Archive for December 2014

2014 Cruise Report Card

For those of you who have not seen it, each year the Friends of the Earth (FOE) publishes the cruise ship report card. This annual document awards grades to cruise lines and individual ships, and can be found here:

2014’s data collection has an interesting twist. According to news reports (, this year “all 16 cruise lines apparently refused to respond to FOE’s request for information on their pollution reduction efforts — forcing the group to rely on federal data. This also inspired FOE to add a fourth transparency metric to the report card, for which all 16 cruise lines received an ‘F.'” As you are all well aware, federal data is limited and the laws are weak.

Pertaining specifically to Charleston, Carnival Cruise Lines earned an overall grade of D for 2014, and the Carnival Fantasy ship earned the following:

  • Sewage treatment: F
  • Air pollution reduction: F
  • Water quality compliance: N/A
  • Overall: F

The Fantasy’s grades mean that the ship does not have advanced sewage and wastewater treatment, does not use shore power or low-sulfur fuels continuously at levels lower than required by law, does not sail to Alaska and therefore water pollution standards are not measured publicly. Also of note: at least three ships scheduled for Charleston port-of-calls in 2015 are shore power capable and could hook up and reduce most of their harmful emissions if our cruise terminal had shore power technology.