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Modern cruise lines have commendable sanitation records,  but it never hurts to find out the record of the ship you are considering for a cruise.  Read our article to find out how. 

 

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Travel Advice/Travel Tips -  The Center for Disease Control and cruise ship monitoring

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) assists the cruise vessel industry by conducting the Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP).

  • The VSP is aimed at preventing the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases  into the United States and the CDC monitors cruise vessels as part of that responsibility. 
  • In addition, the CDC assists the cruise ship industry in developing and implementing comprehensive sanitation programs to protect the health of passengers and crew aboard cruise vessels.
  • The sanitation programs are aimed at minimizing the risk for gastrointestinal diseases.

 

Every vessel that has a foreign itinerary, carries 13 or more passengers, and calls on a U.S. port is subject to un-announced, twice yearly inspections by VSP staff. 

  • The ship is reviewed in a 100 point program and must score 86 or above to pass.
  • If the ship fails an inspection, it will be requested to rectify the problem immediately and will be re-inspected within 30 to 45 days.

Inspections are conducted by Environmental Health Officers who check:

  • Water supply and distribution systems
  • Spas and pools
  • Food and food preparation areas
  • The potential for contamination of food or water
  •  The practices and personal hygiene of crew members
  • The general cleanliness and physical condition of the ship
  • The ship's training programs in general environmental and health practices

 nspection scores are published on the VSP website (http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/vsp/default.htm ). In addition, the scores are published every month in the Summary of Sanitation Inspections of International Cruise Ships, commonly referred to as the green sheet.

If you are considering a cruise, be sure to check the record of the ship you are considering traveling on by inspecting its sanitation scores at the VSP Website.

 

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