It hasn't been smooth sailing for the cruise ship industry, but bargain hunters are taking advantage of deeply discounted prices due to high profile misadventures on the high seas.

In February, an engine fire on a Carnival cruise ship left hundreds stranded for four days in the Gulf of Mexico with no air conditioning, little food, and clogged and overflowing toilets. In April, another Carnival cruise ship broke down in port in St. Maarten, forcing the company to fly home more than 4,000 passengers.

Both those incidents come on the heels of the tragic Costa Concordia disaster, where 32 people died off the coast of Italy when the cruise ship capsized after hitting a rock in a shallow patch of coastal water.

The industry is pulling out all stops to try to win back wary travellers.

"You can pick up a 12- to 14-day cruise for next to nothing," travel agent Dean Berraca told CBC News in an interview recently.

Experts say there are particularly deep discounts at the moment because it's the so-called shoulder season for cruising — a slow period between the busy winter and summer months.

"If they continue to have problems, then obviously they're going to have to continue to do something in order to get the public back on board," Berraca said.

The CBC's Aaron Saltzman looked into the cruise industry from a consumer perspective. Watch his report in the player above.