Washington, D.C. 20549

                        REPORT OF FOREIGN PRIVATE ISSUER
                     PURSUANT TO RULES 13a-16 OR 15d-16 OF
                      THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

                          For the month of April, 2003

                          ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES LTD.

                    1050 Caribbean Way, Miami, Florida 33132
                    (Address of principal executive offices)

     [Indicate  by check mark whether the  registrant  files or will file annual
reports under cover Form 20-F or Form 40-F.]

        Form 20-F       x               Form 40-F
                     -------                           -------

     [Indicate  by  check  mark  whether  the   registrant  by  furnishing   the
information contained in this Form is also thereby furnishing the information to
the Commission  pursuant to Rule 12g3-2(b) under the Securities  Exchange Act of

        Yes                             No                x
                     -------                           -------

     [If  "Yes" is  marked  indicate  below  the  file  number  assigned  to the
registrant in connection with Rule 12g3-2(b): 82-_____.]

                                     Contact:  Lynn Martenstein or Dan Mathewes
                                               (305) 539-6570 or (305) 539-6153

                                     For Immediate Release


MIAMI - (April  23,  2003) - Royal  Caribbean  Cruises  Ltd.  (NYSE,  OSE:  RCL)
announced today that net income for the first quarter of 2003 was $53.2 million,
or $0.27 per share, which was essentially the same as the first quarter of 2002.
Revenues for the first quarter of 2003 were $880.2  million,  up 10% from $800.0
million in 2002. The increase in revenues was primarily due to an 11.5% increase
in capacity,  partially  offset by a 1.3%  decline in gross yields  (revenue per
available  passenger cruise day). The decrease in gross yields was primarily due
to a decrease in the percentage of passengers booking airline tickets as part of
their  vacation  package with the company  ("air/sea  mix") and lower  occupancy
levels,  partially  offset by an increase in cruise  ticket prices and shipboard
revenues. Net yields for the first quarter of 2003 increased 3.9% from the first
quarter of 2002. The air/sea mix decreased to 15.1% in 2003 from 19.8% in 2002.

Operating and SG&A expenses, on a per available passenger cruise day basis, were
relatively flat on a quarter over quarter basis (up 0.3%).  Although the company
previously  anticipated  costs would be higher in the first  quarter,  increased
fuel  costs  were  offset by a lower than  expected  air/sea  mix and a shift in
marketing  and operating  costs to later in the year.  With the onset of the war
with Iraq, the company suspended its television advertisements. Now that the war
is over, the company is restarting  those  advertisements,  first in the primary
markets and then throughout the United States.

The company  believes that changes in running  expenses  (i.e.,  those  expenses
directly  associated with ship  operations - defined as operating  expenses less
costs deducted to arrive at net yields) and SG&A to be the most relevant measure
of its ability to control costs in a manner that  positively  impacts the bottom
line.  For the  quarter,  running  and  SG&A  expenses  were up  8.9%,  on a per
available passenger cruise day basis. This increase is primarily attributable to
the increase in fuel costs and the  Brilliance of the Seas lease  payments.

The company  estimates  running and SG&A expenses for the second quarter will be
up on a quarter  over quarter  basis but expects that these costs will  decrease
slightly  in the second  half of the year.  For the full year 2003,  the company
estimates that running and SG&A expenses will increase in the range of 2% to 3%,
on a per available passenger cruise day basis.

The war with Iraq and economic uncertainty continue to have a negative impact on
bookings, especially in the second quarter of 2003. While we had strong bookings
through late 2002,  we started to see a slowdown in December,  which became more
pronounced as the war with Iraq approached.  This trend continued throughout the
war. As a result, we currently anticipate that net yields for the second quarter
will be down in the  range  of 6% to 9%.  While  we  have  started  to see  some
improvement in bookings,  not enough time has passed since the end of the war to
determine  if  booking  levels  will  return to pre-war  levels.  Because of the
disruption  related to the war in Iraq and the fact that  bookings  continue  to
come closer to the sailing  date,  we have  limited  visibility  past the second
quarter of 2003,  which makes it difficult to provide net yield guidance for the
remainder of the year.

"Just as we are pleased  with the yield  improvement  our brands  enjoyed in the
first quarter,  we are  disappointed in the poor bookings we have seen since the
beginning of the year for the second  quarter  sailings,"  said Richard D. Fain,
chairman and chief  executive  officer of Royal  Caribbean  Cruises Ltd. "In the
near term,  we still have a  challenging  road ahead of us. But as we  witnessed
after the first Gulf War and, more recently,  after the 9/11 terrorists attacks,
the strong  underlying  fundamentals  of the industry  give us  confidence to be
optimistic about our recovery after the war with Iraq."

During the quarter,  Celebrity  Cruises  announced  that the Zenith would be the
first vessel to offer 11 to 14-night "Exotic  Caribbean"  cruises departing from
Jacksonville,  Florida.  Among the  highlights  of  Zenith's  Western  Caribbean
itinerary are  Celebrity's  first calls on Roatan,  the largest of Honduras' Bay
Islands,  surrounded  by coral  reefs and  offering  superb  diving and  fishing
opportunities   and  a  transit  through  the  historic   Panama  Canal.   Given
Jacksonville's   immediate  access  to  the  southeastern  United  States,  this
itinerary is expected to attract additional customers interested in the drive-in

In addition to the announcement that all Royal Caribbean  International  vessels
will be outfitted  with rock climbing  walls by November 2003, the first quarter
saw Alaskan itineraries for Royal Caribbean International increase the number of
ways to "get out there" with the addition of 26 new shore excursions.  While the
list of shore  excursions  offers  something for  everyone,  options such as the
Klondike Rock Climbing and Rappelling and the Extended  Helicopter  Glacier Trek
will offer guests a chance to experience a true adrenaline-boost.

The company  has  scheduled a  conference  call at 10 a.m.  today to discuss its
earnings.  This call can be listened to, either live or on a delayed  basis,  on
the company's investor relations web site at

Net Yields and Running Expenses
Net yields represent revenues less the costs of air transportation, travel agent
commissions  and  certain  other  direct  costs  (all of which are  included  in
operating  expenses) per available  passenger cruise day. Such costs were $188.6
million and $202.9  million for the three months ending March 31, 2003 and 2002,
respectively.  Management  believes  that  net  yields  are  the  most  relevant
measurement of the company's pricing performance and are used by the company for
revenue management purposes.

For future periods,  the company has not provided a quantitative  reconciliation
of projected  revenue per available  passenger cruise day to projected net yield
or projected operating costs to projected running expenses. This information has
not been provided due to the  significant  uncertainty  in projecting  the costs
deducted  to arrive at these  measures.  The  company  utilizes  net  yields and
running  expenses to manage its business on a day-to-day  basis and believes net
yields and running  expenses are the more relevant  measures of its performance.
As such, we do not believe that this reconciling information is meaningful.

Royal Caribbean  Cruises Ltd. is a global cruise vacation  company that operates
Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises, with a combined total of 25
ships in service and three under construction or on firm order. The company also
offers  unique  land-tour  vacations  in Alaska,  Canada and Europe  through its
cruise-tour    division.    Additional    information    can   be    found    on, or

Certain  statements  in  this  news  release  are  forward-looking   statements.
Forward-looking  statements do not guarantee future  performance and may involve
risks,  uncertainties  and other factors,  which could cause our actual results,
performance  or  achievements  to differ  materially  from the  future  results,
performance  or  achievements  expressed  or  implied  in those  forward-looking
statements.  Such factors  include  general  economic  and business  conditions,
vacation industry competition, including cruise industry competition, changes in
vacation industry capacity  (including cruise capacity),  the impact of tax laws
and regulations affecting our business or our principal shareholders, the impact
of changes in other laws and regulations  affecting our business,  the impact of
pending or threatened litigation, the delivery of scheduled new ships, emergency
ship repairs,  incidents  involving cruise ships at sea, reduced consumer demand
for  cruises  as a result of any number of reasons  (including  armed  conflict,
terrorist   attacks,   geo-political   and   economic   uncertainties   or   the
unavailability of air service), changes in interest rates or oil prices, weather
and other factors described in further detail in Royal Caribbean's  filings with
the Securities and Exchange Commission.

                            Financial Tables Follow

                          ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES LTD.
                (unaudited, in thousands, except per share data)

                                                           First Quarter Ended
                                                                March 31,
                                                            2003        2002
                                                          --------    --------
Revenues                                                  $880,164    $799,953
                                                          --------    --------
        Operating                                          552,569     502,638
        Marketing, selling and administrative              123,984     102,076
        Depreciation and amortization                       88,669      82,827
                                                          --------    --------
                                                           765,222     687,541
                                                          --------    --------
Operating Income                                           114,942     112,412
                                                          ========    ========
Other Income (Expense)
        Interest income                                      1,105       4,227
        Interest expense, net of capitalized interest      (64,884)    (68,268)
        Other income (expense)                               2,011       4,442
                                                          --------    --------
                                                           (61,768)    (59,599)
                                                          --------    --------

Net Income (Loss)                                         $ 53,174    $ 52,813
                                                          ========    ========
Earnings (Loss) Per Share:
        Basic                                             $   0.28    $   0.27
                                                          ========    ========
        Diluted                                           $   0.27    $   0.27
                                                          ========    ========
Weighted average shares outstanding:
        Basic                                              193,029     192,325
                                                          ========    ========
        Diluted                                            194,905     195,509
                                                          ========    ========


                                                           First Quarter Ended
                                                                March 31,
                                                            2003        2002
                                                          --------    --------
Occupancy as a percentage of total capacity                  101.7%      103.9%

Passenger Cruise Days                                    4,743,164   4,344,802

Available Passenger Cruise Days                          4,663,592   4,182,320


Pursuant  to the  requirements  of the  Securities  Exchange  Act of  1934,  the
registrant  has duly  caused  this  report  to be  signed  on its  behalf by the
undersigned, thereunto duly authorized.

                                        ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES LTD.

Date:  April 23, 2003                   By: /s/ BONNIE S. BIUMI
                                            Bonnie S. Biumi
                                            Acting Chief Financial Officer