Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL) has reported net income of $230.4 million, or $1.07 per share, on revenues of $1.7 billion for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2009, compared to net income of $411.9 million, or $1.92 per share, on revenue s of $2.0 billion for the same period last year.

The result exceeded the company’s recent guidance of $0.95 to $1.00 per share, driven primarily by the strength of close-in bookings, according to RCL.

“Like many other travel companies, we saw more strength than we expected during our peak season, but have been experiencing more pricing pressure on some of our traditionally softer fall season sailings,” said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO. “Overall, the business environment is largely unchanged and stable. We expect the yield deficit to continue to improve in the fourth quarter and we remain optimistic that 2010 will bring year-over-year improvement.”

RCL’s earnings guidance for Q4 is a loss of $0.05 per share and full year earnings of $0.70 per share, compared to $2.68 for 2008.