Launching what it calls the Cruisitude Revolution, this year’s annual convention of Cruise Planner s- American Express Travel has welcomed nearly 500 agents to Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The first day of the convention predicted a positive and profitable year ahead, as well as new technology and marketing tools for agents.

Michelle Fee, CEO and co-founder of Cruise Planners – American Express Travel, opened the first day’s session with an introduction that focused on the power of the Cruise Planners brand and illustrated how agents can leverage the brand to increase visibility and sales. According to Fee, 2012 was a successful year for the company and its travel advisors. She said agents have been embracing the recently launched “CP Vacations,” a completely packaged vacations program that provides agents with access to more than 300 packages, including cruises plus pre and/or post stays, excursions and more.

As a company that prides itself on being an industry leader in technology, some of the day’s biggest announcements came from Vice President of Technology Brian Shultz, who announced a consumer smartphone app that will be available for iOS and Android in January.

Shultz also announced new features to their websites, including MyTrips, a client portal. Users can also directly purchase shore excursions that are fully commissionable to the agent. Shultz continued by introducing Client Snapshots, which allows agents to see an intelligent view of their clients’ buying and travel patterns as well as the Cruise Fare Reduction tool that allows agents to easily see if a cruise fare has dropped since booking, making the advisor a money-saving hero to their customers.

Vicki Garcia, executive vice president of sales and marketing, reinforced the importance of using social media to stay current and engage with clients. She also announced the company’s new social media platform, CPSocial. As an addition to the Facebook Business Fan Page launched last year, CPSocial will now allow the company to post content on behalf of travel advisors weekly.