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If you have the stomach for a cruise, it’s a discount carnival

NEW YORK (Reuters) – In the wake of the terrible tale of the stricken Carnival Triumph – and a Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd ship hit with norovirus in the news Friday – the cruise industry is delivering deep discounts and lots of extras. Potential travelers, with images of crippled ships and sickened passengers fresh in their minds, have a few things to consider before they jump at deals.

But even some of those who were on the ill-fated Triumph are having a hard time not cashing in. Travel agent and cruise blogger Jill Noble, 43, was aboard the Triumph and had an awful time. That didn’t stop her from taking the free cruise and $500 credit she got for her ordeal and applying it toward a cruise she had previously booked. She also renegotiated the overall price based on a huge fare discount in Carnival’s latest sale, which she says had price drops of up to $400 per cabin when the norm in a sale is $200-$250.

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      "Mitch Lipka is editor of and is a veteran consumer columnist, editor and reporter. Most recently, he led a 10-person consumer reporting team at AOL’s personal finance channel, He received the 2010 New York Press Club award for best consumer writing on the web and is the 2011 Best Friend honoree from Kids in Danger for his work covering child product safety. Mitch has been a reporter and editor for more than 25 years and has worked for The Philadelphia Inquirer, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and Consumer Reports. The opinions expressed here are his own."
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