More Cruise Ships Fail CDC Inspection

October 3, 2012

Update, 1:25 p.m.: Cruise Critic has learned that a third cruise ship, M/V Yorktown, also failed two recent CDC health inspections. The niche ship, which sails along the Great Lakes, scored a 74 in July and an abysmal 69 earlier this month.

(October 1, 2012) -- One month after Holland America's Veendam failed a CDC inspection, a Blount Small Ship Adventures ship has failed. The 100-passenger Grand Mariner scored a 75 on its September 18 inspection.

Moldy ice-cubers, inadequate monitoring of food temperatures, raw meat stored with nonmeat items, ingredient containers left open, dirty dishwashing sinks and 31 other violations earned the ship the failing score. .

In its report, CDC inspectors documented finding a heavy layer of mold on an ice cuber's plastic shield, as well as pink mold on the cuber's water supply manifold. Inspectors also reported that open food ingredient containers, including baking soda, were left on shelves and that air temperature was not adequately being monitored, resulting in instances of temperatures "far exceeding the specified cold holding temperature of 41 degrees Fahrenheit" – as high as 55 degrees. .

Inspectors also found that stored food equipment, such as slicers, food processors and mixer heads had dried food debris on them. Food debris and grease also were found in the gaps, seams, cracks and crevices in between and on equipment, counters and bulkheads. .

In an official statement, Blount Small Ship Adventures said, "The Grande Mariner recently received a score of 75 on its last VSP inspection which is below an acceptable level to both the program and our company standards. The majority of the deficiencies found were corrected during the ship inspection process. The crew has been reeducated on items related to procedural issues and proper procedures will be followed going forward. Items related to the construction of the vessel will be addressed in upcoming shipyard periods. Blount Small Ship Adventures makes every effort to keep its ships in top sanitary condition at all times and generally meets the guidelines established in the Vessel Sanitation Program."

The ship was previously inspected February 24, 2011, when it scored an 86, the minimum passing score.

--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor