Why all Cruise Franchises are NOT Alike

By Janet Harris, CFE; Senior Franchise Development Specialist 

The  business concept may look the same to those shopping for a cruise franchise however, buyer beware. When deliberating the purchase of a cruise and travel franchise careful and detailed consideration of your prospective franchisor is recommended.

A franchise is a hard to beat business model. Home-based businesses fits the bill for many looking for better work-life balance, low-overhead, no inventory and let’s face it- a fun business with travel benefits! What have you got to lose? Well, without careful due diligence of a cruise franchise it may make for unhappy bed fellows.

To ensure a smart decision on which cruise franchise to choose, take your time and ask the right questions. You would never consider purchasing a house by just peeking in the windows and not setting foot inside the door. Here’s a top 10 list of critical topics to explore before deciding on a cruise franchise business:

  1. Consult a pro: Enlist a CPA and/or FRANCHISE attorney to review the Franchise Disclosure Document ( FDD) and provide their professional opinions
  2. Check financials: Review with care the financial stability of the cruise franchise. A highly   leveraged company will be operating under duress and this will affect your business. Does the franchise pay you weekly or “float” your sales commissions to cover their own expenses?
  3. Make sure the franchise has no litigation filed against it = Red flag
  4. Carefully review the cruise franchises’ retention rate as this is key to the success and happiness of their franchisees
  5. Transparency: Does the cruise franchise publish a “Financial Performance Representation” in Item 19 of their FDD? Be very suspect if the franchise does not share details of their franchisees performance in their FDD. Ask why not?
  6. Professionalism: Do you like the Franchise Development Specialist assigned to you?  Do you feel they have your best interest at heart or are they just trying to push you through and close a sale?
  7. Limitations: Does the cruise franchise limit where you can market your travel franchise?
  8. Penalties: Review if the cruise franchise has any production minimums. You will be much more comfortable growing your business at your own pace without a minimum sales production goal with financial penalties attached.
  9. Responsiveness: If your cruise franchise Development Specialist is prompt and responsive to your questions and concerns this is a good sign of a healthy corporate culture.
  10.  Funded programs: Does the cruise franchise have the financial wherewithal to fund marketing programs, promotions and technology improvements on your behalf?

A cruise and travel franchise can provide a low-cost, low-overhead franchised business opportunity that is fun and lucrative. Follow these simple guidelines to ensure your new venture is nothing but smooth sailing.

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Dream vacations is Consistently awarded a top military-friendly franchise

  • Franchise Business Review Best In Category Travel & Hospitality 2018-2019
  • Celebrity X Cruises 2018 President's Awards
  • USA Today Top 50 Franchises for Minorities 2017
  • Royal Caribbean Home-Based Partner of the Year 2018
  • Make-A-Wish Southern Florida Corporation of the Year 2017