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Today, with 170 agency locations and the financial stability of
new owner Carlson Companies, Cruise Holidays is poised for a
“By the end of the year, we hope to add 18 new stores,” said
Charles J. Dunwoody, senior vice president of Cruise Holidays.
“Realistically, we’d like to add about 36 stores a year.”
Dunwoody, a former cruise line executive, joined Carlson in May
2001 to run Cruise Holidays, shortly before the Minneapolis-based
corporation closed the acquisition of Cruise Holidays, which it
bought at a bankruptcy auction.
During the last year and a half, Cruise Holidays has been
attempting to resurrect itself as the leading cruise-oriented
“When the new management team came in, it was a pretty broken
system,” Dunwoody said recently in an interview at the company’s
annual convention. “We had to put everything back together.”
Its first order of business was to update the almost-obsolete
CruiseWeb, the “backbone of our operation,” Dunwoody said.
Though not a Web-based system with real-time reservations,
CruiseWeb is a back-office accounting system that also helps
agencies compile a detailed passenger database and keep track of
“We’re talking to Worldspan about creating a live booking engine
through Worldspan and Cruise Path,” Dunwoody said.
Carlson spent $250,000 to update the system, which will be
rolled out in November.
The company also implemented what it calls “risk inventory,” in
which agencies can sell group space booked a year or so in advance
by Cruise Holidays.
“We get advantageous pricing that makes us more competitive,”
Dunwoody said. Plus, the risk is spread over participating
Another addition is a full-scale marketing program that will
send out 24 mailings a year.
“Agencies can personalize them but we’ll mail them out for
them,” Dunwoody explained. “Stores never need to touch the
marketing materials. It’s no fuss, no muss.”
Passport Online is a Web site for consumers with a search engine
and listings of last-minute deals.
“Every individual store can have their own Web site,” Dunwoody
said. “They can customize each e-mail they send out through
Carlson has 12 business-development managers who can help Cruise
Holidays stores with business plans and finances. There also are 11
support staffers in Minneapolis waiting for stores to call about
programs or supplier resolutions, Dunwoody said.
Cruise Holidays plans to expand its focus to include the luxury
lines, as well as the contemporary/premium brands.
“The bulk of our business has been with the Princesses, Holland
Americas and Carnivals of the world,” Dunwoody said. “Now, we’re
trying to focus more on the luxury market.”
He noted that the luxury line Radisson Seven Seas Cruises is
also in the Carlson family, so there’s a natural synergy to working
with that company.
By expanding its scope and increasing assistance to its members,
Dunwoody said Cruise Holidays is back on track.
“We want to aggressively grow the system now that we’ve
stabilized. Next year, we’ll start aggressively marketing,” he
said. “Cruise Holidays is one of the best-kept secrets in the
Cruise Holidays honored a number of its member stores at the
recent convention aboard Radiance of the Seas. Below is a list of
Western agencies recognized.
Top Producer by Region
Northwest Cruise Holidays of Bellevue, Wash., Wayne McCaulley
and Dave Taylor
SW/SC Cruise Holidays of San Francisco, Lori Carstens
Western Canada Cruise Holidays of Vancouver, Denis Lim and
Top 20 Producing Stores
Cruise Holidays of San Francisco
Cruise Holidays of Bellevue
Cruise Holidays of Arvada, Colo., Bud and Tami Smead
Cruise Holidays of Beaverton, Ore., Terri Miller
Cruise Holidays of Vancouver
Cruise Holidays of Las Vegas, Bonnie and Doug Crosby
Sailed revenue of $1 million or more
Cruise Holidays of Las Vegas
Cruise Holidays of Scottsdale, Ariz., Diane and Mark Baskind
Cruise Holidays of Anaheim, Debra and Juan Zatarain
Cruise Holidays of Silverdale, Wash., Sue and Al Somers
Cruise Holidays of Upland, Calif., Roslyn Towler and Bonnie
Cruise Holidays of Arrowhead, Ariz., Sondra Rush
Cruise Holidays of White Rock, B.C., Jill Sanders
Cruise Holidays of Gig Harbor, Wash., Lois Tucci and Melissa
Cruise Holidays of Northglenn, Colo., John and Diane Santana
Cruise Holidays of Albuquerque, Patricia Moody
Cruise Holidays of Ahwatukee/Chandler, Ariz., Pat and Keith
Cruise Holidays of Federal Way, Wash., Jerry and Carol
Cruise Holidays of Palm Springs, Calif., Patrick and Donna
Cruise Holidays of Bakersfield, Calif., Harold and Lana
Sailed revenue of $2 million or more
Cruise Holidays of Arvada
Cruise Holidays of Beaverton
Best Year-Over-Year Increase