Disney Cruise Line - Final Grade: "A-"

Disney Cruise Line was founded by the Walt Disney Company in 1995. Headquartered in Florida, Disney’s current cruise ship fleet consists of four large ships built in 1998, 1999, 2010 and 2011. The original two ships, the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder have carrying capacities of approximately 3,400 passengers and crew. The two newer ships have much larger carrying capacities of approximately 5,500 passengers and crew.

Disney’s four ships have installed advanced sewage treatment systems, resulting in a grade of A for the company’s 100 percent sewage treatment score. In total, three of Disney’s ships have installed scrubbers or shore power capability, giving the company a C- in this category. The Disney Wonder traveled to Alaska in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 and received no violations of state water pollution standards, giving Disney a 100 percent for water quality compliance in Alaska. Disney was also the only cruise line that responded to our inquiries about environmental practices, awarding them an A for transparency.

Disney Cruise Line - Cruise Ship Fleet

Ship Name Total Persons on Board Destinations Sewage Treatment Air Pollution Reduction Water Quality Compliance Final Ship Grade
Disney Magic 3345 Caribbean, Europe, Mediterranean, U.S. East Coast, Mexico A F N/A C-
Disney Wonder 3345 Alaska, Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, U.S. West Coast, Canada, U.S. East Coast, Hawaii, South America A A- A A
Disney Dream 5458 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast A C N/A B+
Disney Fantasy 5450 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast A C N/A B+

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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.