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To Cruise Or Not To Cruise? Companies Offer Discounts, But Some Staying Away

Deals Aplenty, But Recent Industry Troubles Have Some Hesitant To Get Aboard
A Carnival cruise ship seen in Key West, Florida. (credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

A Carnival cruise ship seen in Key West, Florida. (credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s the time of year when so many just want to get out of the cold and head to warmer climates.

Cruise companies are offering big discounts to attract passengers, but with recent high-profile problems impacting the industry, travelers are trying to stay away.

Spring may be around the corner, but people are still bundling up while thinking about sun and fun. Cruises are catering to that craving with bargain basement prices.

“Cruise lines see that there’s inventory left, that they haven’t sold or they have ships that are half full still,” Jack Ezon, president of Ovation Vacations, told CBS 2′s Sean Hennessey.

Ezon said you can get great deals to almost anywhere.

“I’ve seen mass market cruises go for as low as $700, $800 for a week. It’s cheaper than staying home,” Ezon said.

But headline-making troubles have some hesitant to climb aboard the floating playgrounds.

Carnival alone has had a handful of problems, including an engine fire that left one ship floating for days without power or working bathrooms and another just this week where this ship was stuck in St. Maarten, forcing passengers to be flown home.

“It’s disappointing, more so that we don’t get to finish up our trip and have those final two days at sea,” said one passenger.

“When I booked my cruise ticket, I didn’t expect it to be such a risk involved,” said passenger Naftuli Moster.

Moster said he booked a Carnival cruise to The Bahamas but after this week’s problems wants his money back because he’s afraid of another mechanical malfunction.

“I’m afraid that even if it happens in the last day, even if it only skips one port, it just ruins it,” Moster said.

Whichever kind of trip you buy, experts said spend a few dollars extra for travel insurance just because you never know what’s around the corner.

“Without travel insurance, you’re very, very, very unlikely to get any money back,” Enzon said.

That scenario is a reality for Moster, who said he is not getting his money back. So he will be hitting the high seas in a few weeks.

“I’m going to go on the cruise and I’m going to hope nothing happens, but, you know, I’m a little bit afraid,” he said.

These days, he’s not alone.

Experts said among the specials being offered is kids sailing for free and discounts for single-occupancy cabins.

Are you planning to go on a cruise soon?  Let us know your thoughts on this story in the comments section…