Considering a Cruise?

08 Sep
Photo by Jordon

If you’re thinking of planning a vacation on a cruise ship, consider this information from Friends of the Earth:

Cruise ships – the largest of which carry more than 5,000 passengers and crew – are floating cities that produce enormous volumes of waste. ONE large cruise ship on a one week voyage is estimated to generate:

  • 210,000 gallons of human sewage,
  • 1 million gallons of gray water (water from sinks, baths, showers, laundry, and galleys),
  • 25,000 gallons of oily bilge water,
  • Up to 11,550 gallons of sewage sludge, and
  • More than 130 gallons of hazardous wastes.

Most of this waste is dumped directly into the ocean, some treated, some not. In addition, luxury liners spew a range of pollutants into the air.

I don’t want to rain on your parade cruise dreams, but I think this is information people should know. I’m ashamed to say that I hadn’t even thought about this side of the story. I’ve been on two cruises. (I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to the world for my poop that is floating around in the ocean somewhere). I went on one brief weekend cruise to the Bahamas and one week-long trek through the Caribbean. I would classify both as “OK” vacations, but they were definitely not my favorite. In general, I like staying someplace long enough to get a good taste of the culture and people, and if I decide that I DON’T want to stay and want to move on to somewhere else, I like to have that freedom to choose. Cruise ships don’t allow for that. Cruising is also way too “touristy” for me, for lack of a better term. Sure they have phenomenal ice, food and towel sculptures (That’s right – towels. Sculpted to look like animals, birds and people), but I think that could be sacrificed in the interest of saving the world.

All that being said, if cruising is your “thing,” maybe there are “greener” options available. I’ll have to see what I can find and get back with you.


Posted by on September 8, 2008 in Going Green, Travel


6 responses to “Considering a Cruise?

  1. imommy

    September 8, 2008 at 12:23 am

    Hmm, never really thought of this angle, either. Then again, we don’t usually get out for vacations 🙂

  2. Bonnie Sayers (autismfamily)

    September 8, 2008 at 12:27 am

    I have been considering an autism cruise sometime in the future, something short like 2-3 days is about all we could handle.

  3. psychmamma

    September 8, 2008 at 1:25 am

    iMommy –

    You seriously need to take a vacation!! You’ve got Uncle J there – – what are you waiting for? Try to sneak one in before Baby 2 comes along. 🙂

    Bonnie –

    If you decide on the cruise, you’ll have to let me know what you think when you’re back. I’d love to hear about it.

  4. CanCan

    September 8, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    Green vacations are kind of hard to come by.

    Those are some nasty statistics, too. : (

  5. anymommy

    September 9, 2008 at 4:37 am

    We went on a cruise for our honeymoon. We had a lovely time, but I felt, like you, like it was all about too touristy and pre-planned. But, we’ve considered it as a family option, especially the Disney thing. I wonder if they are any more consciencious (sp?). Probably not.

  6. Rainy @ Perfectly Normal

    September 10, 2008 at 4:19 am

    Darn it, way to go and spoil cruises for me before I ever got to try one. Not that we ever would have gone on one. Maybe I will just “sour grapes” the whole idea. I’m sure I wouldn’t have enjoyed going on a cruise anyway. Who needs ’em?!?


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