Viking Star, Viking’s first ocean cruise ship, earned the perfect score during the ship’s second ever inspection. (The ship scored a 94 on the first one) Although the inspection took place on October 15, the CDC just recently posted the perfect score on their website.
To earn a 100 score, cruise ships must receive perfect marks on all 44 items that comprise the U.S.P.H.’s comprehensive Vessel Sanitation Program checklist. The unannounced inspections, which are conducted twice a year and required for any cruise ship with an international itinerary calling at a U.S. port, evaluate vessels in a wide variety of areas, including adherence to proper food handling, preparation and storage procedures, and overall galley cleanliness.
A cruise ship’s potable water supplies used in spas and pools are evaluated as well. A score of 85 or below is considered a failing score.
Depending on the size of the cruise ship, one to four inspectors examine the ship to see if it complies with the public health standards found in the current VSP Operations Manual. Inspections usually take 8-10 hours, depending on the number of inspectors, ship size, and issues identified during the inspection.
Inspectors provide public health guidance to cruise ship staff when standards are out of compliance. At the end of inspections, inspectors write a report describing inspection findings and recommendations.
Viking Star is now one of 17 cruise ships to earn a perfect 100 health score in 2018.
Viking Star is currently sailing cruises out of the Cruise Capital of the World, PortMiami. The ship is sailing cultural seven night cruises to Cuba with port stops in Cienfuegos (overnight) and Sanitago de Cuba. The cruise ship will head back to Europe at the end of February.