Cruise Critic is reporting that three cruise ships recently failed inspection by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The cruise ships are the Celebrity Summit, Princess Cruises' Golden Princess and the SeaDream II.
Take a moment and read the actual CDC reports of these ships. They are disgusting.
You can understand how easily norovirus and other gastrointestinal viruses can spread after reading about cooks and food handlers working while they are suffering from acute gastrointestinal symptoms. The monitoring of water treatment on some of these cruise ships is spotty and there was even one ship using a reverse osmosis system (which is suppose to be used only when the ship is underway) that was sucking up nasty water in the ports.
The report for the Celebrity Summit is here. You will read about several crew members, including food handlers, who were suffering from acute gastrointestinal (referred to as AGE) symptoms but were still working, including handling food. The gastrointestinal surveillance logs were not being completed. There were widespread dirty and greasy conditions with flies and insect droppings in the bars and galleys.
The report for the Golden Princess is here. The Princess Cruises ship also had crew members with acute gastrointestinal symptoms continuing to work throughout the day even though they were obviously ill in the morning. An assistant buffet steward was suffering from GI problems but worked the buffet from 9:30 Am and did not report to the ship infirmary until 4:00 PM. There were inadequate reports regarding potable water facilities. The ship had dirty and soiled areas, including the signature Princess restaurant Sabatini's.
The report for the Sea Dream Yacht Club's Sea Dream II is here. This is the ship that was operating its water system continuously, including at port, and had been doing so for years. There were also dirty and unsanitary conditions noted.
The next time there is a norovirus outbreak and the cruise line instantaneously blames the passengers for not washing their hands, there may be a lot more to the story.
March 27, 2013 Update: In reading cruise expert Professor Ross Klein's website, I realized that Cruise Critic omitted another failed CDC score by the Caribbean Fantasy operated by America Cruise Ferries. You can read the report here. The deficiencies include failing to maintain acute gastrointestinal sickness logs, potable water deficiencies, galley and potwash cleaning shortcomings, and the failure to maintain cleaning equipment in proper order including several dish-washing machines and conveyors which had been not in proper condition for over a year.
Celebrity Summit - Wikipedia / Yankeesman312