The Carnival Triumph earned a rare distinction back in November: a failing grade from sanitation inspectors.
The Triumph — the same ship that ferried hundreds of passengers on an infamous “poop cruise” back in 2013 — scored a 78 out of a possible 100 during the Nov. 11 inspection, which is 8 points short a passing grade, according to the Centers for Disease Control’s report, released last week.
This effectively made the Carnival Triumph the second Carnival vessel to fail an inspection in 2017, after the Carnival Paradise scored an 83 in July, the Miami Herald reported. The Paradise earned a 96 in a re-inspection a few months later.
The Triumph underwent a recent re-inspection and received a passing score of 98 out of 100.
The initial violations observed by the CDC inspectors aboard the Triumph in November included flies in the food prep area; food-contact surfaces and dishwashing equipment that were “excessively soiled” with debris; a water fountain soiled with an “orange/yellow residue” on the spouts; and dairy items like milk, yogurt and Brie cheese being stored at temperatures above 41 degrees F.
The Triumph was also cited for faulty tiles, grouting and machinery in the food-prep areas; condensation issues in food storage areas; and maintaining the pool’s water level at “2 inches below skim level,” among other violations that contributed to a failing score.
“As far as a large ship, I couldn’t tell you the last time this happened,” cruise expert Stewart Chiron, aka “The Cruise Guy,” told the Herald. “That’s how rare this is.”
Carnival submitted a corrective action statement less than a week after its initial inspection, detailing how it went about resolving each violation listed in the CDC’s report.
Jennifer De La Cruz, a spokesman for Carnival Cruise Lines, has since released a statement outlining Carnival’s intentions to remedy the Triumph’s violations.
"Following Carnival Cruise Line’s established policies and procedures, corrective action was taken immediately and a corrective-action report has been provided to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which administers the Vessel Sanitation Program. Carnival has requested re-inspection as soon as possible," said De La Cruz in a statement obtained by Fox News.
“The health and well-being of our guests and crew is Carnival Cruise Lines’ highest priority, and on the extremely rare occasion when one of our ships has an unsatisfactory score, we initiate immediate and aggressive corrective action and closely examine the factors involved to ensure full understanding among all team members.”
This wouldn’t be the first time sanitation issues put the Carnival Triumph in the news. While at sea with over 4,200 passengers in February 2013, the ship lost power due to a fire in the engine room, leaving the ship adrift off the coast of Mexico. Passengers later reported sewage backing up onto the floors, leading the media to dub the voyage “the poop cruise.”
Other liners, including the Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas and Princess Cruise Line's Sun Princess made news in late 2017 due to outbreaks of gastroenteritis among passengers, with around 200 coming down with stomach issues on each respective liner during voyages in Dec. 2017 and early Jan. 2018.