North American results were driven down by Carnival Cruise Lines (photo: Antonio Simas)Carnival Corporation posted Q2 results today with numbers significantly below the same quarter last year.

Earnings were driven by fuel savings – 6 percent less fuel consumed for Q2 this year, over last year – and a significantly lower loss on fuel derivatives year-over-year, without which Carnival would have posted a loss.

Gross ticket revenue was reported to be $140.58 per passenger day this year, compared to $146.60 last year, and onboard spend was $45.14 this year, compared to $46.25 last year.

Net ticket prices were reported to be $113.36 this year, compared to $118.16 last year, and onboard spend was $38.95, compared to $39.84 last year.

By comparison, gross ticket revenue per passenger day was $170.53 for Q2 in 2008 and net ticket revenue was $135.94.

According to Carnival executives, for Q2 this year, ticket pricing was down, while costs were up, including selling and administrative costs. North American results were driven down by Carnival Cruise Lines; European results were driven down by Northern European brands offset partially by the Costa and P&O Australia brands.

For the rest of the year, Carnival expects net cruise costs, excluding fuel, to be up 3.5 to 4 percent, including increased selling and administrative costs.

Fleetwide, for Q3 and 4, and Q1 of next year, Carnival reported bookings to be up year-over-year at higher prices, excluding Carnival, which has lower bookings at lower prices.

Carnival said it expects pricing for the brand to grow over time, but that it will take two to three years to fully recover. Meanwhile, the brand will see lower prices, higher market spend and cap ex on ship upgrades.