Royal Caribbean Cruises has reported net income of $35.4 million or $0.56 per share on revenues of $288.7 million for the ftrst quarter ended March 31, 1994, compared to net income of $20.2 million or $0.39 per share on revenues of $270.4 million for the first quarter in 1993.

RCCL attributed the revenue increase over the ftrst quarter of 1993 primarily to higher occupancy levels. Occupancy for the ftrst quarter of 1994 was 101.3 percent compared to 93.2 percent for the ftrst quarter a year ago.

Improved Margins

Operating costs were $243 million in the first quarter of 1994, or 84.3 percent of revenues, compared to $231.5 million. or 85.6 percent, for the same period a year ago.

Operating income was $45.6 million this past quarter, a 15.8 percent operating margin compared to $38.9 million, a 14.4 percent margin a year ago.

The net margin was 12.3 percent for the ftrst quarter of 1994 compared to 7.5 percent for the first quarter of 1993.

RCCL also attributed its improved capital structure to its earnings improvement. Interest expense was lower due to significantly reduced debt levels and improved borrowing rates, according to a prepared statement. Additionally, the company revised its vessel depreciation policy as of Jan. 1, 1994, which reduces depreciation by approximately $2.5 million quarterly.

GPD

RCCL's Gross Per Diems reached $227 (gross rate per passenger day) this year compared to $224 for the same period last year.

Richard Fain, Chairman and CEO, said the result also reflected improved yield management and cost control programs. He noted that because of the solid occupancy in the second and third quarters of 1993, he expected less dramatic improvement in the summer.

At press time, RCCL traded for $26 3/4 on The New York Stock Exchange compared to a 365-day hig/low of $29 to $15 5/8.