A cruise liner pulling up to St John's Harbor
A cruise liner pulling up to St John's Harbor - 
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Steve Chiotakis: In these troubled economic waters, the cruise industry is trying to stay afloat. They've started offering big discounts to get vacationers back onboard. From the America's Desk at WLRN in Miami, Dan Grech reports.

Dan Grech: The cruise industry has been hit by the recession. Advanced bookings are down. And shares have taken a beating. Carnival and Royal Caribbean have even suspended dividend payments to conserve cash.

Jennifer de la Cruz is spokeswoman for Miami-based Carnival. The cruise line has slashed the price on a seven-day Caribbean cruise to $299.

Jennifer de la Cruz: A lot of times, people don't necessarily sacrifice their vacation plans, but they may start trading down and looking for things more value-oriented.

Cruise lines are hoping that heavy discounts will generate money fast. And travel agents are urging bargain hunters to nail down these offers soon. The busiest booking period is typically after the New Year.

In Miami, I'm Dan Grech for Marketplace.