Cruise Ship Fails Health Inspection After Brown Water Runs From Shower and Flies Found on Bagels

The Carnival cruise ship Fantasy failed a recent inspection by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Vessel Sanitation Program after officials found, among other things, brown water in the showers and dead flies on the food.

The ship received a rating of 77 out of 100 in its report, below the 85 required to pass an inspection. There were 45 items highlighted by the report, each of which outlined a problem uncovered by the inspectors during their time aboard the cruise ship.

"The inspector noted brown water discharged from two shower hoses in the medical center," the report from the inspection on July 18 stated. "Medical crew reported these shower hoses were not used often. A crew member confirmed that they see brown water in their shower that is used at least twice daily."

Inspectors recommended that there be a thorough investigation into the cause of the brown water and that all potable water be retested.

A member of nonfood staff with "onset of acute gastroenteritis" did not report their symptoms to the medical center for more than nine hours, and continued to work during that time.

There were several issues around the preparation and serving of food on Carnival's Alabama-based Fantasy cruise ship, which can carry 2,056 guests and 920 crew, and is 825 feet in length.

"During breakfast service, three large bowls of bagels and sliced bread were out for self-service with flies on the food. There were not less than 15 small flies on the bagels and bread. These items were discarded," the inspection report said.

In the fish preparation area: "Water was leaking from the deckhead between the handwashing station and the food preparation counter. In addition, there was another deckhead leak falling on the adjacent preparation counter."

On the clean storage racks "at least six bowls and cups were slightly to heavily soiled with food debris. The sign above the racks stated that it was the clean utensil area. Staff stated that they check the utensils before sending to the buffet lines."

In another item from the report: "A staff member was separating clean from soiled cutlery from trays. The soiled cutlery was taken out of the tray and put with the soiled. The cutlery that were not soiled were deemed clean and stored separately. The staff member took the cutlery that was not heavily soiled and wiped it with a cloth and deemed it clean.

"The heavily soiled cutlery touched some other cutlery that were deemed clean. This system provided for clean utensils to be contaminated by soiled items. Management staff explained how this system is used on a daily basis."

There were also issues with the ship's main swimming pool used by guests.

"The water level at the main pool was not splashing into the skim gutters. There were many patrons in the pool at the time of inspection. There was a visible film on the top of the water, and there was excessive visible debris floating on the water," the report stated.

"There was a crew member with a net that was manually skimming the pool, but this is not an effective method. Also, there was standing, stagnant water at the forward port side of the waterpark. There was visible debris.

"The water was not being directed to a drain. Crew stated it was due to listing. However, on the starboard side, there was a drain opposite where the water was standing on the portside. On the portside, there was no similarly positioned drain."

Carnival must now submit a "corrective action report" detailing how they will put right the issues uncovered by the inspection. The vessel will then face another inspection to check progress.

A Carnival spokesperson told Cruise Radio: "The results for Fantasy are not reflective of our robust standards and dedicated commitment to our guests' health and safety.

"We have already taken corrective action, added additional staff and asked USPH for a re-inspection as soon as possible, with every expectation that we will exceed USPH standards."

Carnival cruise ship Fantasy failed health inspection
Carnival Cruise Lines 2,056-passenger Fantasy departing homeport on the Mississippi River as seen from the Canal Street-Algiers ferry crossing the Mississippi River from New Orleans to Algiers in New Orleans, Louisiana on July 29, 2007 in New Orleans, USA. Skip Bolen/