

December 29, 2013
Old Review

I have been signed up with Cruise Brothers for almost a year. I signed up because it was free and I was not sure if I could make a living as a travel agent. I love to travel and now I get paid to travel.
Two minor annoyances:
1. I did purchase the website but honestly, I have found many errors on it so I don't really use it anymore.
2. I don't like the procedure of guiding people to my website and when they put their information in under the "Sign up for deal alerts!" that this request for information is not redirected to me, nor and I given any feedback that someone signed up off my website. I suspect it is because the website does not have that capability.
I have signed up with all the vendors and have completed most or some of all the training provided: for example, NCLU, Carnival & travel agent university. Best reward so far for completing training: The Princess Commodore training(I was able to utilize the reward for completion and sailed 10 days to the Panama Canal in October). I also got some cool pins from Disney--my husband wants to trade them but we are not allowed--nor do I want to--they are neat.
My team leader always gets me an answer when I have questions and has provided some useful tips. If I never sell anything to anyone but myself, it is still a good deal...it was free and I am having fun.
The commission is fair, commission rate is based on agency sales...so it is higher than It would be(% wise)if I was on my own.
I am registered and working towards my CILA certification and will be going to Cruise 3sixty in April to complete the rest of the classes and ship tours. Then all I have to do is sell some cabins..and poof...I have a card, lots of knowledge and this will make me a better travel agent.

December 28, 2013
Old Review

I booked a cruise with Cruise Brother's back in November of 2012 with no intention of ever working for them or even in the travel industry, I was a retail woman, through and through. Well, shortly after booking my cruise I had questions about quite a few things, and after talking to my agent on the phone, he was so knowledgeable that I began asking him about his training, and how he knew so much about where we were going, he told me that since working there he had been on a cruise to the same destination and he went for nothing! That was when I first heard of the program but still hadn't actually considered participating in it. It wasn't until about 3 months after my cruise that my brother and his family were considering booking a cruise and asked my advice. I recommended using Cruise Brother's service and remembered what my agent told me. I was able to book my brother's cruise myself and even discounted it for him through my commission. It was the best feeling in the world telling him I could get him a deal! I have been working for Cruise Brother's ever since. I have made plenty of extra money and I've been on one free cruise already! I can't believe I almost passed up this opportunity!

I HIGHLY recommend Cruise Brother's for anything travel related. They were great before I worked for them, and extremely helpful. That same service only got better with time!

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