February 12, 2002
Amidst all the hoopla and superlatives surrounding the debut of Sea Dream II, the transformed Sea Goddess into a sleek, upscale and contemporary 100-passenger yacht-style cruise ship, there’s a little shadow. The ship, which, like sister (and not yet refitted Sea Dream I) will home port this winter in St. Thomas, failed its inaugural CDC Vessel Sanitation Inspection, garnering a score of 82. Passing is an 86. Violations included hazardous food temperatures and storage procedures, along with unclean food surfaces but spokesman Ernie Beyl says “we have hired health experts to help us correct the problems. We’re working on that right now and will be fixed within the next few days. No question, we’ll be ready for the next inspection.” Ship officials have submitted a “corrective action response” and are, according to CDC spokesman, eager for a reinspection.
In the meantime, the ship is earning kudos for its refit, which includes the addition of flat screen tvs and CD/DVD systems in cabins, on-deck massage, and a fully stocked do-it-yourself 24 hour pantry for any passengers with hunger pangs. The ship is now on charter; it’s first sailing for independent travelers begins March 23.
Incidentally, Sea Dream II’s CDC score wasn’t the only one to raise a few eyebrows. Holland America, whose ships typically rank in the 90 point range, has Noordam on the failing list with a score of 82. This is the first time since 1997 that Noordam has scored anything less than a 93. Primary infractions concerned maintenance of the onboard water system (there wasn’t enough chlorine in the system).
Both ships will be reinspected within 30 days.