(photo: Matthew Burnel)Having built up capacity fast and being hit with a recession and lingering economic down-turn at the same time, the cruise companies are focused on getting their ticket prices back up, according to the 2013 Cruise Industry News Annual Report.

Their strategy is to slow down the introduction of new capacity in established markets, thus allowing demand to catch up, and hopefully being able to raise prices.

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At the same time, the cruise companies are focusing on new and emerging markets.

In 2012, the average gross revenue generated by each passenger was $1,564.96 for Carnival Corporation, compared to $1,789.80 in 2008.

Still, Carnival earned net income of $1.3 billion in 2012.

If 9.8 million passengers, which is what Carnival brands carried last year, had generated another $200 each (as in 2008), nearly $2 billion more would have gone straight to the bottom line, according to the report.

To quote senior executives at both Carnival and Royal Caribbean Cruises, they all would like to have what they call “normal” years to demonstrate the kind of results they can produce.

Meanwhile, the future is in their hands, barring any catastrophic world events, so long as they operate their ships safely and continue to deliver a top-notch product.