MIAMI - Carnival Cruise Line took top honors in two categories in USA Today's 10Best Readers' Choice Awards, earning accolades for "Best Cruise Line" and "Best Cruise Ship For Dining" (Carnival Breeze).
The awards were based on nominations from a team of cruise industry experts and the winners were determined by an online vote by USA Today readers.
Carnival earned "Best Cruise Line" honors for its affordable, high quality vacation experience that offers a variety of onboard features and facilities, from the exclusive Seuss at Sea program in partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises to luxurious spas and hilarious comedy shows at the Punchliner Comedy Club presented by George Lopez.
Carnival Breeze was named "Best Cruise Ship For Dining" for its wide range of tantalizing culinary options, including Bonsai Sushi, the elegant Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse, the Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant, and hand-crafted burgers and fries at Guy's Burger Joint developed in tandem with Food Network star Guy Fieri.
"Receiving this recognition is a wonderful validation of all the hard work our shipboard and shoreside teams put into providing our guests with fun, memorable vacations, which, of course, includes offering an array of delicious dining choices that are considered a highlight of a Carnival cruise," said Christine Duffy, Carnival's president. "We would also like to thank our travel agent partners for their support in sharing the myriad benefits and exceptional value of cruise vacations with their clients," she added.
Carnival Corporation's New Sustainability Report Highlights Key Environmental and Social Initiatives
Carnival Corporation & plc released its 2014 Sustainability Report in December detailing the company's sustainability efforts across its 10 cruise line brands, including its 2020 sustainability goals. The sustainability report was prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 "core" level, and a full copy can be downloaded from Carnival Corporation's site.
"As the largest cruise company in the world, with healthy oceans and seas core to our operations and with most of our employees living and working at sea, the very essence of our business is built on sustainable and transparent practices," said Bill Burke, chief maritime officer for Carnival Corporation. "Our goal is to make sure our 11 million annual guests have a great vacation experience, and to maintain a positive and thriving workplace for our employees. We maintain this commitment by keeping our guests and crew members safe, providing extraordinary customer service, protecting the environment in which we work and live, hiring great employees passionate about their work, having positive relationships with our suppliers and other stakeholders, enhancing the port communities our ships visit and the communities where we work, and maintaining our fiscal strength. These core values are among the cornerstones to our success as a business."
As highlighted in the report, Carnival Corporation has established 10 goals for reducing its environmental footprint over the next five years, while enhancing the health, safety and security of its guests and crewmembers, and ensuring sustainable business practices among its brands, business partners and suppliers. Three of the 10 goals focus on developing, deploying and operating exhaust gas cleaning systems for clean air emissions, increasing cold ironing capacity and further reducing the intensity of equivalent carbon dioxide emissions (CO2e). View Carnival Corporation's 2020 sustainability goals infographic here.
Carnival Corporation announced in November 2014 that it had met its corporate goal to reduce its rate of CO2e emissions from shipboard operations by 20 percent – a year ahead of its initial plan. After meeting its initial goal a year ahead of schedule, Carnival Corporation has renewed its goal to continue reducing the rate of CO2e emissions – also known as greenhouse gas emissions - by 25 percent from its 2005 baseline.
This renewed goal for 2020 extends and reinforces the company's aggressive initiative to further reduce the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions. As part of the effort, the company and its 10 global brands have developed strategic energy reduction and conservation initiatives, many of which exceed current laws and regulations.
Sustainable Practices Highlighted in Report
Recently the company announced its four next-generation cruise ships to be built for Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises will be the first in the industry to be powered at sea by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), the world's cleanest burning fossil fuel. Pioneering a new era in the use of low carbon fuels, these new ships will use LNG to generate 100 percent of the ship's power both in port and on the open sea – an innovation that will significantly reduce exhaust emissions to help protect the environment and support overall sustainability initiatives.
In 2014, the company released its Business Partner Code of Conduct and Ethics to help business partners within the supply chain to more fully understand and comply with Carnival Corporation's expectation for legal compliance and ethical behavior. This includes the areas of labor and human rights, environmental protection, business integrity and health, safety and security.
In June 2014, the Carnival Foundation donated $2.5 million over a five-year period to The Nature Conservancy, one of the world's leading conservation organizations, to advance the preservation of the world's oceans and seas. Carnival Corporation's support to The Nature Conservancy will significantly accelerate coral reef restoration initiatives, enhance the value of marine ecosystem services through the Mapping Ocean Wealth program and continue to advance important science that shows how natural systems can help reduce risks to coastal communities from storms and rising sea levels.
In June 2015, the company introduced Fathom, a new brand pioneering a new travel category called impact travel, which is built around mindful, purpose-driven activities and programs that enable guests to make a real sustainable impact in the communities to which the company travels. In 2016, Fathom will make its maiden voyages to two vibrant Caribbean destinations - Cuba and the Dominican Republic - each with different cultures and each with different objectives, but both with common dreams for the well-being of their people.
Additional Sustainable Initiatives
In addition to these initiatives, Carnival Corporation and its 10 brands implement extensive measures to deliver on the corporate commitment to continue to keep guests and crewmembers safe and comfortable, protect the environment, develop and provide opportunities for its workforce, strengthen its stakeholder relations and enhance the communities in which the company visits and operates. These efforts are detailed in the 2014 sustainability report – highlights include:
- Spotlighting Carnival Corporation & plc Board Member Debra Kelly-Ennis for her leadership and board membership since 2012.
- Designing and developing an industry-first Maritime Security Training Program in the Philippines in 2013 and 2014. The program was launched in January 2015. Corporate Security standards require all new security guards to attend the certified training program prior to joining a company ship.
- Focusing on hiring and retaining a team of diverse, highly motivated and engaged employees, a key factor in delivering vacation experiences that exceed guests' expectations. The company placed a number of executives into new roles during the year, including five brand presidents and several executive operations and staff roles.
- Taking more than 10.6 million guests on vacation across 100 ships in 2014. Over 3.4 million of them were first-time cruisers.
In September 2015, the Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI), the global leader in developing insights and creating collaborative sustainability solutions for business, published its "GEMI Quick Guide on Materiality". A materiality case study from Carnival Corporation was part of the guide. The guide is designed to help corporations understand materiality and its relationship to sustainability, and to recognize the importance of materiality in defining an appropriate sustainability strategy.
In November 2015, Carnival Corporation was identified as a leader for the quality of climate change-related information that it has disclosed to investors and other stakeholders through CDP, the international nonprofit organization that drives sustainable economies. Carnival Corporation was awarded a position on the FTSE 350 and the S&P 500 Climate Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI), recently released in the United Kingdom and S&P editions of CDP's annual global climate change reports. Carnival Corporation has earned its position on the index by disclosing high quality carbon emissions and energy data through CDP's climate change program. The reported data has been independently assessed against CDP's scoring methodology and marked out of 100. Those organizations graded within the top 10 percent constitute the CDLI. Carnival Corporation received a score of 99.