Tell Cruise Ship Companies to Stop Spewing Filth Into Our Oceans...

Below, find first information regarding the mindless dumping of tons of filthy garbage -- including sewage -- into the oceans, near shore.

That is followed by information on the outbreaks of food and water borne infections related to cruise ships, which is followed by some information of diseases that result from it all...

Lastly, we provide a link to a petition site to sign a petition to protest this practice, but we encourage you to alert others to this problem, and suggest boycotting the worst offenders, if not all cruise ships, which would obviously be in your best interests, particularly when you consider being easy targets for terrorist and pirate attacks and the possibility of contracting any of the following cruise ship "maladies" and who knows what else will emerge as a mutated superbug tomorrow...

  • Legionnaires' disease (Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1),

  • Norovirus and Norwalk viruses,

  • hepatitis A and B,

  • bacterial meningitis,

  • mononucleosis,

  • poliomyelitis,

  • hemorrhagic dengue fever,

  • malaria,

  • diphtheria,

  • rubella,

  • influenza,

  • sexually transmitted diseases,

  • zoonoses,

  • tuberculosis,

  • gastroenteritis,

  • respiratory illnesses and colds,

  • and malarial yellow fever or the deadly hemorrhagic dengue fever on tropical Caribbean cruises, where some islands such as Peurto Rico currently are at epidemic levels (even Key West now has a spreading dengue outbreak)...

From The Petition Site (link is at bottom)...

Even if you don't live near a coast, the cumulative pollution from cruise ships affects us all.

[The Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union] recently singled out AIDA and TUI, two German-based cruise lines, for their harmful environmental impact.

In one day alone, [just one single cruise ship] generates 21,000 gallons of sewage, which is often dumped untreated three miles from shore, as well as one ton of garbage, 170,000 gallons of wastewater, 6,400 gallons of oily bilge water, and 25 pounds of batteries, fluorescent lights, medical wastes, and expired chemicals.

It's time for cruise lines like AIDA and TUI to stop putting profits over the environment. Updating their filtration systems to stop spewing filth into the ocean is a great first step to improving their impact on the environment.

Tell AIDA and TUI to help pave the way to make cruise lines better for our oceans.

The following are excerpts from an Oxford Journal article regarding cruise ship diseases, a link to which follows the excerpts...

Outbreaks aboard cruise ships are of public health importance, given that ships are closed or semiclosed settings in which infection may easily be spread and may be difficult to control. Despite the substantial progress in knowledge of the etiology and management of infectious diseases, there are many reported cases of travel-related illnesses, specifically ship-related, most of which are due to inadequate food handling and water sanitation.

Although many infectious diseases may become evident while on a cruise, only reported cases of infections acquired on cruise ships will be discussed below.

Ships provide an isolated environment that may increase the passenger�s risk of infection if exposed to respiratory viruses. High attack rates of influenza, for example, are typically seen in closed settings such as cruises, military vessels, aircraft, and institutions.

Respiratory illnesses, such as diphtheria, legionnaire�s disease, rubella, and influenza, that have been reported on cruise ships are described in table 2.

Transmission of tuberculosis is airborne, most often by coughing or sneezing. Frequent overcrowding in a confined environment such as on a cruise or during air travel may increase the risk for infection. There are no published reports of the transmission of tuberculosis on board cruise ships [but then, would you expect that to be well publicized information?]. Outbreaks involving crew members and passengers of commercial aircraft present conditions similar to those of cruises and have been documented.

The practitioner on board should be aware of other infectious diseases, such as infectious mononucleosis, poliomyelitis, sexually transmitted diseases, and zoonoses, that may become evident on board a cruise ship. Medical resources for the primary care provider at sea have been published [emphasis: cruise ships staff physicians on board...].

Serological markers for antibodies to hepatitis A and B viruses have been shown among shipboard military personnel in association with Caribbean deployment (hepatitis A) and deployment in the South Pacific and India area. It is recommended that all travelers practice preventive measures and seek vaccinations before departing to foreign lands. Although transmission of malaria on board ships is apparently uncommon, clinicians need to be aware that the clinical manifestation of malaria may become evident during a cruise.

All travelers visiting high-risk environments may help prevent infection by wearing long-sleeved shirts and trousers to avoid exposing their arms and legs. In addition, the proper use of [carcinogenic] insect repellant and chemoprophylaxis is recommended.

Although gastrointestinal and respiratory illnesses were the most common infections implicated in a review article of medical logs from two passenger cruise ships with 7- to 10-day cruises in the Caribbean, one case of bacterial meningitis was also mentioned.

Yellow fever is an often fatal viral disease transmitted by the bite of an infective female Aedes aegypti mosquito. Several other species of mosquitoes are able to transmit yellow fever as well. Although the clinical manifestation may become apparent during a cruise because of the short incubation period of 3 to 7 days, transmission of yellow fever on board contemporary cruise ships is uncommon.

Note on the last point above that the Aedes aegypti mosquito is also the prime carrier of hemorrhagic dengue fever, which for some reason they did not mention... Further, realize that in only the last two years, dengue has morphed from non-existant to infecting an increasing percentage of the population of Key West, where the disease was speculated to have been introduced by an infected cruise ship passenger. Realize that the city employs hazmat-suited workers to walk the city sidewalks to spray for mosquitoes to combat the disease, during pre-dawn hours of course to avoid attention...

This is a link to the Oxford Journal article that was the source of the above excerpts.

Bonus info. This link is to a Wikipedia peice on cruise ships from which we provide the following excerpts dealing with diseases contracted on cruise ships...

Norovirus is the most common cause of gastroenteritis in developed countries and is so widespread that only the common cold is reported more frequently. Symptoms usually last between 1 and 3 days and generally resolve without treatment or long term consequences.

Other pathogens which can colonise pools and spas on cruise ships include Legionella, the bacteriium which causes Legionnaires' disease. Legionella, and in particular the most virulent strain, Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1, can cause infections when inhaled as an aerosol or aspirated. Individuals who are immunocompromised and those with pre-existing chronic respiratory and cardiac disease are more susceptible. Legionnaires' has been associated with cruise ships.

There have been several high profile incidents on cruise ships, including pirate attacks.

"Cruise ships generate a number of waste streams that can result in discharges to the marine environment, including sewage, graywater, hazardous wastes, oily bilge water, ballast water, and solid waste.

They also emit air pollutants to the air and water. These wastes, if not properly treated and disposed of, can be a significant source of pathogens, nutrients, and toxic substances with the potential to threaten human health and damage aquatic life.

It is important, however, to keep these discharges in some perspective, as the waste streams described here are not unique to cruise ships.

However, particular types of wastes, such as sewage, graywater, and solid waste, may be of greater concern for cruise ships relative to other seagoing vessels, because of the large numbers of passengers and crew that cruise ships carry and the large volumes of wastes that they produce.

Further, because cruise ships tend to concentrate their activities in specific coastal areas and visit the same ports repeatedly (especially Florida), their cumulative impact on a local scale could be significant, as can impacts of individual large-volume releases (either accidental or intentional)."

Bonus info. This link is to the CDC website that details Outbreak Updates for International Cruise Ships, however lax they might be in reporting all outbreaks...

And finally, this is the link to the petition site; note that there is a box on the petition form in which you can enter your additional comments, and we would suggest expressing your support for boycotting the worst offenders... Link to petition to "Tell Cruise Ships to Stop Spewing Filth Into Our Pristine Oceans!".

If you have any questions, suggestions, requests, or proposals, you may either send us an email at or leave a comment at the bottom of this webpage.


If a list of our recent posts does not appear below and you would like to peruse the list, just click on this link to see the list.


If you have any questions, suggestions, requests, or proposals, you may either send us an email at or leave a comment at the bottom of this webpage.


If a list of our recent posts does not appear below and you would like to peruse the list, just click on this link to see the list.


Leave a Reply