Royal Caribbean Group's Q1 exceeds company's expectations

Noting strong close-in bookings at higher prices, Royal Caribbean Group executives reported the company experienced an extended and record-breaking Wave season this year and is increasing expectations for the rest of the 2023. 

Robust close-in demand particularly in the Caribbean, higher load factors at higher prices and strength in onboard spending have led the company to exceed its revenue guidance for the year.

“What transpired over the last four months was much better than we had anticipated,” said Royal Caribbean Group CEO Jason Liberty. “The booking window is now completely back to normal.” 

Liberty said Wave season began earlier and extended further than normal, which led the company to generate record bookings and achieve a better booked position in comparison to prior years.

Related: Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ Q1 report

Bookings exceeded 2019 throughout the quarter, he said, as has the percentage of guests who are either new to cruise or new to the brand. He said the company averaged 102% occupancy in the quarter. Royal noted particular strength in close-in demand for sailings in the Caribbean, which made up almost 80% of the first quarter’s capacity. 

Total revenue was $2.9 billion, although the company reported a net loss of $47.9 million.

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