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Cruise Planners advisor Juan Velazquez is Semi-Finalist in Carnival Cruise Line’s ‘Your Winning Plan’ business challenge

Cruise Planners advisor Juan Velazquez is Semi-Finalist in Carnival Cruise Line’s ‘Your Winning Plan’ business challenge

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. Oct. 2 — Cruise Planners franchise owner Juan Velazquez was one of eight semi-finalists who competed in the prestigious Carnival Cruise Line ‘Your Winning Plan’ business challenge. Velazquez beat out 1,000 other contestants to make it to the finals and traveled to Houston, TX for the finale event held at The Revaire. Carnival created the challenge to help travel advisors craft overall business plans  that boost their success and increase sales. The line held a series of daylong training events around the US and one virtual event.


“We are so proud of Juan for his entrepreneurial spirit and hard work,” said Michelle Fee, CEO and founder of Cruise Planners. “We know he will be a success, as this is a great achievement in itself. We love that our advisors are self-starters, dedicated and diligent to make their businesses thrive.”


The grand prize winner, Kimberly Stanley, was announced by entrepreneur Daymond John, star of ABC’s ‘Shark Tank,’ with Carnival President Christine Duffy joining the event to crown the winner. Cruise Planners VP of Sales Ana Parodi also attended the event in support of Velazquez.


Cruise Planners advisor and finalist, Juan Velazquez and VP, Sales & Business Development, Ana Parodi.


“What an incredible journey it has been to be recognized as a semi-finalist in this competition,” said Velazquez, who is based in Fort Mill, South Carolina. “I am truly passionate about the transformative power of travel. Travel is not just about visiting new destinations; it’s about igniting a sense of wonder and fostering a deeper connection with the world.”


Carnival’s series encouraged advisors to develop business plans with a tool created in cooperation with America’s Small Business Development Centers, a partner of the US Small Business Association. The advisors were then invited to submit their plans and compete for cash to use toward implementing them. Each semi-finalist earned a $2500 prize and the grand prize consists of $5000 to use toward executing the winning plan.



Company Background:

Cruise Planners was founded in 1994 and is the nation’s largest home-based travel agent franchise network. As a leader in the travel franchise industry, Cruise Planners positions a nation-wide network of 2,500 franchise owners for success by providing innovative marketing programs, proprietary and cutting-edge booking and technology tools, as well as professional development and travel agent training with the industry’s top executives. The company continues to be an industry leader and was named the No.1 travel franchise by Entrepreneur magazine for 18 consecutive years and awarded by Franchise Business Review as “Best-In-Category” for 2 years.


Franchise Business Review also ranked Cruise Planners #3 OVERALL on their list of Top 200 Franchises of 2022. Cruise Planners was recently featured in Entrepreneur as one of the top 30 franchise innovators in technology, has been consistently named as one of the Top Women-Owned Businesses by the South Florida Business Journal, is on the Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America, and was recognized as one of the Top Workplaces by the Sun Sentinel.


Visit our website,, for more information or to view the complete list of awards and honors. For those interested in becoming a franchise owner, please visit