Before Cruising, Check Your Ship’s CDC Score

While many of us are still not-so-patiently waiting for warmer weather to stick around for more than a day, it might be tempting to check the rates for last-minute cruising.  And the report from a recent bi-annual inspection of cruise ships by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could help narrow down the safest choices. 

According to a recent issue of Fodor’s Travel, twice a year the CDC inspects cruise ships for unsanitary conditions, improperly stored food and other factors that can lead to an increased risk for illness.   Inspectors check everything from the drinking water to the cleanliness of ice machines.  In 2018, eight ships including the Safari Endeavour, Silver Wind, Oceania Insignia, Silver Spirit, Le Boreal, Norwegian Breakaway, the Ocean Dream and the Pacific Venus received an unsatisfactory rating.  The Pacific Venus (Japan Cruise Line) received the lowest rating due to high halogen levels in drinking water, improper filtration in whirlpool spas and improperly stored housekeeping foods, among other infractions. 

The good news if you were thinking twice about every stepping on a cruise ship again, is that most ships receive a satisfactory score from the CDC and 14 ships including the Disney Wonder, The Norwegian Gem and the Royal Caribbean International’s Brilliance of the Seas were given a perfect rating.  

Before booking your next cruise, take a moment to visit the CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program webpage to learn how to stay healthy on your trip, check for outbreak updates and search the cruise ship inspection results.  Travelling on cruise ships exposes guests to not only new surroundings but also high numbers of people which increase the risk for illness.  If you are ill, check with your doctor before travelling and while cruising be sure to wash hands frequently and thoroughly,  get plenty of rest and drink lots of water to prevent dehydration.