Cruising is a popular way for people to vacation. Those who choose to cruise enjoy having an all-inclusive vacation, where their accommodations, food and entertainment are all paid for ahead of time. There are many different destinations and ships to choose from. The job of a cruise agent is to help customers choose the cruise that is right for them. Cruise agents sell cruise packages and make recommendations to customers who are not sure what they want. Become an agent for cruises by learning everything you can about cruise ships and destinations, practicing your sales techniques and selling vacations.
- Evaluate your passion for cruising. In order to become an agent for cruises and to be successful at it, you must really love cruises.
- Go on a few cruises yourself. If you want to help people book their own cruises, you should have some experience on board different cruise lines and at different ports of call.
- Get to know cruise destinations and different excursions and opportunities offered by the major cruise lines.
- Study itineraries, cruise ship amenities and on board entertainment. Look at cruises offered by all the major cruise lines such as Carnival Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Lines.
- Gain sales experience. Successful cruise agents have experience selling other types of products and services.
- Work in a retail shop, sell cosmetics from your home or try telemarketing and phone sales. Learning how to talk about different products and services towards the goal of getting customers to buy them will help you develop the sales skills you need to sell cruises.
- Demonstrate great customer service skills. Customers will need you to help them book their dream vacations. You will need to be able to communicate with and help many different types of people.
- Work in the travel business in other capacities. Experience working in hotels, resorts, travel agencies and other vacation destinations will help you become a good cruise agent.
- Take training classes. Several online schools and local colleges offer training in becoming a travel agent.
- Check out websites advertising for cruise agents. Several travel agencies are looking for agents online who can work from home to sell cruises. CruiseMagic.com and others will train you on how to sell cruises, and then allow you to build your own business doing so.
- Become a certified cruise agent. Cruise Lines International Association, Inc. (CLIA) offers a certification program for people who want to become cruise agents.
- Take the required online classes, seminars and exams to complete the credits you need for certification.
- Apply for 1 of the 4 levels of certification offered through CLIA.
- Use your certification and training to get a job with a travel agency, cruise line, or to work for yourself as an agent.
- Work for a cruise line in one of their call centers, or as a sales manager. Instead of generating your own leads as a cruise agent, you will take calls and inquiries from customers and help them book their cruises with the specific cruise line you support.
- Expect to work on commission. Cruise agents only make money when they sell cruises. According to CruiseMagic, a first-year agent who devotes 30 hours per week to selling cruises can make around $20,000 that year.
- Talk to travel agents and cruise agents to find out how they started in the field.
- Take advantage of discounted vacations. One of the perks of being a cruise agent is that you will often be eligible for free or deeply discounted cruises in order to help sell them.