Monday, August 26, 2013

Regent Seven Seas Navigator Fails CDC Inspection on June 16, 2013 - Why Was This Not Reported?

Regent Seven Seas Navigator - Prime 7 Restaurant
Regent Seven Seas Navigator failed the CDC's inspection on June 16, 2013 with a score of 79...an 86 or higher is passing.  I am not sure how this rather disgusting score wasn't the focus of media attention as was the Silversea Silver Shadows higher score of 82...but I have a good idea!

When Silversea's failure - which was not as bad as Regent Seven Seas - was hit hard by the media I surmised in my article:  Silversea Silver Shadow Fails CDC Sanitary Inspection - Some Information and Thoughts, "There is a law firm that spends much of its time going after cruise lines - with very mixed results - that even has an app to "assist" you should you have an issue onboard a cruise ship.  I am not sure that there is any legitimate reason for this law firm to be publishing this information (draw your own conclusions!), but it is probable that without its publicity this situation would not be as widely known...and it should be. "

If I thought Silversea's failure should be publicized, there is no reason for me not to believe Regent Seven Seas' failure should not be...and so I write this article.

Let's talk about the rather troubling conditions the Centers for Disease Control inspectors found on Regent Seven Seas Navigator.  Leaving out the various violations in the crew mess, the lack of appropriate signage or lighting, I want to focus on a few of the disturbing "lowlights":

  • Tuna salad that was being served to guests was being stored on the same trolley as raw meat AND it was never cooled (being kept at too warm a temperature)...because the staff did not know tuna needed to be refrigerated.  Not bad enough, Regent Seven Seas and its did not have the controls in place to be sure it was not presented past its expiration date.

  • More disgusting to me, the inspectors found so much condensation (read "dirty water") falling from the deckhead (ceiling) in the Poultry Freezer that the deck head was bent and thick ice had formed on boxes containing various foods.  A leak was also found in the vegetable storage room, but it wasn't leaking directly on any food.

  • There was no soap dispenser in the Pool Grill galley hand washing area also is pretty disgusting.  Aside from the people handling your food not washing their hands, one must wonder how such a thing - in plain sight - could be permitted.

  • Two racks of chocolate mouse and a bowl of whipped cream were stored at too high a temperature.

  • There was, of course, the obligatory cockroach found in the Galley Washing area and clean linens being stored on dirty, greasy, racks and clean, white, dishes stacked against a dirty/dusty cabinet.
While I understand that food being hidden in crew accommodations is great fodder for discussion and disturbance, a few weeks ago there was outrage and tabloid journalism in just about every media outlet when the Silversea Silver Shadow failed a CDC Inspection...and not nearly as bad as Regent Seven Seas did.  But I ask, "Do you want your tuna salad stored with raw meat?"  Didn't think so!

But it goes deeper:  I took a look at Silversea's ships' recent CDC scores:

  • Silver Spirit - 100 (April 5, 2013)
  • Silver Cloud - 96 (March 15, 2013)
  • Silver Whisper - 94 (May 4, 2013)
And then I looked at Regent Seven Seas ship's recent CDC scores:

  • Seven Seas Mariner - 95 (January 7, 2013)
  • Seven Seas Voyager - 91 (December 10, 2010)
This shows me two things: 

  1. Silversea failure was a one-time an anomaly (which I understand has been corrected); and,
  2. Regent Seven Seas had not scored terribly high (and never perfect) and is hardly ever in United States waters long enough for its ships to be inspected by the CDC.
In short, don't think for a minute that just because you haven't heard anything Regent Seven Seas is doing a great job on keeping its ships clean and compliant with United States standards.  (And just to keep those who think I unjustly have it out for Regent Seven Seas, in 2012 five of Seabourn's six ships were inspected with scores of 98, 97, 96, 93 and 90.)

Regent Seven Seas Navigator's dismal failure of the CDC inspection is what it is.  To me it yet another reason not to sail on that troubled, quirky, ugly duckling of a ship and to think twice before you pay the highest fares in the cruise industry of have all of those allegedly "free" things Regent is "giving" you...along with faux Six Star Service.