Improved Caribbean Pricing Buoys Royal Caribbean's Q2 Numbers

Royal Caribbean International on Thursday reported a five percent lift in second quarter profits on higher sales and stabilized pricing in the Caribbean. "After a relatively slow start to the year," said Richard Fain, Royal Caribbean International's chairman and CEO, "we are encouraged by the stabilized Caribbean pricing environment and the sound demand for our summer seasonal products." Indeed, the cruise lines have taken a beating over the course of the past year as pricing in the key Caribbean market has foundered some. Now it seems to be back, which is especially important for the cruise lines and travel agents taking bookings for the fall and winter months. Also aiding in the Caribbean resurgence is the news that some forecasters are tempering their outlooks on the 2007 hurricane season. The weather information service, WSI Corp., this week lowered their expected hurricane outlook from eight to six, with three major as opposed to the initial four. The reason: "Because," said WSI forecaster Todd Crawford, "ocean temperatures have not yet rebounded from the significant drop in late spring."

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