Recent images of a cruise ship limping back to port after an engine malfunction didn’t do the cruise industry any favors heading into the summer vacation season. And cringe-worthy accounts from passengers who had to make do without power or working toilets for five days may have turned some travelers off cruising for good.
But for those undeterred by the mishap that befell the Carnival Triumph in February, nor that of several other headline-grabbing woes that afflicted some of Carnival Corp.’s other ships over the past year, this is a good time to save money on a cruise vacation, experts say.
And it’s not just Carnival that has had to discount its fares to coax back passengers. An economic slowdown in Europe has opened the door to savings on cruises that sail around ports in the Mediterranean Sea, says Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor-in-chief, of Cruise Critic, an online cruise reviews guide published by The Independent Traveler Inc.
‘‘A lot of Europe is feeling the pinch of the recession,’’ she says. ‘‘There are some low prices and there’s a lot of availability.’’
Ready to set sail? Here are eight tips for saving money on a cruise vacation.