CruiseCompete has introduced its CruiseIndex, a statistical tool showing the state of cruise industry pricing in a single number. Calculated based on the average per-night price to sail on a seven-night cruise departing any time in the next 12 months, the index focuses on the six major North American cruise lines. Data is supplied by partner Cayole.com

"Until now, there has been no definitive answer to the question 'What is the state of the cruise market?" said Bob Levinstein, CruiseCompete's CEO in a prepared statement. "Now we can look at a single number and get an overall view of current market conditions, as well as compare that number to previous months to evaluate and understand changes in pricing.”

In addition to the overall index, CruiseCompete also provides information on how regional markets – such as the Caribbean, Europe and Alaska – are faring.

The price index for November is 146, a 0.7% decrease from October, and up 10% compared to November 2010, according to CruiseCompete. Cruise prices had remained stable since mid-summer, but dipped slightly in recent days. Still, prices continue to be significantly higher than they were at this time last year. On a regional basis, Alaska and Bahamas prices stayed level, while the other regions saw small dips, with prices for European sailings down the furthest at 2.8%.