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Ride the wave of high cruise commission – just like Andy and Nikki

Not Just Travel consultants Andy and Nikki know pretty much everything there is to know about cruising. 

At the latest count they’ve been on over 30 cruises. 

In October the married couple explore the east coast of Canada on a Princess cruise; in February next year they’re off to explore the Caribbean with Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL); a short hop around the Med with P&O Cruises is on the cards for next year and, in 2025, they’re jetting off to set sail from Singapore on an Asian adventure with Celebrity Cruises.  

It’s fair to say, this duo well and truly try and test their products before they sell them, which makes them such fonts of knowledge on all things cruise related. 

As a travel agent, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to travel abroad and book a wide variety of hotels, resorts and cruises from over 450 travel suppliers.That said, many agents choose to specialise in an area they are passionate about, after all it’s easy to sell something you love!

For this reason, Andy and Nikki are the first port of call for so many cruise clients. In fact, around 45% of their business can be attributed to cruise bookings and, with a client base totalling over 400 people, that’s a lot of cruises. 

“We book more P&O Cruises than we do Jet2 Holidays. We’ve got one customer who’s done 13 cruises with us since we launched the business in 2017,” says Andy.

Focusing on this sector of travel is a savvy move from the couple, as cruise bookings are renowned for being among the most lucrative in the industry – resulting in a healthy commission and a steady stream of repeat customers.

To help our agents navigate this sector of travel, we launched a Cruise Division in 2022 and offered consultants the chance to join a 12-month Cruise Mastery Programme to become experts in selling cruise. 

Andy and Nikki are members of the Cruise Mastery Programme and therefore get access to specialist training from our cruise experts; exclusive invites to tour ships and attend VIP launches; access to special deals and promotions from some of our key cruise partners; and the opportunity to step on board our Seminar at Sea educational trips. 

In 2023 we held a week-long Seminar at Sea on board Virgin Voyages’ Valiant Lady, and in 2024 we will host at least two company cruises and you could enjoy one of them for free as part of your franchise package if you sign up.

The result of all this investment in cruise? A massive tidal wave in sales! In September 2023, our consultants made more cruise bookings than in any other month of the company’s entire history. In fact, compared to September 2022 the number of bookings quadrupled with over 80% of our agents engaged in selling cruises. 

For our top sellers of cruise we have created an elite group, The Circle of Excellence, to celebrate their success and boost cruise bookings even further. This select group of agents get even more in-depth training and one-to-one business planning. 

And it’s no surprise that die-hard cruisers, Andy and Nikki, are members of the group! Their participation and big bookings means our key trade partners and business development managers are keen to help them skyrocket sales. 

In late October, the duo are hosting a Cruise Expo in Lyme Regis, a town not far from where they live. They’ve engaged the help of several cruise lines who will help the couple promote cruising to a whole new audience of potential clients. 

“We’re really excited to be hosting a Cruise Expo for the first time. If it goes well we’ll do it on an annual basis – but we’ll make it even bigger next year. It’s great to have the support of our business development manager and the cruise lines to be able to put this event together.”

The event will be held on a Saturday, but both Andy and Nikki are used to working weekends. 

“We set ourselves the target of getting bookings at the weekend. If I’m at football I’ll still answer the phone – even if it’s to tell clients that I’ll ring them back. And while I don’t take the phone on the golf course, I check messages and deal with the calls as soon as I’ve finished. “

And while the couple enjoy flexible hours and enjoy many trips abroad, they work hard during the week too.

“We do a lot of our business in the evenings because that tends to be the decision-making time. That’s when everyone else is closed, so if we’re open then we’re the ones who get the business.”

And while they’re often abroad on a cruise, the work never stops. 

“Our clients know that  if we’re travelling overseas we’ll get back to them. The laptop’s always with us – it comes with the territory.”

Despite this, Andy believes he’s got the balance just right. 

“Much of the time it doesn’t feel like work. We’re passionate about cruising – both selling it and experiencing it for ourselves!”

If you want to sell cruise holidays – and enjoy them yourself – then why not set yourself up as a homeworking travel agent? Watch our Discovery series of videos to find out if this lifestyle is for you…

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