Royal Caribbean Int'l - Final Grade: "D"

Royal Caribbean International (Royal Caribbean) was founded in 1997. A Norwegian/American company with headquarters in Florida, Royal Caribbean is a subsidiary of Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited (RCCL). Royal Caribbean’s fleet totals 22 cruise ships, including the two largest cruise ships ever built, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas. Launched in December 2009, Oasis of the Seas is the size of a small town, accommodating more than 6,300 passengers and 1,800 crew members. Allure of the Seas, which launched in December 2010, is two inches longer than Oasis, giving it the infamous distinction of being the largest cruise ship on the planet. Over half of Royal Caribbean’s cruise ships were built in the last decade, and 12 ships have carrying capacities of more than 5,000 passengers and crew.

In 2004, Royal Caribbean, through its parent company RCCL, made a public commitment to install advanced sewage treatment systems on all of its cruise ships by 2008. Of Royal Caribbean’s 22 cruise ships, 21 have installed advanced sewage treatment systems, resulting in a grade of A for the company’s 95 percent sewage treatment score. In determining the air pollution reduction grade for each cruise line, only ships that dock at a port that currently has shoreside power (thereby avoiding burning dirty fuel in port) were considered. None of Royal Caribbean’s ships that dock at a port with shoreside power are plug-in capable, however, four of Royal’s ships burn fuel worldwide with a sulfur content that is lower than what is required internationally or in Emission Control Areas giving the company an F in this category. While Royal Caribbean operated two ships in Alaska from 2010 to 2013, it chose to discharge sewage from those ships outside of Alaskan waters, thereby avoiding Alaska’s strong water quality standards, giving it an ‘N/A’ for water quality compliance in Alaska.

Royal Caribbean Int'l - Cruise Ship Fleet

Ship Name Total Persons on Board Destinations Sewage Treatment Air Pollution Reduction Water Quality Compliance Final Ship Grade
Serenade of the Seas 3381 Caribbean, Europe, Mediterranean, Mexico, U.S. West Coast A A N/A A
Allure of the Seas 8461 Caribbean, Mexico, U.S. East Coast A F N/A C-
Brilliance of the Seas 3349 Europe, Canada, Caribbean, U.S. East Coast, Central America, Mexico A A N/A A
Enchantment of the Seas 3570 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast A F N/A C-
Freedom of the Seas 5735 Caribbean, Mexico, U.S. East Coast A F N/A C-
Independence of the Seas 5760 Caribbean, Europe, U.S. East Coast, Mediterranean A F N/A C-
Jewel of the Seas 3360 Caribbean A A N/A A
Liberty of the Seas 5735 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast, Europe, Central America, Mediterranean, Mexico A F N/A C-
Oasis of the Seas 8100 Caribbean, Europe, Mediterranean, Mexico, U.S. East Coast A F N/A C-
Radiance of the Seas 3358 Alaska, Australia, Hawaii, New Zealand, Canada, South Pacific A A N/A A
Adventure of the Seas 5020 Caribbean, Europe, U.S. East Coast, Mediterranean A F N/A C-
Explorer of the Seas 5020 Canada, Caribbean, U.S. East Coast, Mexico A F N/A C-
Grandeur of the Seas 3206 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast, Canada, Mexico A F N/A C-
Legend of the Seas 2800 Caribbean, Central America, Europe, U.S. East Coast, Canada, Mediterranean, Mexico, U.S. West Coast A F N/A C-
Majesty of the Seas 3656 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast F F N/A F
Mariner of the Seas 5020 Asia, Southeast Asia A F N/A C-
Navigator of the Seas 5020 Caribbean, Europe, Central America, Mediterranean, Mexico A F N/A C-
Rhapsody of the Seas 3200 Alaska, Australia, Hawaii, Canada, South Pacific, U.S. West Coast A F N/A C-
Splendour of the Seas 2794 Europe, South America, Mediterranean A F N/A C-
Vision of the Seas 3177 Europe, Caribbean, Central America, U.S. East Coast, Mexico A F N/A C-
Voyager of the Seas 5014 Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific A F N/A C-
Quantum of the Seas 6205 Asia, Caribbean, Europe, India, Middle East, Southeast Asia, U.S. East Coast A F N/A C-

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Grading methodology for the 2013 Cruise Ship Report Card

Friends of the Earth’s Cruise Ship Report Card ranks 15 major cruise lines and 148 cruise ships -- Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, 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 three environmental criteria: Sewage Treatment, Air Pollution Reduction, and Water Quality Compliance.

  • 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, only ships that dock at a port and plug in to available shoreside power hookups were graded.
  • To determine the Water Quality Compliance grade for ships operating in Alaska, we used 2010 notices of violation issued for individual cruise ships to each cruise line by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. 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.
  • The grades for each of the criteria were averaged to calculate the Final Grade for each cruise line.