Vacation-Based Franchise Business CruiseOne Clocks Stellar Year


Jan 19, 2016

For CruiseOne, which is part of World Travel Holdings, the largest cruise agency in the world, 2015 was a year marked by growth and innovation. Over the course of the year, CruiseOne lodged a double-digit growth in sales. Cruises are still the franchise business’ core, but the strong growth trend in land prompted the brand to try something bold.

The announcement of Dream Vacations, a home-based travel brand, was undoubtedly CruiseOne’s biggest news of the year, and it also had a major impact on the travel industry as a whole. Although the launch isn’t until April 4, 2016, around 35 percent of CruiseOne franchisees are now committed to operating under this new brand that covers all of the vacation experience bases, including cruises.

CruiseOne/Dream Vacations Senior Vice President Debbie Fiorino acknowledged that 2015’s achievements are going to be hard to top. However, she’s confident the combination of the Dream Vacations launch and the creation of new technology by the brand’s headquarters will result in tremendous growth.

In 2015, CruiseOne grew exponentially and received several industry accolades, including being labeled a "Top Workplace" by Sun Sentinel and Workplace Dynamics and being recognized as a "Top Private Company" by Florida Trend and the South Florida Business Journal. These honors helped cement CruiseOne in its position as one of the best franchise opportunities in its industry today. 

The Year in Tech.  Going modern was the franchise business’ theme for 2015. Existing properties, such as the reservation system and the network’s intranet, received facelifts. A Group Registration Tool was introduced that will forever change the way CruiseOne franchisees market and grow their group business. This revolutionary tool allows franchisees to customize and create their own group event websites to showcase options and expand their outreach. Since its launch, more than 1,000 websites have been created and more than 2,500 registrations have been received.

Marketing Milestones.  Agents and franchisees alike responded with enthusiasm to the overhaul of the marketing segment, and this may have helped CruiseOne experience its significant growth throughout the year. A two-week "Mystery Money" promotion boosted overall sales by 56 percent, and creative social media initiatives also resulted in a sales bump.

Training Time. Although CruiseOne already has a recognized week-long conference and regional training held across the country, the brand added "Meetups" this year. These informal meetings are held between franchisees, agents and members of the company’s executive team in community venues across the country.

Philanthropy High Points. World Travel Holdings and its brands are committed to giving back, and for the last five years, the company’s main charity has been Make-A-Wish. This year, CruiseOne agents, franchisees and corporate team members donated around $90,000 through various drives and programs.

Network Milestone.  CruiseOne opened its 1,000th location in 2015 and grew by 10 percent, marking some industry milestones. Fiorino said that although the brand values growth, they also understand it has to be done in moderation. CruiseOne, Fiorino says, prides itself on maintaining a 10:1 franchisee-support staff ratio, and this has helped them achieve a 94 percent retention rate.

CruiseOne is currently looking for motivated franchisees in several markets. The initial franchisee fee is $9,800, and the brand works with lenders to help qualified franchisees secure financing.

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