The honors we've been fortunate to receive are, above all else, a testament to the knowledge and commitment of our people. Whether it's an accolade from one of travel's leading publications or an award bestowed upon us by a top-brand cruise line, they help reinforce that we're doing right by our customers and our colleagues within the industry.
We're proud to have been honored as a "Partner of the Year" or an "Agency of the Year" by virtually every major cruise line over the past half-decade, and we believe that our strong relationships with each ultimately benefit our customers most of all. Many of our most valuable offers are exclusively available to you as a result of the longstanding and close connections we've forged with our cruise-line associates.
Awards and accolades we've received include the following:
Porthole Cruise Magazine's "Editor-In-Chief" Award, "Savviest Vacation Planners" (2013)
Awarded annually, by Porthole's editor-in-chief Bill Panoff, to companies in the cruise and travel industries that go "above and beyond" in terms of service, quality, and excellence. Since its debut more than fifteen years ago, Porthole Cruise Magazine has become the cruise industry's premier publication. Published bi-monthly, and with a circulation that reaches over 200,000 homes, it is now a must-read favorite among cruisers and travel professionals alike.
Norwegian Cruise Line's "Elite Travel Partner of the Year" (2011, 2012 & 2013)
Norwegian Cruise Line's top annual award is bestowed upon the travel partner that best demonstrates a continuing commitment to the cruise line's year-over-year growth, its total revenue, and the overall success of its brand. Our agency is also a proud member of Norwegian Cruise Line's President's Elite Club (which is exclusively comprised of the company's top-performing travel partners) and a participant in their "Partners First" initiative.
The Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces™ (2011 & 2012)
This annual award recognizes U.S.-based companies for their innovative efforts in building workplaces that cultivate employee engagement. Companies are evaluated based on eight criteria including leadership, communication, culture, and professional/personal growth. Achievers is a leader in employee rewards and recognition software; World Travel Holdings, Cruises.com's parent company, is proud to have received this honor for two years running.
Celebrity Cruises' "National Account Partner of the Year" (2008 & 2010)
Honoring "the best of the best" among its travel partners, Celebrity Cruises' top honor recognizes those agencies that best serve as ambassadors for the brand and excel in delivering extraordinary revenue performance. World Travel Holdings received the honor for the second time in just three years in 2010; company executives and 35 of our travel agents were pleased to be in attendance aboard Celebrity Eclipse for that year's presentation.
Carnival Cruise Lines' "Travel Agency of the Year" (2009)
Awarded to the cruise-selling agencies that demonstrate an ability to grow as a business partner, exhibit exceptional professionalism and enthusiasm, and develop innovative sales and marketing techniques. World Travel Holdings and Expedia CruiseShipCenters (2009's co-winner) were chosen for the honor from among more than 30,000 candidates in the U.S. and Canada; both agencies had reported a record number of Carnival bookings for the previous year.
Travel Weekly's "Power List," Top 15 Placement (2009)
In just its third year on the list, World Travel Holdings jumped several places to earn a top-fifteen spot on the industry-leading magazine's annual ranking of the nation's top travel retailers (based on annual sales and company size). In addition to the coveted "Power List" ranking, CruiseOne - our sister company and part of World Travel Holdings' franchise division - placed sixth on the publication's "Top 8 Franchisors" list for the year.
Royal Caribbean International's "Partner of the Year" (2013)
The President's Award, Royal Caribbean's top honor and one of the cruise industry's most prestigious awards, is given annually to the company's "Partner of the Year." Adam Goldstein, Royal Caribbean's President and CEO, recognized us in his presentation speech as the line's "go-to account" and an "undisputed presence in the travel community," noting our ability to drive tremendous sale results on multiple occasions and in a variety of situations.
Here at Cruises.com, an agent's professional education is far more than some "one-and-done" introductory program - it's a way of life. Every one of our agents receives over 100 hours of training per year, and each agent must complete an extensive series of cruise-line certifications before they've taken even a single booking. And our agents' expertise isn't limited to the ships you'll be sailing and the places you'll be visiting, either - they know how to locate and deliver the best value, too!
Set sail with confidence. Our team, comprised of over 500 experts, will keep you informed and make sure that you're an active participant in the cruise-planning process.
Our accreditations include, but are not limited to, the following:
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), Certified Cruise Agency
Dedicated to the promotion and growth of the cruise industry, CLIA is the world's largest cruise association. Comprised of the twenty-five major cruise lines that serve North America, CLIA is also affiliated with approximately 100 strategic business allies ("Executive Partners") and more than 16,000 North American travel agencies. Cruises.com is a proud member of CLIA. Many of our agents have achieved one or more levels of achievement in CLIA certification, including the association's "Luxury Cruise Specialist Designation" (LCS).
Carnival Cruise Lines' CCL University ("Bachelor's of Fun" Degree, Etc.)
Carnival offers agents informal learning opportunities (e.g. on-demand webinars) as well as structured training via its CCL University. A "Bachelor's of Fun" degree is the first step in their formal accreditation process. Participating agents complete a specially designed, five-chapter course focused on the Carnival brand; they're then eligible to continue on to a CCL post-graduate degree (the "Master's of Memories" and/or the "Ph.D. of Awesome"), earning CLIA certification credits and continuing-education credits (CEUs) along the way.
Celebrity Cruises' Five-Star Academy
Celebrity provides accreditation to our agents by way of a five-level approach. Each level, or module, focuses on specific aspects of the Celebrity brand (e.g. accommodations and dining venues in Level 2, itineraries and ports of call in Level 3); agents earn formal certification and special recognitions (e.g. "2-Star Agent," "3-Star Agent") as they complete each. Agents that complete all five levels are also eligible for up to fifteen CLIA credits. Cruises.com itself has received a "Five-Star Accredited Agency" designation from the cruise line.
Norwegian Cruise Line's NCL University ("Freestyle Certification")
Launched as part of Norwegian's "Partnership 2.0" initiative (which was put in place to further strengthen the cruise line's ties with the travel-agent community), NCL University offers our the ability to earn up to 15 CLIA credits while simultaneously becoming "Freestyle" certified. Participants receive access to the very latest information on Norwegian Cruise Line sailings, share selling tips and interact with other travel agents via the university's social-networking function, watch videos and read blogs, and much more.
Royal Caribbean International's "University of WOW!"
An innovative and comprehensive accreditation program for agents, Royal Caribbean's "University of WOW!" allows our agents to learn all about the ships, itineraries, services, and selling tools offered by the cruise line in a virtual-classroom environment. As our enrolled agents progress through the program, they earn incremental incentives, escalating certifications (e.g. "Expert" and "Expert Plus"), and CLIA credits. Since its launch, the university has expanded the program to include additional elective modules and a pass-fail program.