A former crew member posted photographs saying that the Liberty of the Seas hid equipment, pots, pans and other items from the galley during an USPH inspection last December. You can see photographs of the galley equipment hidden throughout the ship (primarily in the crew quarter) on our Facebook page.

Two years ago Silversea Cruises crew members came to us complaining that the Silver Shadow was hiding quantities of food and galley equipment from USPH inspections. We gave them the contact information of the USPH which the flunked the ship on the next inspection for intentionally hiding a dozen Liberty of the Seastrolleys of galley items and perishable food in the crew quarters.  

I posed the following inquiry on this blog: How Many Cruise Lines Play Games with USPH Inspectors?

And I asked the following question on Facebook:: Do cruise lines hide pots & pans, galley equipment and food from USPH inspectors?

Of the first 100 crew members who answered the poll (admittedly unscientific), around 90% said yes, cruise lines hide galley items from inspectors. One crew member said: "There will be more equipment in the crew cabin during the inspection then in the galley that’s for sure!!!"

Crew members still tell me that the unsanitary practice is widespread. The Silversea Cruises scandal occurred in 2013 but the cruise line just flunked an inspection this month after the USPH caught the cruise line playing hide and seek games again.

The USPH inspections are rigorous. Crew members are ordered into working additional long hours to try and be ready. A failed score is a major embarrassment for a cruise ships and a kiss of death for a F&B manager. Some cruise lines cut corners and dupe the inspectors.

Have a comment? Please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page. 

May 27, 2015 Update:  Of the last 200 crew members who left a response on our Facebook page, over 180 say that hiding galley items and food on cruise ships from USPH inspectors is common.

Photo Credit: Facebook


  • Ajay Kumar Chauhan

    It is more than that the are hiding in crew cabin and some of the fire locker.

  • John Goldsmith

    Penalties for failure to pass inspection?
    Are they severe enough to hold a ship in port?
    Is the USPH empowered to have the supplies confiscated?
    Is it within their mandate to order the passengers off the vessel?
    If there are no serious consequences to the violations won’t the offenders keep on paying the fines and a cost of doing business?

  • Dilip naik

    it happen olso in Celebrity curiae line, exclusivo te same.

  • Ho Hum

    Kind of odd, but I don’t see how this would affect the health or safety of crew or guests. Heck, I keep my punch bowl and crock pot in the garage…

    Don’t you remember “hiding your stuff” when your parents came to visit you in college?

  • Claudio Cordon

    I worked many years on several Royal Caribbean Cruise Line ships, and this practice was very common on ships where the food and beverage manager was Mr. Melroy Antao. He used to forced us, through his managers, to take old and shabby kitchen items, to the crew cabins, as well to fire lookers (wich is a USCG issue) the night before arriving at any U.S. port. I remember once the cabins of the head-waiters were full of fryers, pots and pans. These items were taken back to the galley again and again until the ship passed the inspection. Everybody on the food and beverage department was aware of this practice, but no one said anything for fear of being fired. Today Mr. Melroy is Hotel Mannager, because his good practice. Patetic Isn’t it?

  • Lavonne Stevenson

    I have read so many bad reviews about RCS it has changed my mind about sailing with this cruise line I also read about sewage being dumped in the ocean unsafely how the food is stored is there anything safe on this ship. As many people that cruise the money being spent on the lines why is so much negativity onboard? The state rooms do I need to inspect that too because your word is not bonded anymore.

  • Withheld

    I have worked for 5 different cruise lines on & off ships and it has been a well known practice on ALL of them…and that since the late 70’s/early 80’s!!!

  • wasi

    Not only do they hide pans pots and trolleys filled with food but they also hide people if u have a cut or a burned hand u are supposed to work but if USPH is on board u are supposed to be hiding in your cabin as the ship loses 5 points bacause of that.

  • anonymus

    The USPH is good for nothing. a ship receiced 100 score but the smell of sewage was unbearable in some parts of the ship that obviously were not checked. the sewage odor in the ship was there for ages, and was reported over the phone to the USPH and norhing happened.
    and yes the story is norhing but true, bran new equipment is prepared to impress the officers but that doesnt necesarily mean the other one is dirty but maybe a little used.

  • kishor

    Sorry to type this message people who dont like any manager can pass any comment on any manager cammon guys dont use this sites to spoil anybodies name as i know melroy was best usph inspecter f&b n the perdon who right this comment was fire for alchohol so please dont spoil the name of our management

  • Anthony Wilson

    Hi I spent close to 15 years on the cruise ships with various Cruise companies, as an Executive Chef! I must say hiding things is not a common practice – however some F&B managers are still unsure about the USPH regulations and I have had many a heated discussion with more than one or two of them! If an item is not fit for USPH inspection then it’s not fit for daily use, most EXEC would also agree and while we all have budgetary constraints all of the hardworking Crew members try their utmost to ensure that all of the daily standards of the USPH and the Companies rigorous standards are met! However we go back to the F&B Managers whom are threatened and bullied into getting a successful score in USPH if not a plane ticket home can await failure- the pressure is not only shipboard starting with the Executive Comittee and of course then we have the dreaded SUPPORT from SHORESIDE, it is no wonder that inexperienced and in some cases ignorant F&B managers fear for their jobs and make some stupid mistakes that put the inspections at jeopardy – however I must say that crew members whom are dismissed or disgruntled should go through the right process of complaint instead of ranting on the Internet! There are thousands of hardworking team members busting a gut to help there families at home by FOLLOWING AND GOING ABOVE AND BEYOND TO ENSURE THAT COMPLIANCE IS MET please do not think that the hiding is a common practice it is an insult to the hardworking men and women in the cruise industry!

  • diana obert

    I was working 5 years forRCCl,on Voyager and Oasis Of The Seas,but i never cary any of the kitchen or restaurant stuff in my cabin.What i remember is cleaning from dusk till dawn,before inspections,having USPH training all the time….For sure angry crewmembers can say so many bad things,but these ships are thecleanest,most well organised restaurants IN THe WORD…Pls do not loose your trust guys,you can go there even if you have allergies,you can go there with your kids,your health is not indanger.Of course there are people playing smart,but not to hide the dirty stuff in crew areas,is too separete the old stuff what has to be thrown away.

  • john pastry chef

    i been working in the rccl for 11 years as a pastry chef in voyager, oasis, jewel and freedom and what can i say the only people who work so hard in the ship is the crew member not the management specially during usph inspection most of the crew work more than 14 hours a day when there is a inspection the company should provide the tools that correspond to the usph but it never happens some times, i working in the galley so i know how safe is the food to eat but i can say that the food in my ship specially the desserts are safe to eat the crew really did a good job when there is a inspection but who usually get the credit is only the management i been blessed to work with some of the best management people in the fleet who really appreciate all the hard works of the crew but some of them are not but if they will say that the food in the rccl are not safe to eat it’s not true the crew work so hard to follow all the right procedure that correspond in the haccp plan of the ship and they take it seriously and i know what is usph inspection in the ship if you fail the inspection you can loose your job also!!!!