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  • Writer's pictureJason Leppert

What Cruise Ship CDC Inspection Scores Really Mean

Passenger health and safety is of paramount concern to cruise lines, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-conducted inspection results tell the most detailed story of individual cruise ship compliance with sanitation regulations.

These United States Public Health inspections are part of the Vessel Sanitation Program implemented in the 1970s as required of all passenger ships that make berth in the U.S. Each ship is subject to inspection twice annually, and the evaluations are unannounced. Rankings follow a scale of one to one-hundred, with 100 being perfect and 85 or below considered failing.

Zones that are carefully screened by one to four inspectors depending on the vessel size, according to the CDC website, are medical facilities, potable water systems, swimming pools and whirlpool spas, galleys and dining rooms, child activity centers, hotel accommodations, ventilation systems and common areas of the ship. Criteria are assigned point values, and any violations deduct from 100.

If a ship should fail an inspection, it is required to correct violations “with

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