The U.S. Public Health Service graded the Carnival Liberty
80 in a Jan. 4 sanitary inspection, the fourth time in three months that a
Carnival Cruise Line ship has received an "unsatisfactory" ranking.
Cruise ships must achieve at least an 86 on a scale of 1 to
100 to be considered satisfactory. A vast majority of ships pass the
inspections, which are typically done twice a year.
The score follows rankings of 78 for the Carnival Triumph,
77 for the Carnival Breeze and 79 for the Carnival Vista in inspections made
The Carnival Liberty report itemizes 71 violations
documented by the inspection team, including "three dead flying insects
inside the deckhead light fixture at the clean side of the dishwash machine."
Carnival said in a statement that the scores aren't
reflective of the priority it places on operational excellence on its ships,
and that immediate corrective action was taken, including a fleet-wide
retraining and continuing education initiative.
The Public Health Service is part of the U.S. Centers for
Disease Control, which administers the inspections through its Vessel
Asked if the run of inspection failures on one line was
unusual, a CDC spokeswoman said the agency does not "routinely evaluate
frequency or trends of specific violations." She said each inspection is "a
snapshot of a particular ship in time."
The spokeswoman said that most ships passed, and provided
data on the failure rate for the past five years.
In 2017, she said, there were 256 routine operational
inspections with 17 failures, for a failure rate of 2.6%.
In 2016 there were 238 inspections with four failures. For
2015 there were 269 inspections with five failures; in 2014 there were 248 inspections
and 12 failures, and in 2013 there were 231 inspections with 15 failures.
Asked if Carnival ships would get additional scrutiny or
systematic inspections following the recent rash of unsatisfactory grades, the
spokeswoman said only that "VSP inspections are unannounced and conducted
while a vessel is in a U.S. port."