Group protests launch of newest Royal Caribbean cruise ship

Floridians angry about Royal Caribbean Cruises` refusal to stop dumping inadequately treated sewage and waste into the seas held a rally yesterday protesting the maiden voyage of the company`s newest mega-ship, the Mariner of the Seas. Organised by Oceana, a non-profit ocean advocacy group, the rally coincided with the ship`s inaugural launch.
“Royal Caribbean still thinks dilution is the solution to pollution,” said Katie Swayne, a Florida-based organiser working with Oceana. “That theory should have gone the way of the dinosaur long ago. It`s outdated and misguided. We`re here today to ensure the Mariner of the Seas is the last of a dying breed.”
Large and extravagant enough to contain its very own ice rink, the Mariner of the Seas is equipped only with an antiquated Marine Sanitation Device (MSD) to treat its sewage and wastewater. Despite studies showing MSDs to be ineffective, Royal Caribbean has repeatedly denied requests from Oceana and concerned citizens across the nation to invest in affordable, state of the art waste treatment technology.

“Royal Caribbean generated $3.4 billion in revenues last year, of which $167 million was spent on advertising alone,” said Dana DuBose, Oceana`s Cruise Pollution Campaign Director. “It would have cost around a can of soda per passenger per day to ensure this ship treats its waste properly, yet they wouldn`t even make that minimal investment.”
Royal Caribbean`s 27-ship cruise fleet produces and dumps millions of gallons of wastewater into the ocean every day. The company has installed advanced wastewater treatment facilities only on its three Alaska-bound ships, Alaska being the one state that requires the advanced systems by law. Royal Caribbean refuses to upgrade the remainder of its fleet.

Related stories on Caribbean Weekly:
(30/10/03) Oceana say Royal Caribbean must fix water treatment facilities
(14/10/03) Royal Caribbean International expands innovative wine program