After starting with one host who, well, rarely replied to my calls or emails, I decided it was time to look around.
One of the most important things is support being there when you need it. I have always found outstanding support with any questions or needs that I have when I call the office or email.
With a friendly staff, who are responsive and always willing to get the right answer if they do not know it immediately, it is a pleasure to call into the office.
Take a hard look at what is offered from the various host agencies, run the numbers, weigh in the commission levels each earn from vendors (you will find not all earn the top levels with each vendor) and see not only will you earn more, but you will get tons of support, even if you rarely need it.
They may not have as many agents as some places, but they sure make it easy to be successful.
I believe I am the longest running, first original agent to join Cruise.com when they were just starting the affiliate program many years ago. I figured if you can't beat 'em, join 'em! I specialize in special event niche theme groups, only do a few each year, but my biggest one draws well over 400 guests.
I even wrote a book for agents called "Think Groups And Grow Rich".
When you combine the 100% commission opportunity with their back-office booking engine and invoicing system, and that I am treated like family, it's a no-brainer.
You can add ALLIANZ insurance easily and automatically to any invoice with the push of a button, as well as add on other segments as needed, adjust line item pricing (what your client sees) and so much more.
And of course Cruise.com host agency division has VIP National Account Status with all the lines that matter, with top tier commissions and loads of group blocked space to book into.
Finally, if you go for a slightly lower commission split, you can also get their CBE Consumer Booking Engine for "some" of your clients to book online (short trips, etc). It's still important to combine HIGH TOUCH with all the "High Tech", to separate yourself from the rest of the pack!
I joined Cruise.com early this year. I wasn't sure what to expect because I know this company is a powerhouse for selling cruises. I also figured if you can't beat them join them.
I quickly learned that their cruise technology is unrivaled. If you go to their main website that technology is the same tech I get to use on my site. I get all of the bonus commissions and incentives they negotiate with the cruise lines. Plus I get almost all my commissions in a timely manner.
So far this blows away the franchise I was paying top dollar for before.
I highly suggest calling Stewart at Cruise.com if your looking to go big in selling cruises.
I worked independently for years and then joined a host agency. I was and am very pleased with them in all respects except the commission structure. I started researching other agencies to be sure I was partnered with the best host for me. I am very independent and do not require a lot of hand holding. I came across an ad in my email and liked the consumer deals it contained. I decided to check to see if they also hosted travel agents. Thankfully, they did. I contacted cruise.com and loved what I was hearing. I started the process and found it to be very straightforward. The in-house affiliate department staff are top notch. When I do have a question, reaching someone to speak with is a breeze. They have very good attitudes and seem to love coming to work. As you know, that shines through to the person on the other end of the line. The only reason I did not give the maximum number of stars is the technology. They are a "young" affiliate department, and have some growing to do in that area. That is something that I can live with when it is combined with a great staff! After all of the research I did, their commission structure seems to be the best there is. And guess what? You don't have to break the bank for 100% commission levels.
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