With the number of cruise ships failing health and safety inspections in 2018, many passengers wonder what exactly goes into a cruise ship inspection? Cruise ships are graded on a scale of 1 to 100, and any score below 86 is considered failing. Cruise ship inspections come unannounced, meaning a cruise ship must be prepared at any given time for an inspection.

Depending on the size of the ship, inspections can last anywhere from between 8 to 10 hours. There are various areas that are inspected on cruise ships, including:

  • Medical facilities on the ship;
  • Food preparation areas and dining areas;
  • Water from source to storage, as well as disinfection and distribution;
  • Recreational activities onboard (i.e. – hot tubs, water parks, fitness centers, swimming pools, etc.) for disinfection, maintenance and safety;
  • Checking the temperatures of food storage areas, the temperature of individual food products, etc.;
  • Employee habits for hand washing, cleanliness and hygiene;
  • Cleaning and sanitizing facilities (i.e. – machines and the temperatures that these are operating at);
  • Poolside, inspectors check pH as well as halogen-based disinfectant levels – usually either chlorine or bromine;
  • Child activity centers- particularly the diaper changing stations, illness and infection control for children, hand washing stations, their toilet rooms, etc.
  • The maintenance and cleaning of the ship’s ventilation system;
  • Inspecting all other common areas of the ship, particularly for pest control management to ensure there is not an infestation.

All cruise inspection reports and scores, as well as the corrective action statements that cruise lines submit after the inspection, are available at cdc.gov. The CDC charges the cost of its inspection to the cruise line based upon the size of the ship. If you are going on a cruise and want to see how well the ship did on its most recent inspection, you can easily search the database.  The CDC failed five of Carnival Cruise Line, the world’s largest operator last year three of which occurred during the height of holiday travel: November and December.

There are some simple health tips passengers can follow to avoid getting sick on a cruise. The most important thing is to wash your hands; this is the No. 1 way to avoid illness on a cruise ship. Also, remember to drink plenty of water. Keeping yourself properly hydrated helps flush out toxins and keeps your immune system running at peak performance. If you see someone getting ill, you should leave the area immediately and report it to cruise staff if they have not already been notified.


If you have been injured on your cruise, on a wet and slippery deck, down a poorly lit staircase or steep gangway, in port on an excursion, or on a tender boat- it is important that you speak as soon as possible with a lawyer who specializes in personal injury claims against cruise lines. Most cruise lines, including CarnivalRoyal CaribbeanCelebrityNorwegianMSCDisneyHolland AmericaPrincess, Costa, Regents Seven Seas and Oceania require that claims against them be pursued in a very specific place under very strict deadlines. Failure to comply with each individual cruise lines deadlines can result in a complete loss of any and all legal rights.

Aronfeld Trial Lawyers is a personal injury firm located in Miami, Florida since 1991.  We have fought hard to hold cruise lines accountable when they put their profits ahead of passenger safety.  We are available 24/7 and encourage you to contact us even if you are still on your cruise. The sooner we can begin our investigation and preservation of key evidence, such as the CCTV footage of your trip and fall, slip and fall, assault or other type of injury the more likely we will be able to understand and prove how the incident occurred. Remember, the cruise lines have the most aggressive and well-funded defense lawyers in the world- protecting their profits.  You need an experienced legal advocate in your corner who will fight to obtain the compensation you deserve for lost wages, medical expenses, transportation reimbursement and pain and suffering.  Call us today and speak with a cruise ship claims lawyer about your potential claim- toll free 1-866-597-4529305-441-0440, or by email. We are ready to help.