Cruise NewsCarnival Cruise LineRecent Changes Made on Carnival Cruises

Recent Changes Made on Carnival Cruises

Over the past several months, Carnival Cruise Line has implemented numerous changes to dramatically reduce single-use plastics and eliminate items that are difficult to recycle or separate from food waste on their cruise ships.

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Here is a list of changes recently made by Carnival on their 27 cruise ships.

Plastic drinking straws have been removed and single-use plastic drinking cups have been replaced with sustainable alternatives. Frozen drinks that require a straw are now served with edible straws or reusable, hard plastic straws. Guests who want a straw for other beverages can purchase reusable, stainless steel or silicone straws at our bars and gift shops.

All beverages are served in glass, paper or reusable plastic tumblers (hot beverages are capped with a cardboard lid).

Carnival gift shops and retail partners no longer use plastic bags, and they do not use plastic bags for laundry pick-up.

Individual amenity bottles of shampoo and body wash have been eliminated by installing bulk dispensers in every stateroom and stateroom bar soap now comes packaged in a cardboard box.

Most individual servings of packaged items like foil-wrapped butter pats, condiments, salad dressing, cereal boxes and sugar (excluding artificial sweeteners) in Lido Restaurants and Coffee Bars have also been eliminated.

Decorative items used in food/beverage service, such as steak temperature markers, toothpicks, umbrellas, stir sticks and olive picks have been removed from service.

Balloon drops and plastic glow sticks have been discontinued. Instead, biodegradable streamers are used inside the ship at certain events and a small number of balloons are used in production shows and specific activities.

Next, Carnival Cruise Line is installing food waste digesters across the fleet that use a natural process to break down food waste and facilitate the separation of non-food materials, allowing for safe, environmentally-friendly disposal. The reduction of food waste is a topic that Carnival wants to continue to talk to guests about, as it is not only a cruise industry issue, but a global environmental concern.

Additionally, where berth facilities provide shore power capabilities, Carnival cruise ships connect to shore power, enabling them to operate without the use of the ship’s engines while docked in port.

Moving forward, Carnival Cruise Line’s next two new ships, Mardi Gras in 2020, and a yet-to-be-named vessel to follow will be powered by the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel, liquefied natural gas (LNG), a first for a passenger cruise ship in North America. These ships have Advanced Wastewater Treatment systems that treat sewage and water from showers, galleys, laundry and hand wash sinks to levels that exceed most land-based municipal facilities.

Lastly, Carnival Cruise Line is proud of the company’s multifaceted recycling program that includes the following initiatives:

Carnival will continue to recycle all plastic water bottles while exploring options to replace bottled water.

Using reverse osmosis and steam evaporation, Carnival produces nearly 80% of the fresh water used on board from ocean water. The water usage rate averages 60 gallons, per person, per day, vs. the U.S. average of 90 gallons, per person, per day.

Through Carnival’s partnership with Soap Aid and Clean the World, nearly 40 tons of discarded soap bars from their cruise ships will be collected annually, recycled into new soap bars and distributed to vulnerable communities worldwide.

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Ben Souza
Ben Souza
Ben is a world traveler who has visited 40+ countries, taken over 70 cruises. He is one of USA TODAY's experts for their 10Best Readers' Choice Awards. His writings have appeared and been cited in various media outlets such as Yahoo News, MSN, NPR, CNN, Fox, and ABC News. Ben currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. Follow Ben on Instagram. Visit Ben Souza on Linkedin. You may email Ben at [email protected].
Cruise NewsCarnival Cruise LineRecent Changes Made on Carnival Cruises


  1. I am glad to see that Carnival is becoming environmentally conscious, especially after getting fined for illegal dumping from a Princess ship. Hopefully they will include educating passengers about waste reduction and recycling. I always look for recycling bins onboard ships to discard daily bulletins and other paper products.

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