Cruise NewsCruise Lines with the Cleanest Cruise Ships

Cruise Lines with the Cleanest Cruise Ships

Twice a year, each cruise ship that sails to or from a U.S. cruise port goes through an unannounced public health inspection. This inspection, which applies to all cruise lines, is done by the Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) to determine how well the ships are operating and to the check the sanitation standards on board.

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During the inspections, all major areas of the ship are inspected including medical facilities, portable water systems, swimming pools and hot tubs, galleys and dining rooms, child activity centers, hotel accommodations, ventilation systems, and common areas of the ship.

To receive a perfect 100, the ship must receive perfect marks on all 44 items on the USPH’s Vessel Sanitation Program checklist. A score of 85 or below is considered a failing score.

In the first six months of 2017, 22 cruise ships have received a perfect 100 score. Which cruise lines have fared the best?

We took last health score from each cruise ship and averaged them together to see which cruise lines averaged the highest scores from their last health inspection.  Here are the results:

  • 100 – Disney Cruise Line (all four of Disney’s ships have scored a perfect 100 on their most recent health inspection)
  • 98 – MSC Cruises (MSC currently has one cruise ship, MSC Divina, sailing to and from a U.S. port. The ship scored a 98 on the most recent inspection)
  • 97.22 – Celebrity Cruises
  • 96 – Crystal Cruises
  • 95.6 – Azamara Club Cruises
  • 96.21 – Holland America Line
  • 95.83 – Princess Cruises
  • 95.69 – Norwegian Cruise Line
  • 95.08 – Royal Caribbean
  • 94.64 – Carnival Cruise Line
  • 94 – Viking Ocean Cruises
  • 94 – Cunard Line
  • 93.75 – Regent Seven Seas Cruises
  • 93.2 – Oceania Cruises

It is worth nothing that cruise lines that have cruise ships which do not visit a U.S. cruise port are not included in the results since the VSP does not inspect them.

Because of this, Viking Ocean Cruises and MSC Cruises have had just one ship inspected over the past year.

To see how a particular cruise ship has fared during recent inspections, visit the Vessel Sanitation Program over at

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Ben Souza
Ben Souza
Ben is a world traveler who has visited 40+ countries, taken over 70 cruises. He is one of USA TODAY's experts for their 10Best Readers' Choice Awards. His writings have appeared and been cited in various media outlets such as Yahoo News, MSN, NPR, CNN, Fox, and ABC News. Ben currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. Follow Ben on Instagram. Visit Ben Souza on Linkedin. You may email Ben at [email protected].
Cruise NewsCruise Lines with the Cleanest Cruise Ships


  1. That’s a waste. Try checking the rooms. I stopped cruising because the rooms began to get dirty to grungy. The staff doesn’t have enough time to clean. I’m not writing about the fancy ones that cost a lot-I’ve never seen one- because I can’t afford those but the inside and outside cabins that have no balcony. You know the cabins I mean, the ones whose guests are not invited to special dinners on the first dinner or to special events during the cruise. I would just like a clean room, especially the rug, and not be nickeled and dimed like the first cruise I took back in the 1990’s. I remember that Celebrity cruise to Burmeda on the Horizon fondly.

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