The 5 dirtiest cruise ships in the world

by Christopher Elliott on July 20, 2009

No one wants to be stricken by a nasty gastrointestinal virus on a cruise. So to keep the traveling public informed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention inspects ships and publishes the results. A score of 85 or lower is consider a “fail.”

Some of the ships on this list are obscure charter operators, but others are familiar to anyone who cruises.

So, without further ado, here are the winners … I mean, losers. (I’ve included an excerpt from the report for your reading enjoyment.)

1. TSS Oceanic (also known as the Peace Boat)
Date of inspection: June 26, 2009
Score: 73

There were trays of sliced cold cuts and cheese that were tested at 46-48.6°F in portable refrigeration unit P30. The thermometer in this unit registered 48°F … Side shields were not provided where crew members line up within one meter of food on display … The sneeze shields were too high because of the depth of the tray slides.

2. Pride of Aloha
Date of inspection: Dec. 21, 2007
Score: 78

The backflow prevention device on the soap dispenser was leaking … The large hotel pan of mixed butter had an internal temperature of 45 °F and another large pan of escargot butter had an internal temperature of 45 °F … Hotel pans of raw tuna and raw cod fish were stored on the same shelf and immediately beside a cold-smoked salmon and cream cheese terrine in the walk-in refrigerator of the Garde Manger.

3. MV Clipper Pacific
Date of inspection: July 14, 2008
Score: 84

A sample was collected for an e. coli test for the water bunkered in New York on 07/13/2008 but this sample still had not been tested on 07/14/2008 and the engineer had the sample in his pocket … There were numerous potable water connections throughout the vessel that were not fitted with backflow prevention devices … There were numerous potable water connections throughout the vessel that were not fitted with backflow prevention devices.

4. Amadea
Date of inspection: April 4, 2008
Score: 84

Although medical staff stated that handwashing tips and hygiene information was provided to passengers and crew diagnosed with acute gastroenteritis, this information was handwritten by the medical staff for each case, and no copies were on the vessel for review … Sponges were used throughout the ship in sanitizing solution buckets for wiping following cleaning of food and non-food contact surfaces … The deck at the starboard bar side, beneath the coffee counter was heavily soiled with black tile glue, dirt debris, and there were electrical cords stuck to the deck in the debris which made cleaning difficult.

5. Celebrity Infinity
Date of inspection: Dec. 3, 2008
Score: 85

A travel mug with milk residue, an individual portion size box of cereal and a spoon were stored on the shelf in this room … A food employee was observed tasting food with his finger … A side sneeze shield was not provided on the buffet.

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  • marge

    Eeeeewwww…….very yucky – just another reason I don’t do boats.

  • Wrona

    It’s funny that you list Pride of Aloha because it’s no longer named Pride of Aloha. It’s been reflagged as Norwegian Sky and retested.

  • Alex

    Marge,
    Why no boats? This is no different than a health inspector coming through your favorite restaurant and finding defects. It is just these get posted online.

  • marge

    Hi Alex,
    Dirty/clean – it makes no difference -I just don’t care for cruising!

  • http://www.gettulsaonline.com/ Samuel Peterson

    Oh! It’s horrible, but I do agree with Alex that if it is not posted online so we could not know about this ever.

  • LJ

    Wow….this article is a little inflammatory. Only one of these 5 reports is even current. And anyone can go to the Centers for Disease Control website (www.cdc.gov) and get current inspection reports on every cruise vessel. Of course there are vessels that fail the test….there are also many vessels who pass with flying colors. If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant you know that this kind of stuff goes on all the time on land.

  • Mariner Marge

    My mother owned a cafe when I was a teen, I worked there. We always got high marks because she had worked in restaurants all of her adult life and knew how bad they could be. You can get a bad mark for leaving a pat of butter on a sink board, or silly stuff like that. It’s not going back on someone’s plate but it’s there. She was a stickler for perfection, thank goodness. I always try very hard to get a peek into a kitchen if I can. Some I’ve worked in have been unbelievable. Once a cook/owner actually dropped a chicken fried steak on the floor in front of the grill, picked it up and plated it. I refused to serve it. She cooked another and I got no tip because the meal took longer to be received, of course it’ was my fault right? LOL. Most people would never eat out if they had a clue what goes on in kitchens. A cruise ship kitchen is no different. Don’t let that stop ya from cruising. If that were your only reason then I would hope that you would never eat out again either.

  • http://TRIPSO.COM...5DIRTIESTSHIPS.... LILLIAN WOLFE

    I AM GLAD I GOT TO SEE THAT ARTICLE AS LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING….I CRUISE ALL THE TIME.I LOVE IT.ITS PEACEFUL,AND RELAXING AND THERE IS NO BETTER WAY FOR A WOMAN TO TRAVEL..HOWEVER……I WAS ON THE CARNIVAL SPLENDOR LAST JAN FOR 3 MOS TO SOUTH AMERICA……..IT WASA FABULOUS ITINERARY AS I HAD DONE IT SEVERAL TIMES BRFORE ON HOLLAND LINES WHOM I ADORE……THIS SHIP HAD A BOMB…..8 DEATHS INCL ONE SUICIDE…….FOOD WITH BLUE MOLD ON IT IN THE MORNING………..3000 PASSENGERS………..2000 WERE SICK AND I WAS ONE OF THEM WITH COUGHING AND OTHERS WHO HAD BEEN DIAGNOSED HAD PNEUMONIA AND WHEN THE PASSENGERS BECAME ILL …..THEIR DR HAD RUN OUT OF MEDICATION AND HAD BEEN TELLING THEM TO GET THEIR MEDICATIUON AT A LOCAL PHCY!!! THATS INSANE AS YOU KNOW THEIR RULES AND PRECAUTIONS VARY FROM OURS..IN MEXICO AND OTHER SMALL LOCATIONS ……..WE WERE ALL SO SICK AND NOT ONCE WHEN WE PULLED BACK INTO THE USA DID THE CDC COME ON BOARD.THEY HAD NO IDEA WHAT WAS GOING ON ON THE CARNIVAL, SHIP AS THE DRS AND THE CAPTAIN NEVER REPORTED HOW SERIOUS IT WAS……..AND TO MAKE IT EVEN MORE OF A FARCE….WHEN I CONTACTED THE CDC AND TOLD THEM HOW MANY HUNDREDS OF PASSENGERS WERE ILL..THE SHIP DENIED IT !!! WHEN I WROTE TO CARNIVAL TO SAY THAT IT WAS INCREDIBLE AND DANGEROUS OF THEM TO HIDE ALL THIS SICKNESS AND PNEUMONIA AND WHATEVER WE ALL HAD AND THE MOLD ON THE FOOD….THEIR REPLY TO ME WAS…….ARENT YOU HAPPY YOU NEVER HAD STOMACH POISONING???????!!! IT IS DANGEROUS FOR A CRUISLL;INE NOT TO REPORT THE TRUTH FOR FEAR OF LOSING PASSENGERS……….IT IS CRIMINAL AND I WROTE TO EVERYONE. INCL.THE CDC …THE GOVT….THE NEWS PAPERS AND ALL THE TRAVEL PAPERS AND ALL THE TRAVEL CLUBS I BELOMG TO………I WAS SO UPSET THAT THEY WOULD LIE AND BE SO SNEAKY AND HIDE ALL THAT HAPPENED ON THE SHIP…………THEY ARE A HUGE CRUISE CO AND CAN AFFORD TO DO WHATEVER THEY WISH BUT THE CDC SHOULD NOT HAVE LISTENED TO THEM AND SHOULD HAVE TAKEN THE TIME TO EXAMINE THE SHIP FOR DISEASE AND WHATEVER BACTERIA WAS STILL DORMANT ON THE SHIP……………I SHALL NEVER GET ON ANOTHER CARNIVAL SHOP AGAINAND MY FRIENDS AND ASSOC IN ALL MY CRUISE CLUBS HAVE ALL SAID THE SAME THING……IT MAY ONLY AMOUNT TO A FEW THOUSAND AND NOT HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS BUT THEY HAVE TO CLEAN UP THEIR ACT AND NOT HIDE IT……..WHAT ALSO WAS SO COM,ICAL ……THEY HAD 3000 PASSENGERS….AND A LIBRARY OF 50 BO0OKS FOR A 3 MONTH CRUISE!! THEIR REPLY TO ALL THE PASSENGERS ANGER ???….. WE ARE NOT ACCUSTOMED TO TRAVELLING FOR 3 MONTHS WITH 3000 PASSENGERS AS WE ALWAYS DO, ONE WEEK CRUISES TO MEXICO!!!! WHAT A PILE OF HOGWASH!!!! HOLLAND AND CUNARD ARE SUPERB AS IS SAGA OUT OF BRITAIN……BE CAREFUL WHOM YOU SELECT FOR A LONG CRUISE!!! AND THE SHAME OF IT ALL IS THE CDC ALLOWED THEMM TO HIDE THEIR PROBLEMS SO NOONE KNEW HOW DANGEROUS THIS SHIP WAS TO THEIR HEALTH….. I HAVE RE3PRTED IT TO EVERYONE I COULD THINK OF AS THIS WAS NEVER TO HAVE BEEN ALLOWED ……AND SHOULD HAVE BEEN PLACED ON THE WEB SITE …IT WAS HIDDEN FROM THE WEB SITE AS WELL SO PEOPLE WOULD STILL BOOK……..BE CAREFUL,AND SPEAK TO FRIENDS WHO TRAVEL ALOT.SOMEONE WHIO TAKES A WEEK CRUISE TO MEXICO AND OR THE BAHAMAS IS NO AUTHORUTY ON CRUISE SHIPS……..

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