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
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
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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