Do you want to take a cruise but you’ve heard horror stories about ‘cruise cough’, norovirus and other dirty diseases that you may catch from a floating petri dish?
Well, fear not! I’ve put together a list of the world’s cleanest cruise ships!
So, grab your rubber gloves, your antibacterial wipes, and your sense of adventure, because we’re about to explore the top-tier, pristine, and unblemished corners of the cruising world. Hold onto your mops, folks, it’s about to get squeaky clean up in here…
Where this data comes from
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) runs a Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) that helps cruise ships to prevent the spread of illnesses on cruise ships.
As part of the VSP, every cruise ship is inspected for hygiene twice per year. The inspections are unannounced and so thorough that they take a team of two to five inspectors between six and eight hours to complete.
The inspections look at medical facilities, drinking water, swimming pools and spas, kitchens and dining rooms, child activity centres, cabins, ventilation systems and common areas of each ship.
During an inspection, each cruise ship is scored on a 100-point scale. Any score of 85 or below is counted as a fail.
Which cruise ships are the cleanest?
21 cruise ships achieved a perfect score of 100 in their latest Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) inspections. 5 of these ships were Disney cruise ships, meaning that every ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet is spotlessly clean.
With such a great attention to detail when it comes to cleanliness, we can say that Disney cruise ships are the cleanest of all.
List Of The Cleanest Cruise Ships
In the most recent VSP inspections, 21 cruise ships scored a perfect 100 out of 100 for cleanliness. These are show in the table below along with links scores in previous inspections for those ships.
|Cruise Ship||Cruise Line||Date|
|Celebrity Edge||Celebrity Cruises||4/17/2023||All Scores|
|Disney Fantasy||Disney Cruise Lines||3/22/2023||All Scores|
|Silver Moon||Silversea Cruises Ltd||3/13/2023||All Scores|
|Rotterdam||Holland America Line||3/8/2023||All Scores|
|Norwegian Pearl||Norwegian Cruise Lines||3/3/2023||All Scores|
|Oceania Riviera||Oceania Cruises||3/2/2023||All Scores|
|Carnival Sunshine||Carnival Cruise Lines, Inc.||2/23/2023||All Scores|
|Celebrity Summit||Celebrity Cruises||2/15/2023||All Scores|
|Allure of the Seas||Royal Caribbean International||2/12/2023||All Scores|
|MSC Seascape||MSC Cruise Management (UK) Ltd||2/5/2023||All Scores|
|Celebrity Millennium||Celebrity Cruises||2/3/2023||All Scores|
|Carnival Celebration||Carnival Cruise Lines, Inc.||1/18/2023||All Scores|
|Disney Wonder||Disney Cruise Lines||1/13/2023||All Scores|
|Carnival Panorama||Carnival Cruise Lines, Inc.||1/7/2023||All Scores|
|Disney Magic||Disney Cruise Lines||12/9/2022||All Scores|
|Wonder Of The Seas||Royal Caribbean International||11/20/2022||All Scores|
|Carnival Magic||Carnival Cruise Lines, Inc.||11/19/2022||All Scores|
|Disney Wish||Disney Cruise Lines||11/18/2022||All Scores|
|Symphony of the Seas||Royal Caribbean International||10/29/2022||All Scores|
|Viking Star||Viking Ocean Cruises||10/14/2022||All Scores|
|Mein Schiff 1||TUI Cruises GmbH||10/7/2022||All Scores|
This data is accurate as of May 10 2023. More ships may have been inspected since then. You can see the latest statistics here.
How clean are cruise ships?
Cruise ships, like any large public space, vary in cleanliness. However, it’s important to note that cruise ships are subject to stringent sanitation standards that are regularly monitored and enforced.
In the United States, for example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) operates the Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP). It’s worth noting that most cruise ships score well above the passing mark.
However, despite these strict standards and regular inspections, outbreaks of illness can still occur on cruise ships, most commonly gastrointestinal illnesses like norovirus. These outbreaks are usually well-publicized, but they are relatively rare considering the number of people who take cruises every year.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, cruise lines implemented even more stringent cleaning and sanitation procedures, including more frequent cleaning of public areas, use of electrostatic sprayers with disinfectant, enhanced air filtration systems, and policies to encourage physical distancing and hand hygiene.
Despite this, people still catch covid on cruise ships, which is why you’ll see that many crew members still opt to wear masks. I have had covid twice, and both times I fell ill upon returning from a cruise.
How long does it take to clean a cruise ship?
Regular daily cleaning, which includes tasks like tidying up cabins, cleaning public areas, and maintaining dining rooms is an ongoing process that crew members work on around the clock.
On turnaround day (the day when one set of passengers disembarks and a new set embarks), a deeper cleaning takes place. This typically includes more thorough cleaning of cabins, including changing linens, deep cleaning bathrooms, and vacuuming.
On turnaround day, public spaces, including dining rooms and entertainment venues, are also cleaned more intensively. For a large cruise ship, this process typically takes several hours and involves a large team of cleaning staff.
After a cruise ship has been in service for a while, it will occasionally undergo a dry dock, which is a period of several weeks when it’s taken out of service for maintenance and deep cleaning.
During this time, everything from the engines to the carpets can be cleaned, repaired, or replaced. This could take anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months depending on the extent of the work being done.
In the case of an outbreak of illness on board, such as norovirus, a ship will undergo an intensive disinfection process. This could take 24 to 48 hours and involves cleaning all surfaces with strong disinfectant.
The Bottom Line
And there you have it, fellow voyagers – the cleanest cruise ships on the high seas! From gleaming decks to sparkling staterooms, these maritime marvels are the epitome of cleanliness and safety, setting the gold standard for the industry.
But let’s not forget, while these ships may top the list, the vast majority of cruise ships out there are committed to providing a clean, healthy, and safe environment for their guests. With stringent sanitation practices, regular inspections, and a dedicated crew tirelessly working around the clock, you’re in good hands when setting sail on your dream cruise.
So, whether you’re cruising on one of these squeaky-clean superstars or another vessel in the vast and varied fleet of cruise ships worldwide, rest assured that your well-being is a top priority.
Yes, cruise ship cleanliness is taken very seriously, and the proof is in the pudding… or perhaps, in this case, the buffet line.
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