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Cunard Line Fails Sanitation Inspection for Queen Mary 2

Cunard Line Logo & Queen Mary 2It’s rare that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gives a failing sanitation grade, so after its most recent inspection of the Queen Mary 2, which is owned and operated by Cunard Line, this result is most shocking. Out of 100, the ship scored a low 84 during a Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) inspection on June 10, missing the satisfactory 86 grade by 2 points.

The CDC conducts surprise inspections of cruise liners twice a year, and the same vessel had a staggering score of 98 last year, while 3 other inspections have resulted in a top 100 score. However, this year, a detailed report included dozens of violations – including chemicals being stored close to paper cups and napkins, tanks of drinking water being improperly maintained, food and wine products improperly stored directly on an open deck, food residue on several surfaces that should be wiped clean (like steel shelving, deck surfaces, the lid of a blender), a human hair in an ice machine, a few wandering cockroaches and ‘extremely dirty’ pool water. The report cited the word ‘filthy’ 5 times.

Aside from the human hair in one of the ice machines, another one of the machines had a large amount of soil in the compartment on the rear side. The report also mentioned a storage locker having 4 adult cockroaches and 4 live fruit flies inside.

Cunard Line told Cruise Critic in a statement that this was an ‘uncharacteristically low score,’ and the company contests that the poor inspection on June 10 was the result of one small area of the overall operation of the ship. All the problems raised in the report were addressed immediately and have been corrected now. The report also cited numerous staff lapses. The cruise line says that shore and ship management have redefined certain responsibilities and roles to staff to clarify accountability, while the company’s rigorous training schedule has been increased. Cunard is confident that the failings cited in this report won’t occur again and that the VSP scores for the ship in the future will be at a consistently high level.

Cruise Critic editor in chief Carolyn Spencer Brown says that the kind of violations found on the Queen Mary 2 are unacceptable – particularly the dirty water in the pool. She has been recording CDC scores for 14 years, and this is irregularly bad. The word ‘filthy’ being used 5 times really bothered her. However, she says that cruisers shouldn’t have second thoughts about sailing on the Queen Mary 2, as it’s probably the cleanest ship right now after this report.

These aren’t the only bad sanitation scores that have been handed to cruise ships. Although there haven’t been any as bad as the Albatross‘s 69 points in February 2010, the Norwegian Epic scored an 89 in May, while the Carnival Glory scored an 87 in January. However, 16 ships have gotten perfect 100s this year.

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