The QM2 visits Barbados on her Maiden Voyage in 2004.
A human hair in an ice machine, “extremely dirty” water in a pool, chemicals stored near napkins and paper cups and even a few errant cockroaches – these are just a few of the reasons that led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)to slap a rare failing grade on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 after its latest inspection.
CNBC reported The ship scored 84 out of 100 during a Vessel Sanitation Program inspection on June 10, with 86 considered a satisfactory grade. Just last year, in July 2010, the ship sailed through the inspection with a score of 98. The CDC conducts surprise cleanliness exams twice a year.
The report did not state where the inspection took place.
In the detailed report, inspectors cited dozens of violations, including potable water tanks that were improperly maintained, wine and food products that were improperly stored directly on an open deck, and food residue on many surfaces that should have been wiped clean (e.g., a blender lid, steel shelving and even several deck surfaces). The word “filthy” is used in the report five times.
The condition of ice machines came under attack in several instances, included the aforementioned hair (found on an inside white lid) and one machine that had a “heavy amount of soil in the rear inside compartment.”
As for the ship’s unwanted guests, the CDC reported that “four live fruit flies and four adult cockroaches” were found in a storage locker.
Cunard told CNBC, the line contends that the “poor assessment on 10 June resulted largely from one small area of the ship’s overall operation. All the issues raised in the report were immediately addressed and have now been corrected.” In response to the report’s citations of numerous staff lapses, Cunard said, “Ship and shore management have now redefined certain roles and responsibilities to clarify accountability and the company’s already rigorous training schedule has been stepped up.”
Failing grades for ships, particular the larger mega-vessels trawling the seas, are exceedingly rare. In May, Norwegian Epic came close, scoring 89, while Carnival Glory squeaked by with an 87 after a January inspection. But there have been no failing scores since Albatross, a private vessel, earned a 69 in February 2010.
The 151,400 ton vessel is homeport in Southampton, England. It cruises at 28 knots, and can carry 2,620passengers on 12 decks. QM2 was built in 2003.
Meanwhile, Carnival Cruise lines is in hot water, too, but of a different sort.
In Charleston, S.C., preservation and environmental groups sued Carnival Cruise Lines last week, alleging that Carnival Fantasy – which is based in the city – regularly breaks local zoning ordinances, causes a public disturbance and violates environmental laws. In addition, The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that the National Trust for Historic Preservation has warned the city that the growing cruise industry threatens its historic character.
The civil suit– brought by the Coastal Conservation League, the Charleston Preservation Society and the city’s Ansonborough and Charlestowne neighborhoods – is asking the court to find that Carnival Fantasy is illegally docking at Charleston’s Union Pier Terminal.
Last year, Fantasy became the first cruise ship to permanently homeport in Charleston, from which it departs on Caribbean, Bahamas and Bermuda cruises.
The Post and Courier, a Charleston publication, described the lawsuit as the most recent development in an 18-month saga among the city, the state ports, Carnival and the city’s active residential and preservation groups. Cruise ships have sailed seasonally from Charleston in the past, but the 2,056-passenger Fantasy became a permanent resident in May 2010 and is sailing some 70 five-, six- and seven-night cruises in 2011. The embarkation port serves hundreds of thousands who drive to cruisers from the Carolinas and Georgia.
Port officials told Reuters that the cruise industry brings $37 million annually into a three-county coastal region and supports more than 400 jobs.
The suit claims Carnival Fantasy should be subject to the same zoning ordinances as other area accommodations. For instance, the ship exceeds the height limit of 60 feet, and the signature “whale tale” smokestack, which the plaintiffs describe as towering above the city’s historic skyline, violates local sign ordinances. The lawsuit further contends that Fantasy is discharging waste into South Carolina waters without permits required by state pollution control laws.