The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) has published a failing grade for the Carnival Liberty, from an inspection dated January 4. The ship scored an 80, six points below the 86 point minimum needed to pass, marking the fourth Carnival Cruise Line ship to receive a failing score in three months. A Carnival representative tells Travel Agent that it has taken immediate corrective action, fleetwide.
The CDC report found 40 violations, including problems with the microbial bunkering test log, late reporting of a nonfood handler suffering gastrointestinal symptoms, and problems with the system for ensuring that milk and creamer carafes at the buffet coffee station were rotated out within four hours. The full report is available here.
“The recent inspection scores are not indicative of the utmost importance we place on operational excellence aboard our vessels,” a Carnival Cruise Line representative tells Travel Agent. “We appreciate the efforts of the U.S. Public Health Vessel Sanitation Program.”
Three more Carnival ships have received failing grades in recent months. The Carnival Triumph received a score of 78 during an inspection that took place in November; Carnival Vista received a score of 79 December 2; and Carnival Breeze received a score of 77 during an inspection that took place December 10. Following corrective action by the cruise line, the Carnival Triumph received a passing score of 98 during a re-inspection that took place January 6.
“We have taken immediate corrective action, not only for the items reported, but also in providing widespread and intensive re-training and continuing education to all levels of our shipboard team members across the fleet,” Carnival said. “Our shoreside and shipboard teams are engaged and focused on ensuring that our shipboard operations are held to the highest standards and that our teams deliver an exceptional experience to our guests.”
Carnival said that, historically, the line has had an exemplary record of inspections under the programs, which it funds in partnership with other cruise operators. Carnival Glory and Carnival Pride received scores of 99 and 95, respectively, in recent inspections.
“We anticipate re-inspections in the near future for Carnival Breeze, Carnival Vista and Carnival Liberty and are confident that the noted issues have been fully addressed,” the line said.
The Vessel Sanitation Program assists the cruise ship industry in preventing and controlling the spread of gastrointestinal illnesses, such as norovirus. Any score below an 86 out of 100 is considered a failing grade.