I’ve been working this last couple of months to earn my Certified Cruise Counsellor (CCC) designation through Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).  CLIA is the cruise industry’s largest trade organization that brings together cruise lines and travel agents.  Here is their mission:

CLIA is the global organization that fosters our members’ success by advocatingeducating and promoting the common interests of the cruise community.


Education is the main word for me with CLIA, they have helped me to become a more knowledgeable travel agent through the classes they have.  One of the main areas where travel agents can gain information about the cruise industry is through CLIA’s certification programs.  The first level of the certification program is the Certified Cruise Counsellor or CCC.  This last week, I was awarded the CCC designation and I am proud to announce that now.  

What does this mean for our clients?  Well, the more we know about the cruise industry, the better we can serve our clients.  As part of the training we have to tour ships, take our own cruises (yes, being a travel agent is tough! 😉 ), learn about how to best work with clients to get them what they want, and how to work with cruise lines to find the best deals for my clients.  That is always our goal, to make sure our clients have the best possible vacation at the best possible price.  

Now that I have earned my CCC, I am now working on the next level the ACC, Accredited Cruise Counsellor.  This is a two-year program made up of ship inspections, required CLIA trainings, cruise line trainings, and personal cruise experience (yes, very tough!).  The best part of this education is, not only does it make my job as a travel agent easier, but, like I said above, it makes it so I can get you a better vacation!

Julia and I have spent the last week in Fort Lauderdale, FL with the Cruise Planners Home Office staff in training to become even better travel advisors.  We arrived last Monday and started 6 day long trainings.  Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing what we learned and how it can best benefit you, but I thought I would give a quick overview of what we covered.

We had wonderful trainings from the Home Office Staff who have 100’s of total years of travel experience.  What a great place to learn.  Some of the topics that were covered were:

  • Setting Up for Success! – How to get organized and ready to go
  • Ready, Set, Book! – The booking process and how to get the best price for you!
  • Qualifying & Pricing – How to listen to you, our clients, to make sure we get you what you want and need!
  • 4+ Hours of Back Office Technology Training
  • Groups – Have a group you want to travel with, we’re ready to help!
  • Marketing:  The 10 Commandments of Marketing – This was by Michelle Fee, if we follow her advice we will progress and make sure all of our clients are well taken care of!
  • American Express Programs – We are American Express Travel Representative.  This will allow you so many more travel options, it’s hard to even understand all the ways it can help!
  • Cruise Planners Web Program – Well, you’re reading part of it!
  • Travel Insurance – YOU NEED IT!  Ask me why (and I’ll be writing many blog posts about this!)
  • Intro to Land Vacations – Yes, we are Cruise Planners but we are also land planners as well!
  • Facebook Marketing
  • Rick Carlson – Rick Carlson is a veteran Cruise Planners agent and he gave the most amazing Keynote on how to be a success.  Everyone needs to hear from Rick!  What an amazing man!

Continue reading