3 Luxury Ships Achieve Flawless Cleanliness Ratings from the CDC

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By Car Brand Experts


Suppose you’ve taken a voyage on MSC Seashore, Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas, or Norwegian Sky in the last month. In that case, you’ve experienced one of the most pristine vessels in the business.

msc seashore aerial exterior
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MSC Seashore (Photograph provided by MSC Cruises)

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently granted these three ships perfect ratings of 100% under its Vessel Sanitation Program. Similarly, Holland America’s Koningsdam and Carnival Liberty secured outstanding scores of 98%, while Sapphire Princess and Disney Wish achieved a rating of 95%.

The CDC’s US Public Health Vessel Sanitation Program carries out surprise examinations on cruise ships regularly, assigning scores ranging from 0 to 100. Anything below 85 is deemed unsatisfactory.

A flawless rating demands exceptional performance in all 44 categories, covering aspects such as food management, onboard staff, water purity, kitchen cleanliness, and the overall condition of the ship. These abrupt inspections can last from 8 to 10 hours, with the duration depending on the ship’s size and the number of inspectors present.

CDC assessments are compulsory for all passenger ships that visit US harbors and are conducted twice annually.

Meeting CDC Inspections is a Challenge

port of palm beach margaritaville at sea paradise
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(Photograph from the Port of Palm Beach)

Acing these inspections is no small feat. Last May, Margaritaville at Sea Paradise and MSC Seaside flunked routine examinations. Paradise scored 83%, narrowly missing the passing grade by just two percentage points. The comprehensive report from the agency identified 65 issues, such as crowded recreation water facilities, malfunctioning kitchen equipment, and improper storage methods.

On the other hand, MSC Seaside garnered a much lower rating of 67%, with concerns revolving around food preparation, storage, inventory management, crew records, and more.

Has Your Luxury Vessel Met CDC Criteria?

Cruise ship departing from a modern city's port at sunset, heading towards the British Virgin Islands.
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(Photograph courtesy of NCL)

If you have an upcoming cruise, you may be curious about how it measures up against CDC’s hygiene benchmarks. You can access your ship’s performance data by searching for it on the agency’s website using the Advanced Cruise Ship Inspection Search. Simply select your ship from the dropdown list, and the website will present your vessel’s ratings.

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