Praise is in order for SeaDream I and MSC Lirica, the latest ships to receive perfect scores -- of 100 -- from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's stringent Vessel Sanitation Program. Both ships earned the high marks during December.
When it comes to onboard cleanliness in general, cruise lines have been maintaining a high standard over the past half year. In fact, no ship has failed an inspection in over six months (anything less than an 86 is considered a failing score) -- since the West Coast expedition ship Nautilus Explorer earned a paltry 74 on June 24, 2007.
Other ships earning the impressive 100 the past few months include:
Through its Vessel Sanitation Program, the CDC -- a United States agency that monitors a range of issues relating to public health -- inspects cruise ships with foreign itineraries that call on U.S. ports and that carry 13 or more passengers. Cruise ships are subject to inspections twice a year. The inspections are conducted to ensure that vessels are maintaining adequate levels of sanitation and to provide guidance to vessel staff when needed.