Disney Cruise Line - Final Grade: "C+"

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 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. In total, 73 percent of Disney’s ships that dock at a port with shoreside power are plug-in capable, giving the company a B- in this category (two of the ships Disney has equipped with shoreside power hookups, the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, are currently not being sent to ports where shoreside power is offered, so for purposes of determining Disney’s air pollution reduction grade, these ships were only given half credit). The Disney Wonder traveled to Alaska in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and received no violations of state water pollution standards, giving Disney a 100 percent for water quality compliance in Alaska.

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 A A A A
Disney Dream 5458 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast A C N/A B+
Disney Fantasy 5450 Caribbean, Mexico, U.S. East Coast A C N/A B+

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Grading methodology for the 2014 Cruise Ship Report Card

Friends of the Earth’s Cruise Ship Report Card ranks 16 major cruise lines and 167 cruise ships -- Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, 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, only ships that dock at a port and plug in to available shoreside power hookups were graded. 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 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 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.
  • To determine the Transparency grade for each cruise line we graded each line based on whether it responded to our 2014 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.