The misadventure of the Carnival Triumph cruise in the Gulf of Mexico has provoked several passenger lawsuits and a storm of bad publicity, including horror stories about overflowing toilets and long food lines.
But if you think the debacle might lead to heavily discounted cruise rates this summer, think again.
Demand for cruise vacations remains strong enough that industry experts predict no sizable fare cuts this summer and fall. The only company offering big deals is Carnival Cruise Lines, operator of the ill-fated ship.
"I don't foresee a panic," said Sherry Laskin, a travel agent and online cruise columnist on the website Cruise Maven. "The cruise lines are not going to shoot themselves in the foot."
In the wake of the Triumph fiasco, social media sites are strewn with comments from people who say they are ready to sail with Carnival again. But others vowed never to step on a ship.
"I don't think that I will ever take another cruise," San Diego resident Carol Brouse, whose sister-in-law Janie Esparza was a Triumph passenger, told the Los Angeles Times. Esparza feels the same way, Brouse said. "One close call is enough."
A cruise website that monitors prices -- CruiseCompete -- shows the average per-person rates for a seven-night cruise for the upcoming summer period have dropped between $3 and $136 compared with six months ago. But the decline is just a fraction of overall fares that range from $946 to $2,458 per person for the summer.
Recent history shows that bookings do not drop significantly after a high-publicity cruise disaster, Laskin and other industry experts say.
In November 2010, the Carnival Splendor suffered a fire that disabled its engine and left the ship adrift off the Pacific coast. Passengers complained of long food lines and disabled toilets -- similar to the gripes by Triumph passengers. But the Splendor was back in operation three months later, sailing at more than 100 percent capacity, according to federal records.
The Costa Concordia, operated by Costa Cruises, capsized off the coast of Italy in January 2012, killing 32 passengers. The captain, accused of causing the accident by maneuvering too close to shore and of abandoning his passengers after the incident, faces criminal charges.