50+ violations found aboard Florida-based MSC cruise ship in recent inspection

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Cruise ship scores low on recent inspection

MSC Seaside scored low on a recent "Vessel Sanitation Program Inspection." Among some of the violations, housekeeping staff failed to clean public vomit and fecal incidents, crew members touching food without washing hands, and no safety sign near the entrance to the pool. MSC said it has taken immediate actions and that it has received high scores across its fleet over the last 20 years.

After a break during the coronavirus pandemic, cruising is finally back, but before you jump on board, you may want to check your ship’s most recent inspection reports. A Port Canaveral-based cruise ship has scored one of the worst ratings in inspection history for the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"We were pretty miserable the whole time," Annamarie Corbin told FOX 35 News. She and her husband were all set for their honeymoon cruise on MSC Seaside traveling from Port Canaveral to Nassau, Bahamas. They left Port Canaveral on April 23 and returned April 27, the same day the CDC inspection was completed. Corbin explained, "There was dried vomit left on the stairwell in front of elevators all week. It had not been touched. There was broken glass left in multiple places of the ship on the floor."

According to the CDC’s website, their Vessel Sanitation Program helps the cruise industry prevent and control illnesses on cruise ships. Inspectors determine how well ships are maintaining sanitation standards.

In the most recent inspection of the ship on April 27, more than 50 deficiencies were documented aboard MSC Seaside, which sails out of Port Canaveral in Florida. It received a failing score of 67, which is below the minimum passing score of 86 out of 100.

"The 67 is the lowest score any ship has received in history," Stewart "The Cruise Guy" Chiron said. FOX 35 found a number of violations listed, ranging from housekeeping failing to clean up public vomit and fecal incidents, crew members failing to wash their hands while preparing food, and no safety sign posted near the entrance of the pool. 

In a statement, an MSC Cruises spokesperson said, "MSC Cruises rigorously adheres to health protocols, and the results of this inspection do not reflect the brand’s high standards. We launched an internal investigation based on the inspector’s concerns and took immediate corrective actions. MSC Cruises is dedicated to ensuring that MSC Seaside provides the experience our guests have come to expect, which has been marked by high scores on this type of inspection for the past twenty years across our fleet."

According to the CDC's website, MSC Seaside scored 92 and 94 in its two previous inspections in February 2019 and April 2018, respectively.

Inspections on MSC's other ships – Armonia, Divina, Lirica, etc. – were scored between 87 and 100, according to the CDC's website, all considered to be passing metrics.

"As a consumer, this is nothing that I would at all be concerned about. It’s not like there’s no pattern. It was a one-off situation. It was one ship. It was one instance and the ship was allowed to sail the same day," Chiron said. Corbin added, "We hope with the failed inspection, that MSC will be able to turn it around."

MSC Cruises did make note of high scores on this type of inspection for the past twenty years across their fleet, telling FOX 35 it has averaged a score of 94.5. 

If you would like to take a look at the full inspection report, click here

For a full list of all inspection reports for cruise ships under the jurisdiction of the CDC's Vessel Sanitation Program, click here.