Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (October 15, 2013) – More than 750 vacation specialists from across the country, including CruiseOne® franchisees, joined together from Sept. 29 – Oct. 6 for a National Conference onboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship, Norwegian Breakaway. With a theme of “Collaboration, Passion and Innovation,” the conference focused on the personal and professional development of franchisees through interactive workshops, dynamic speakers, teambuilding exercises and strategic business conversations with key executives from World Travel Holdings, cruise lines and land vendors.
“This year proved to be one of our most successful conferences to date,” said Dwain Wall, senior vice president and general manager of CruiseOne. “Our CruiseOne franchisees embraced the conference theme of Collaboration, Passion and Innovation. They were engaged and active participants in every workshop, panel and general session. They came ready to learn and walked away with valuable takeaways to enhance their business growth and strategy.”
Highlights of the weeklong conference included a keynote address from Google; more than 30 educational workshops, with the highest attendance at “Bob Becker’s Successful Selling” and “Business Building with Vicki Freed;” and a cruise line executive panel and a river cruise panel.
The cruise line executive panel included:
- Andy Stuart – executive vice president, global sales & passenger services, Norwegian Cruise Line
- Vicki Freed – senior vice president, sales and trade support & service, Royal Caribbean International
- Dondra Ritzenthaler – senior vice president of sales, Celebrity Cruises
- Ken Muskat – senior vice president, sales & marketing at MSC Cruises USA
- Joni Rein – vice president of worldwide sales, Carnival Cruise Line
- Brian O’Connor – vice president, North American sales, Princess Cruises and Cunard Line
- Charles Dunwoody – senior director, national accounts , Holland America Line and Seabourn
The river cruise line panel included:
- Kristin Karst, executive vice president and co-owner, AMA Waterways
- Kristen Steele, business development manager, Globus Family of Brands
- Mike Wiersema, vice president of national accounts at Viking Cruises
In addition, an awards presentation honored more than 50 franchisees for their accomplishments this past year, including 16 franchisees who were inducted into the 2013 Circle of Excellence for achieving more than $1 million in sales this year.
Executives from the CruiseOne corporate team also shared insight into new developments within the home-based company including the announcement of the much-anticipated mobile-friendly consumer websites and a revamped transaction email program. Other areas of discussion included the sharing of franchise programs in the areas of email, social media and event marketing. There was also a motivational speech about how success directly stems from a passion for travel and support of the company’s mission of “Delivering a Remarkable Experience” to customers.
Attendees at the CruiseOne National Conference also participated in many fundraising opportunities benefiting Make-A-Wish® and raised more than $108,000, which will help grant more than 10 wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions. Franchisees made online donations in advance of National Conference and participated in activities onboard such as “In the Park after Dark,” a fundraising event on the ship’s ropes course one evening; Zumba@Sea – Dance For Wishes, an exhilarating work out and dance party all-in-one; and the “Run Like a Champion, Cruise Like a Norwegian” marathon at sea, where World Travel Holdings Business Development Director Sean Tolkin became the first American to run a marathon at sea for charity and was joined by different employees and franchisees during each mile. There also were prize drawings and silent auctions with noteworthy prizes such as cruises, iPads, wine and more.
Norwegian Breakaway debuted in May of this year and is the largest ship to homeport year-round in New York City. She sails weekly cruises, visiting the Bahamas & Florida throughout the winter season and Bermuda during the summer. Norwegian breakaway features 29 dining options including restaurants by Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian; three Broadway shows including Rock of Ages; the largest Aqua Park at sea; a quarter-mile boardwalk of restaurants, bars and shopping called The Waterfront; and a wide array of accommodations, including the exclusive key-card access suite complex, The Haven™.
To learn more about becoming a CruiseOne franchisee and experience National Conference, please visit www.CruiseOneFranchise.com.
A member of the International Franchise Association (IFA), CruiseOne® is the nation’s leading home-based travel agent franchise and is consistently ranked as a franchise leader by Entrepreneur and Forbes. As part of World Travel Holdings, one of the nation’s top travel retail networks, CruiseOne offers consumers the lowest possible pricing on cruise and land vacations through its relationships with every major cruise line and many tour operators. In operation since 1992, CruiseOne has received numerous awards and a top-ranking status by all the major cruise lines including Norwegian Cruise Line®, Royal Caribbean International®, Celebrity Cruises® and Carnival® Cruise Line. For more information, visit www.CruiseOneFranchise.com.