Last updated: 01:37 PM ET, Thu April 30 2015

Silversea Promises Changes After Failed Ship Inspection

Impacting Travel | Silversea Cruises | Theresa Norton | April 30, 2015

Silversea Promises Changes After Failed Ship Inspection

Silversea Cruises’ Silver Shadow failed a health inspection conducted earlier this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The luxury ship scored an 82 out of 100. The CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) says scores of 85 or lower are “not satisfactory.”

The inspection found 40 infractions, including improper food storage temperatures and records, sneeze guards that failed to fully protect food items on a buffet, and food-service items improperly stored in a location where they could be exposed to dust or other contamination. According to the CDC report, inspectors also found that in-suite whirlpools were disinfected every seven days instead of between occupancies, even when the ship embarked new passengers.

The 382-passenger Silver Shadow entered service in 2000 and has consistently scored in the 90s on its CDC inspections, except for a failure in June 2013. Its last inspection was on Jan. 7, when it scored a 95. The ship scored a 92 last August, 96 last May, and a 97 in August 2013.

“Silversea is deeply disappointed by this unsatisfactory score and takes very seriously its responsibilities for the health and safety of its guests and crew,” the company said in a statement. “All Silversea ships have comprehensive policies and rigorous training programs in place to make certain its staff and crew implement best practices onboard. Silversea has taken measures to ensure that Silver Shadow immediately re-establishes the highest standards in all areas of its operations.”

Meanwhile, several ships earned perfect scores when inspected by the CDC in recent weeks. Scoring 100s were Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Infinity on March 29, SeaDream Yacht Club’s SeaDream I on March 21, and Princess Cruises’ Island Princess on March 6. 

The only other ship to fail the inspection so far this year is the Caribbean Fantasy, operated by America Cruise Ferries out of Puerto Rico to the Dominican Republic and other nearby ports. The ship scored an 84 on Jan. 23. The CDC posts corrective reports when it receives them from the cruise lines, but one from America Cruise Ferries was not yet posted as of April 30.

The VSP inspections were introduced in the early 1970s and are required for all passenger ships that call at a U.S. port. The unannounced inspections are carried out by U.S. Public Health officials twice a year for every cruise ship.

The score, on a scale from one to 100, is assigned on the basis of a checklist involving dozens of areas of assessment, encompassing hygiene and sanitation of food (from storage to preparation), overall galley cleanliness, water, shipboard personnel and the ship as a whole.

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