There are frequent stories about a large number of passengers on a cruise ship becoming ill. If you become ill on a cruise ship, you may want to consult with an experienced cruise ship injury lawyer.
Our office handles cases against Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Norwegian, Carnival, Disney and other cruise lines.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) is designed to prevent and control the spread of cruise ship illness claims and diseases, by implementing regular inspections and regulations.
The VSP inspects cruise ships periodically. It monitors outbreaks and trains crew members on public health practices. Ships sailing out of US ports are inspected at least twice a year. One visit is announced; the other a surprise.
Cruise ship owners pay for the inspections based upon the weight of the ship. Prices range from $1,300 to $15,600 per inspection depending on the ship's size. Inspectors examine the medical facilities, drinking water, swimming pools, food service, childcare centers, hotel services, ventilation and common areas. A final report is prepared and sent to the cruise line.
Ships are graded on a 100 point scale. Points are deducted whenever a safety violation is found. Certain violations are easily fixed immediately, often during the actual inspection. Other more complicated issues may take longer to correct.
If a ship fails an inspection that is deemed to be an "imminent public health risk" that jeopardizes passenger safety, the VSP can recommend that the ship be docked. Imminent public health risks are:
1. Undrinkable water.
2. Unsafe food preparation.
3. Inadequate cleaning equipment.
4. Inadequate waste disposal.
5. An infectious disease outbreak.
If you are about to take a cruise, I urge you to review your ship's annual inspection report. For example, in November, 2012, inspectors gave the "Amadea," a ship operated by the Phoenix Reissen Cruise Line a score of 63 out of 100! It's potable water production system was operating improperly and without appropriate maintenance or inspection. Inspectors also found no water production records for the entire month of November.
Cruise ships can be a wonderful way to travel and see the world. But selecting the correct cruise line and ship can make the difference between having a great vacation or getting sick. Please check out how healthy your ship is before booking your next cruise.
Remember also that if you become ill while on a cruise, don't wait to contact an experienced cruise ship accident attorney. Steven Meyer is an expert in handling civil trial cases, which includes injuries on cruise ships.