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Carnival Cruise Lines - Final Grade: "D"

Carnival Cruise Lines launched in March 1972. Headquartered in Florida, Carnival is a subsidiary of Carnival Corp., which controls almost 50 percent of the worldwide cruise ship market. Carnival has 24 ships in its fleet, and all 24 ships have carrying capacities of 3,500 or more passengers and crew. Slightly less than half of Carnival’s ships were built in the last decade, with 12 of those ships having a carrying capacity of 4,400 or more passengers and crew.

Of Carnival’s 24 ships, only four – the Carnival Spirit, Carnival Vista, Carnival Liberty and Carnival Dream – have installed advanced sewage treatment systems, resulting in a grade of F for the company’s 16 percent sewage treatment score. In recent years, Carnival has made multiple commitments to reduce air pollution. Carnival announced in its 2009 Sustainability Report that it would install shoreside power capability in all ships that home port at the Port of Long Beach by 2014, though to date only three of its plug-in capable ships dock in ports with shoreside power. With the advent of stricter North American Emission Control Area sulfur regulations, Carnival Corporation announced it spent $400 million to develop and install scrubber technology in 22 Carnival ships, and has thus far installed scrubbers in 17 ships. Carnival raised its air pollution reduction grade from 2014’s D to a C-. Between 2010 and 2014, two Carnival ships traveled to Alaska and Alaskan authorities cited one of the ships with a total of four water quality violations, earning Carnival a 95 percent for water quality compliance in Alaska.

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Carnival Cruise Lines - Cruise Ship Fleet

Ship Name Cruise Line Total Persons on Board Destinations Sewage Treatment

Sewage Treatment

Has the cruise line installed on its ships the most advanced sewage and wastewater treatment systems available instead of dumping minimally treated sewage directly into the water? In determining a cruise line’s Sewage Treatment grade, we compared the number of cruise ships in the cruise line that have installed advanced sewage treatment systems against the total number of ships in the cruise line.

Air Pollution Reduction

Air Pollution Reduction

Has the cruise line installed scrubbers or were capable of plugging into shoreside power. Cruise ships that installed both technologies and docked in ports with shore power received an A, while ships that only installed scrubbers or only installed shore power capability but did not dock at ports with shoreside power were given a C. In addition, ships were given credit if they only utilize low sulfur fuels continuously at levels lower than required by international and U.S. law.

Water Quality Compliance

Water Quality Compliance

To what degree cruise ships violated water pollution standards designed to better protect the Alaskan coast. In determining the Water Quality Compliance grade for cruise ships operating in Alaska, we used the notices of violation issued to each cruise line by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation from 2010 to 2014 for individual cruise ships.

Final Ship Grade
Curved Grading Scale
A 100-85 Excellent
B 84-70 Satisfactory
C 69-50 Needs Work
D 49-25 Poor
F 24-0 Unacceptable
N/A Not Graded No Discharge In Alaskan Waters

**For the 2016 Cruise Ship Report Card, we graded 17 cruise lines and the 171 cruise ships of those 17 lines operating around the world. All cruise ships from each cruise line were included in this report card. Friends of the Earth relied on data gathered from the internet, government sources, the cruise line industry, and other public sources in order to determine the grades assigned to the cruise lines. Friends of the Earth did not independently verify that the technology graded in the report card was installed on the individual cruise ships.

Carnival Legend Carnival Cruise Lines 2600 Alaska, Canada, Hawaii, U.S. West Coast F B- F F
Carnival Vista Carnival Cruise Lines 5406 Caribbean, Central America, Mediterranean, Mexico, U.S. East Coast 11 11 N/A 11
Carnival Breeze Carnival Cruise Lines 5076 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast, Central America, Mexico 00 05 N/A 01
Carnival Magic Carnival Cruise Lines 5057 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast, Central America, Mexico 00 05 N/A 01
Carnival Miracle Carnival Cruise Lines 3058 Mexico, Hawaii, U.S. West Coast 00 11 N/A 04
Carnival Paradise Carnival Cruise Lines 2972 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast, Mexico 00 00 N/A 00
Carnival Pride Carnival Cruise Lines 3054 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast 00 05 N/A 01
Carnival Sensation Carnival Cruise Lines 2976 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast 00 00 N/A 00
Carnival Splendor Carnival Cruise Lines 4162 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast, Central America, Mexico 00 05 N/A 01
Carnival Triumph Carnival Cruise Lines 3854 Caribbean, Mexico 00 05 N/A 01
Carnival Valor Carnival Cruise Lines 4160 Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, U.S. East Coast 00 05 N/A 01
Carnival Victory Carnival Cruise Lines 3854 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast, Mexico 00 08 N/A 02
Carnival Elation Carnival Cruise Lines 2976 Caribbean, Mexico, U.S. East Coast 00 05 N/A 01
Carnival Fantasy Carnival Cruise Lines 2974 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast, Mexico 00 05 N/A 01
Carnival Fascination Carnival Cruise Lines 2976 Caribbean, Central America, Mexico 00 08 N/A 02
Carnival Freedom Carnival Cruise Lines 4130 Caribbean, Central America, Mexico 00 08 N/A 02
Carnival Glory Carnival Cruise Lines 4130 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast, Central America, Mexico 00 00 N/A 00
Carnival Imagination Carnival Cruise Lines 2976 Mexico, U.S. West Coast 00 10 N/A 03
Carnival Inspiration Carnival Cruise Lines 2976 Mexico, U.S. West Coast 00 11 N/A 04
Carnival Legend Carnival Cruise Lines 3054 Canada, U.S. West Coast, Alaska, Hawaii 11 11 N/A 11
Carnival Liberty Carnival Cruise Lines 4134 Caribbean, Mexico 00 00 N/A 00
Carnival Sunshine Carnival Cruise Lines 4042 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast, Central America, Mexico, Canada 00 05 N/A 01
Carnival Dream Carnival Cruise Lines 5013 Caribbean, Central America, Mexico 11 05 N/A 09
Carnival Ecstasy Carnival Cruise Lines 2976 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast, Mexico 00 05 N/A 01
Carnival Spirit Carnival Cruise Lines 3610 Australia, South Pacific, New Zealand, Southeast Asia 11 00 11 06
Carnival Conquest Carnival Cruise Lines 4130 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast, Central America, Mexico 00 00 N/A 00

Grading methodology for the 2016 Cruise Ship Report Card

Friends of the Earth’s Cruise Ship Report Card ranks 17 major cruise lines and 171 cruise ships -- Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, Fathom, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean Int’l, Seabourn Cruise Line and Silversea Cruises -- according to four environmental criteria: Sewage Treatment, Air Pollution Reduction, Water Quality Compliance and Transparency.

  • To determine a cruise line’s Sewage Treatment grade, we compared the number of cruise ships in the cruise line that have installed advanced sewage treatment systems against the total number of ships in the cruise line.
  • To determine the Air Pollution Reduction grade for each ship in a cruise line, we graded ships on whether they had installed scrubbers or were capable of plugging into shoreside power. Cruise ships that installed both technologies and docked in ports with shore power received an A, while ships that only installed scrubbers or only installed shore power capability but did not dock at ports with shoreside power were given a C. In addition, ships were given credit if they only utilize low sulfur fuels continuously at levels lower than required by international and U.S. law.
  • To determine the Water Quality Compliance grade for ships operating in Alaska, we used notices of violation issued for individual cruise ships to each cruise line by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation from 2010 to 2014. Ships were given an ‘N/A’ if they traveled to Alaska but avoided Alaska’s strong water quality standards by discharging outside of those protected waters.
  • To determine the Transparency grade for each cruise line we graded each line based on whether it responded to our 2015 requests for information regarding their environmental practices.
  • The grades for each of the four criteria were averaged to calculate the Final Grade for each cruise line.