Those of you who read this blog regularly know that I find lots of information about things that the cruise lines would prefer you not know on Professor Ross Klein’s website called CruiseJunkie.com. A silly name I know, but the information is quite serious if you are interested in accurate information about cruise passengers and crew who disappear under mysterious circumstances, fires and collisions, and disease outbreaks on the high seas. There is no other credible website like this anywhere which tracks such information in the cruise industry.
Yesterday Professor Klein’s website contained information about a gastrointestinal illness (GI) outbreak aboard the Celebrity Infinity cruise ship. He linked to the CDC Vessel Sanitation website which contained a report that 101 of 2086 passengers (4.84%) and 17 of 927 crew (2.05%) have reported ill with gastrointestinal illness. Two CDC Vessel Sanitation Program environmental health officers and an epidemiologist boarded the ship on arrival in Fort Lauderdale on April 1, 2013 to conduct a targeted environmental health assessment and evaluate the outbreak and response activities.
But when I clicked on the link to the CDC information, the website said:
"The page you requested cannot be found at this time. It may be temporarily unavailable or it may have been removed."
So what happened? I don’t know.
Professor Klein questions whether this is a mistake of some sort or whether there is a cover-up at play.
Again I don’t know. But I do know after being a lawyer for 30 years that there is a very cozy relationship between the cruise lines and federal agencies like the CDC whose surprise inspections are hardly a surprise. And last year it became obvious that after Congress passed a law requiring the cruise lines to report crimes to the FBI which had to post the data on a Coast Guard website for the public to view, these federal agencies worked behind the scenes with the cruise lines to cover the crime statistics up.
So what’s up with the CDC posting a GI outbreak and then the information disappearing?
Celebrity has had difficulties with its shipboard sanitation this year with the Summit and the Century failing CDC inspections for health and sanitation.
Is the removal of the report of the outbreak aboard the Celebrity Infinity a mistake or is something else more sinister going on?
I’d like to hear from passengers and crew members whether there was a recent gastrointestinal illness or norovirus outbreak on the Celebrity Infinity? Please let us know.
Am I being overly-suspicious? Maybe so. But I’d rather be paranoid than a naive sap who looks the other way while another federal agency and a cruise line play games behind the public’s back.
April 7 2013 9:30 PM: The CDC report on the Celebrity Infinity has reappeared. Here it is. Celebrity Cruises has the dubious distinction of 2 failed CDC inspections and a GI outbreak for 2013.
Photo Credit: Celebrity Infinity – Wikipedia / Yankeesman312