May 20, 2001
More bad news for Royal Caribbean, for whom June 2001 is clearly going to be a month not-to-remember. While docked in Juneau on Monday, Rhapsody of the Seas accidentally discharged some 200 gallons of laundry wastewater, known in industry parlance as “grey water.” Even worse is the timing; the discharge occurred while U.S. Coast Guard inspectors were actually on board conducting their ritual safety and environmental inspection. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the government agency will go after Royal Caribbean for civil penalties -- the maximum of which is a $25,000 fine -- because the discharge is in violation of new Alaskan legislation, which prohibits dumping of any kind within one mile of shore.
Royal Caribbean issued the usual apology and promised the incident would not reoccur. Rhapsody is the third ship this season in Alaska, which has the toughest environmental rules of any region, to be cited for offenses; others include Norwegian’s Sky and Holland America’s Westerdam.