InCruises Review: Membership access to cruise discounts
InCruises operate in the travel MLM niche and are currently in prelaunch.
The Incruises website lists a corporate address in the US state of Florida, which the company claims is
the address we use for all legal filings and customer mailings (if any). Our customer service staff works from this location.
We also have an office (not publically (sic) listed) where we house our in-house finance, operations and technology teams.
We also have a recording studio we manage from another non-listed location. We do not want to list these addresses on our site to avoid impromptu visits from distributors.
On the management side of things InCruises is headed up by Michael Hutchison (right) identified as Founder and CEO. Hutchison works out of an executive office in Orlando, Florida.
On his LinkedIn profile, Hutchison claims to have had his “share of failed start-ups”. Despite an extensive list however, no MLM companies appear in Hutchison’s provided employment history.
I ran a few searches myself and nothing turned up, suggesting InCruises is Hutchison’s first MLM venture as executive.
Read on for a full review of the InCruises MLM business opportunity.
The InCruises Product Line
InCruises sole product is a cruise membership costing $100 a month.
This membership provides members access to cruise discounts, as well as $200 a month in “Cruise Dollars”.
Cruise Dollars can be put towards booked cruises through the InCruises travel booking engine.
The InCruises travel booking engine is provided by World Travel Holdings, who advertise “private-label partnerships” on their website.
Our private-label platform is built to create a seamless experience for your customers. We speak in your brand’s voice and design unique programs that fit your value propositions.
From every standpoint, your customer and brand is our focus. From the website and promotions to our private-label call center, we never lose sight of your most important asset — your customers.
Globally, InCruises claim they also utilize other third-party booking engines:
We had an exclusive agreement with (WTH) and based on our global demand, we have opted to use other providers. We have agreements with several companies to do our backend bookings.
Update 16th February 2016 – World Travel Holdings have reached out to us and clarified that
World Travel Holdings and InCruises are no way affiliated.
While we were approached by InCruises and had some initial discussions, at no time have we ever had an agreement with them in any form, for our technology or anything else.
I queried why Michael Hutchison claimed InCruises had an “exclusive agreement” with WTH, and was told InCruises have since ‘removed all references to any agreement or partnership from (their) sites‘.
BehindMLM has sought comment from Hutchison regarding the claim and will publish the reply if received. /end update
Update 17th February 2016 – Michael Hutchison has retracted his previous statement about having an “exclusive agreement” with WTH.
Per my previous note, we had a relationship with WTH. Our initial discussions between our companies resulted in WTH sending us their agreement.
Neither company executed their agreement. We have moved on to new travel partners.
Why the agreement wasn’t executed is unclear. /end update
The InCruises Compensation Plan
Update 21st April 2017 – In late March InCruises released a new compensation plan.
BehindMLM published an InCruises Review 2.0 on April 14th. /end update
The InCruises compensation plan was originally hidden behind a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).
Following publication of this review, Michael Hutchison sent BehindMLM a copy of the InCruises compensation plan. It is presumed the NDA is no longer in place.
Before we get started, I’ll note that the InCruises compensation plan mentions “active” qualification.
Active qualification sees InCruises affiliates required to sell two cruise memberships (one of which can be their own purchase).
The InCruises compensation plan however makes no mention of whether active affiliates are able to earn commissions.
Three subscription sales appears to be the required minimum for direct commissions and five for residual commissions.
InCruises Affiliate Ranks
There are eight affiliate ranks within the InCruises compensation plan.
Along with their respective qualification criteria, they are as follows:
- Marketing Manager – generate $5000 a month in dowline sales
- Senior Marketing Manager – generate $10,000 a month in dowline sales
- Marketing Director – generate $25,000 a month in dowline sales
- Senior Marketing Director – generate $50,000 a month in dowline sales
- Regional Director – generate $100,000 a month in dowline sales
- National Director – generate $200,000 a month in dowline sales
- International Director – generate $300,000 a month in dowline sales
- Executive Director – generate $500,000 a month in dowline sales
Cruise Membership Commission
InCruises affiliate are paid directly for selling $100 cruise memberships in groups of three.
For each group of three sold in a month, an InCruises affiliate is paid a $100 commission.
Note that these groups of three can be retail customers or recruited affiliates who have purchased the $100 travel membership subscription.
A Coaching Bonus of $100 is also payable if a recruit affiliate receives a cruise membership commission within 30 days of joining the company.
Direct Residual Commission
When an InCruises affiliate sells five $100 cruise memberships to retail customers or recruited affiliates, they trigger a $10 per month residual commission per subscriber.
Additionally if an InCruises affiliate themselves has a cruise membership, the monthly $100 fee is waived.
Residual commissions in InCruises are paid out via a unilevel compensation structure.
A unilevel compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of a unilevel team, with every personally recruited affiliate placed directly under them (level 1):
If any level 1 affiliates recruit new affiliates, they are placed on level 2 of the original affiliate’s unilevel team.
If any level 2 affiliates recruit new affiliates, they are placed on level 3 and so on and so forth down a theoretical infinite number of levels.
InCruises cap payable unilevel levels at five, with a $5 monthly residual commission paid out on cruise membership payments.
Note that residual commission qualification is the same as direct residual commission qualification (sell and maintain five cruise membership subscriptions).
Rank Achievement Bonuses
InCruises affiliates are paid the following monthly bonuses for qualifying at specific affiliate ranks:
- Marketing Manager – $500 a month
- Senior Marketing Manager – $1000 a month
- Marketing Director – $2500 a month
- Senior Marketing Director – $5000 a month
- Regional Director – $10,000 a month
- National Director – $20,000 a month
- International and Executive Directors – $30,000 a month
The Worldwide Bonus is made up of 5% of InCruises monthly sales volume.
To qualify for a share in the Worldwide Bonus, an Incruises affiliate must be at the Executive Director rank.
Affiliate membership with InCruises is $195 and then $95 annually.
I don’t usually write a review if I don’t have the specifics of a compensation plan, but I felt I had enough to go on with InCruises to put one together.
Behind the usual “everybody loves to travel!” marketing spiel, InCruises offer up a genuine cruise discount platform that, at least on the surface, is detached from their income opportunity.
One glaring problem is the company itself offers nothing but access to discounts. Travel merchants provide the cruise booking engine and discounts, with InCruises merely a gatekeeper.
As far as MLM goes, there isn’t a readily identifiable product retail customers are paying $100 a month for. Access to discounts or even discounts alone are not a tangible product in MLM.
Despite the retail offering, the inherent compliance danger with InCruises is that only affiliates will sign up for the $99 a month cruise membership.
As it stands there are no retail cruise membership qualifiers in the compensation plan, allowing InCruises affiliates to earn commissions solely on the recruitment of new affiliates who also purchase a cruise membership.
This would drive home a lack of demonstrable retail value of the cruise membership, and also drag InCruises into pyramid scheme territory.
Luckily this is easily evaluated, with a query of a potential upline’s non-affiliate numbers the easiest way to suss out if retail membership sales are taking place.
Make sure you are provided data on active retail memberships only. Do not accept any data on expired members or pseudo-compliance explanations of affiliates who haven’t recruited counting as retail customers.
If an affiliate fee was paid then those InCruises members are affiliates, period.
A secondary concern (which is tied to retail viability), is competition from competing travel-booking engine users.
InCruises charge $99 a month for access to booking engines, with a good chunk of this fee feeding the InCruises compensation plan.
There’s a very real possibility that competing travel companies who don’t have an attached MLM opportunity, will be able to offer access to the travel-booking engines for less than $99 a month.
This could be a potential marketing hurdle for InCruises affiliates, reducing their pool of retail customers to the uninformed and/or ignorant.
Approach with caution.
Update 22nd January 2016 – Michael Hutchison has been in touch and provided BehindMLM with some clarifications. The original review above has since been revised to reflect Hutchison’s supplemental information.
Update 21st April 2017 – In late March InCruises released a new compensation plan.
BehindMLM published an InCruises Review 2.0 on April 14th.