Expedia CruiseShipCenters

56 reviews
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All Reviews

56 reviews
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Top Review

August 4, 2015
I love working for Expedia Cruise Ship Centers. They take care of my website and I love booking cruises and other vacations for my friends and family and others that I meet. I wish the commission structure was a little better but I am making money. They provide me with so much and if I need help it is just a phone call or e-mail away. I did have a rough start with first centers that I was assigned to but then was moved to the corporate office for awhile then to another local center. It was the difference of night and day between the two local centers. I plan to stay for a long time now. The only reason I gave them a 4.5 rating was that I did most of my training with the first center but never received recognition for my completion of my training. But so what it is just a piece of paper. I am getting to do what I love to do plus can sometimes get great rates on personal travel.
March 13, 2017

UPDATE 3/13/2017:

This is an update of a review I posted in 2012. I have now been with ECSC for over 6 years... and I have almost 25 years in the travel agency business. FOr the past 5 years, I have been working with the ECSC in Venice, FL but they also have offices in Punta Gorda and The Villages, FL. A lot of how I feel about this affiliation has to do with the management of the franchise center I work with... because they are the best. I'm not the type of agent who needs a lot of help but I would recommend this organization to new agents who do need the help and support. The Basic ECSC back-office system is very good overall. Marketing, name brand recognition and the availability of group rates and amenities on thousands of sailings helps me close sales that I might have lost as an independent and shows improvement on the bottom line immensely. Is being a travel agent a bed of roses? Heck no. This is not a job where you are going to get rich overnight. But if you are a newbie and want to learn, this is a good program. If you are an experienced agent with a good customer base, ECSC can help you become more profitable. The bottom line for me is that my business and profits have grown every year I have been with ECSC and especially in the past 5 years with the Venice, FL office capably owned and operated by Tracey Codd. Do your homework about ECSC, then do your homework about the people who own/manage the center you will be affiliated with. Then, if you are willing to put in the time and effort, this program will be a good fit for you.
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I have beeen selling cruises for close to 20 years and became affiliated with ExpediaCruiseShipCenters 18 months ago. It was the best business decision I have made in a long time. The back ofice software and support is second to none and the email and print marketing programs are among the best I have ever seen. For new people into the industry, the training is excellent and for veterans with an established following, the commission split can be very profitable across all cruise lines. The number of special promotions or sailings with group rates or special amenities is amazing. This is a great tool when trying to compete in a tough market. It was a huge step for me to become affiliated with a host agency after being independent for so many years but with every marketing campaign and every sale, I am convinced it was the right decision for me.

February 24, 2017

Don't pay a franchise fee to Cruiseship centers....The one at "the villages" and Clearwater....owned by Greg took my money of 495 and then when I told his manager they were incompetent, he got back from Alaska then canceled my contract without ever meeting me. THIS COMPANY IS A RIPPOFF.....Stay away from them

Host Agency Response
March 3, 2017

Hi Andrew,

Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback on Expedia CruiseShipCenters. We are very sorry that the experience was not what you expected. We take a lot of pride in our systems, brand and supporting our Vacation Consultants and greatly value your feedback. We're hoping you could provide more clarity on which Center you were working with to myfeedback@cruiseshipcenters.com, we’ll make sure your concerns are responded to and passed on to our Consultant support team and the franchise owner in your area.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts on how we can better serve our Vacation Consultants in the future.

The Team at Expedia CruiseShipCenters

August 4, 2015

I love working for Expedia Cruise Ship Centers. They take care of my website and I love booking cruises and other vacations for my friends and family and others that I meet. I wish the commission structure was a little better but I am making money. They provide me with so much and if I need help it is just a phone call or e-mail away. I did have a rough start with first centers that I was assigned to but then was moved to the corporate office for awhile then to another local center. It was the difference of night and day between the two local centers. I plan to stay for a long time now.

The only reason I gave them a 4.5 rating was that I did most of my training with the first center but never received recognition for my completion of my training. But so what it is just a piece of paper. I am getting to do what I love to do plus can sometimes get great rates on personal travel.

October 25, 2014

Do not waste your time or money with this host agency. The system is terrible and the only one making any money at all is the "center" to which you are assigned. The CRM system is absolutely the worst. It requires many, many steps to complete a sale and the systems seems to be archaic by modern standards. Most importantly, the system does not allow cross functional coordination and is usually not up to date. Finally, if you "question" anything within this organization they ostracize you.

I sent a very professional letter to a Vice President of Expedia for the Cruise Ship Centers expressing my concerns and asking for some relief and never received an acknowledgment of receipt (even though I tracked the letter) or a response of any kind. I highly recommend not falling for the slick "sales presentation" when you are recruited and recommend searching out host agencies that actually provide support and extensive backend services. While the sales presentation to recruit you is very slick, the rest of the hosting program is terrible and support is basically nonexistent. Run and run very fast!

Host Agency Response
November 27, 2014

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for taking the time to review Expedia CruiseShipCenters. We’re so sorry to hear your experience was not what you hoped it would be. We take a lot of pride in our system, our brand and providing exceptional support to our Vacation Consultants so if you have feedback on how we can improve, we’d love to hear it! We’re not sure which Vice President you sent your letter to, but if you would like to forward your message to myfeedback@cruiseshipcenters.com, we’ll make sure your concerns are responded to and passed on to our Consultant support team and the franchise owner in your area.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts on how we can better serve our Vacation Consultants in the future.

The Team at Expedia CruiseShipCenters

July 10, 2014

I was disappointed with my experience. There is no follow up on hotel/car/air commissions. The network is really convoluted- for example- if I were to book a Hilton hotel that had a commissionable fare, I am booking it on the Expedia website to earn commission. BUT if my statement post and it's not there, I as an individual am supposed to call the Hilton property, explain I'm from Expedia Cruise Ship Centers and try to hunt down a commission that is under their booking.

I have worked for a total of three agencies and I am presently extremely happy where I am, but the Expedia model is hard to get paid (successfully) under unless you are selling strictly cruises. The cruise payments somehow work seamlessly (likely because the accounting is better managed at an agency level) versus through the Expedia umbrella which is big and ineffective. Their commission levels are paltry on flights, which feels like you are being stolen from when you book lengthy international trips like I did (booked business/first class flights for a family of four that was over $15,000 and made pretty much nothing on it). If you're selling strictly cruises, this might be a good avenue. Otherwise, you can do better for yourself.

November 18, 2013

I have wanted to be a travel agent/consultant for as long as I can remember. I researched and researched ways I could become and agent/consultant and found ECSC. The training and support I have gotten so far has been wonderful. I have only been at it for a few weeks. No sales yet. Just focused on completing all of my training. The training is easy to understand. I highly recommend Expedia Cruise Ship Centers.

September 10, 2013

My love for travel led me to look for opportunities to include selling travel as part of my business model. I researched various methods to achieve the desired outcome.

After visiting with the team from Expedia CruiseShipCenters, Fort Lauderdale, I realized I would get the support that I needed. I have never worked in the travel industry, but my own travel experiences along with their confidence and generous willingness to assist me, made me completely confidently that I could in fact include the sales of travel as a successful part of my business.

The most challenging aspect is the self-discipline. Along with my family, we have determined set times when I study the great resources provided by Expedia CruiseShipCenters as part of their International Cruise Academy Consultant Certification. I even call my host agency with questions and they are lovely.

When I am not traveling for the business (in another industry) that I already have, I am making a point to drive to the ESCS, Fort Lauderdale office so that I can really concentrate and be around those that are already successful at what they do. Their love for booking cruises and land travel is simply contagious!

September 8, 2013

Joining Fort Lauderdale ECSC as a center based agent was the best decision! I joined August 2012 and never had worked in the travel industry before. The owner & manager are both wonderful women who are more than willing to help in any way possible. I feel extremely fortunate to have found my way to this office.

September 4, 2013

The best business decision I've made was when I decided to switch host agencies and join ECSC. The training, the support, the website, the customer service is superb. Help is a phone call away and I love all the avenues and information that is at my fingertips. My work is minimal - invoicing, emails, newsletters, etc. - everything is done for you which allows me to concentrate on serving my customers with a personal touch. I'm really loving working with ECSCs. The support is tremendous. Love you ECSC.

August 29, 2013

My travel agent career began with ECSC's Fort Lauderdale franchise in November 2012. After discussing my background & the goals with the franchise owner, I signed the paperwork & paid the processing fee. I received logins for supplier websites & a few things in the mail, including a "Consultant Certification Manual" & workbook. And that's pretty much where the support I received would end.

Knowing that the workbook takes some people a year or more to work through, I balanced my time between it, supplier training, and destination training. I booked a trip in my first month and was still looking for my check a month after the sailing date. I contacted them and was told I had to submit an invoice to get paid. Eventually I found the same wording on page 61 (of 64) of the manual, but, as I said, it would have been months before I got to that page. All the I was told, and all the workbook says, is that I must "provide an invoice to the Center." I emailed back to ask if I was supposed to create this "invoice" in QuickBooks and was told that a report I'd never seen was the elusive 'invoice,' and I should pull it and email it to them. The tone was pretty clear that I should have somehow known this. They included a handout with outdated screenshots, and at the end it said "If you have any questions give me a call!" I looked EVERYWHERE in the handout and there was not a name to be found anywhere. Who is this "me" I'm supposed to call???

After that pre-registration call, I received only 2 communications from the franchise owner - and neither were pleasant. The first one came after I sent an email inquiring about a supplier registration. My email had a standard signature, with my information and links to supplier description pages *within* my ECSC website. The response I got back touched on my question for 2 sentences & then launched into a diatribe about how I should be promoting THEM and not myself, and that I shouldn't be sending clients to supplier's websites. Had she taken the time to click either link, she would have seen that NOTHING left my ECSC website. I was told that I shouldn't be using my own email address or website domain, but rather should direct everyone to the long & cumbersome ECSC email address & 40-character long website because these two things belonged to ECSC and they could "track" my emails.

A few weeks later I was booking my own household on a cruise through a colleague so we could be part of their scheduled group. Rather than typing or calling credit card, passport, and contact info, I clicked the handy link they provided, sending the contact records for the 2 of us through the ECSC system. She immediately sent an email to me, forwarding the system's alert about my communication with another consultant, and demanding to know why I was sending Josh a contact record. The alert even identified the name of the person whose record was exchanged, so one of them *clearly* had MY OWN NAME in the email. Apparently she thought I was getting ready to bail & stupidly sending referral contacts through the system they monitor.

After the last exchange, I realized that I'd been there for 3 months and the ONLY times she contacted me were in chastisement. She hadn't once picked up the phone or sent a "Is there anything I can help you with" note or a "Do you have any questions about what we sent you?" touch. When my commission check finally arrived, I sent in the required 30-day termination notice. Suddenly she was interested in me and wanted to know what they could do. The 30 days ended March 20th, 2013 and ECSC has **continued** to bill my credit card $29 PER MONTH for the past FIVE MONTHS - despite my repeated calls to ECSC Headquarters. Each time I'd been assured they would take care of it. In today's call I was informed that they would 'discuss it' with partner support and "decide if a refund is warranted." I did everything I was supposed to do, was locked out of the system at the end of my 30 days and now they're going to DECIDE whether or not to give my money back?!?! Based on what I've seen on travel agency discussion forums (Disclaimer: These posts were from people I don't know and I HAVE NOT personally verified their claims), this "OOPS! We forgot to stop taking your money!" ploy happens relatively frequently with them. If you DO affiliate with ECSC and decide to leave, I would suggest you IMMEDIATELY call your credit card issuer and report the card they'd been billing as "Lost/Stolen." Otherwise, you'll likely get "Lost" in the system and have YOUR money "Stolen."

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