Headlines are always popping up about cruise ship sickness. Sometimes there are illness outbreaks and this often brings bad publicity and real economic losses to cruise lines. Just one incident can have a significant impact.
That’s why the US government is actively involved in making sure people stay healthy on their next cruise. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) operates the Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP), which conducts health inspections of the major cruise lines. According to CDC the VSP, “assists the cruise ship industry to prevent and control the introduction, transmission, and spread of gastrointestinal (GI) illnesses on cruise ships.” These inspections are unannounced, so the cruise lines don’t know when they will happen. These are similar to the surprise health inspections that happen at your favorite local restaurants, which are also graded.
The CDC inspects the following areas on cruise ships:
Swimming pools and whirlpools
Galleys and dining rooms
Child activity centers
Scores are based on a 100-point scale. A score of 85 or below is considered NOT satisfactory. If a ship scores 85 or below, they have a chance to correct any issues and receive another inspection. All of the results are published online, so the public can inspect the scores. Be sure to visit the CDC’s Advanced Cruise Ship Inspection Search tool before you choose your next cruise.
The Average Scores of the Major Cruise Lines: