Which Cruise Line Has The Highest Safety Rating?

This Blog Post updated March 23, 2020

Scared to take a cruise or go on a cruise sponsored excursion? You’re not the only one!

Cruise ships are the image of luxury. When these monumental vessels rest in the water, they become symbols of effortless travel and festive activities.

What many passengers fail to think about when they step aboard their cruise ship, however, is their own, PERSONAL SAFETY.

Accidents that happen on cruise ships are more common than most people would believe. Slip and fall injuries, swimming pool and water slide accidents, mishaps on tender boat shuttles, incidents an shore excursion activities, sexual assaults and rape, really bad viruses and stomach bugs, medical negligence or ineptitude – the list goes on. Additionally, in 2020, Coronavirus (Covid-19) has dramatically impacted the cruise industry worldwide and has brought to the forefront questions about the cruise industry’s ability to keep their passengers safe.

Could something like this happen to you or a family member or friend?

Cruise lines do have many safety protocols. Crew members, medical personnel and other staff are generally trained well. What you will often find is that higher priced cruise lines are generally safer. The smaller the boat, generally the safer it is. But certainly this isn’t always true.

Looking to stay safe? Here are some quick tips

What about sanitation ratings?

Each year, every passenger vessel with a foreign itinerary must undergo a twice-yearly health and safety inspection by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

The inspection covers water quality, cleanliness, food holding and handling, potential contamination zones, as well as ensuring storage facilities and repairs are intact. The ships then receive a score out of 100, which is published as part of the Summary of Sanitation Inspections of International Cruise Ships.

The Center for Disease Control allows passengers to board any ship with a score of 86% or higher. A perfect score indicates that a ship has passed all 42 checks of the Vessel Sanitation Program.

CruiseShipDetective also covers recent cruise ship safety ratings. Click here for more info.

Index of 2018 CDC Sanitation Reports (month by month)

Check your cruise ship safety and sanitation score here:
The Center For Disease Control (CDC) performs unannounced inspections, which are conducted twice a year and required for any cruise ship with an international itinerary calling at a U.S. port. Vessels are evaluated proper food handling, preparation and storage procedures, and overall galley cleanliness. Ships’ potable water supplies used in spas and pools are evaluated, as well.

Cruise ships with a score of 85 or lower are deemed unsatisfactory.

To see cruise ships that have been awarded perfect scores (100%) for their CDC inspections over the last year (last reviewed March 20, 2018), click here for current information from the CDC!

See scores from 2018 below

safety scores

To check your cruise ship’s rating, visit www.CDC.gov.

get help today from a cruise law firm

Broken arms / broken legs
Hand injuries / broken fingers
Slips and fall accidents
Shower accidents
Knee injuries
Shoulder injuries
Concussion and head injuries
Neck and spinal cord injuries

Back and herniated disk injuries
Physical assault and battery
Sexual assaults
Sexual harassment
Passengers overboard
Accidental death

Food poisoning
Medical malpractice
Injuries related to weather
Mechanical failures
Criminal behavior
Theft of valuables or identity
Cruise excursion accidents

The Big Cruise Lines Have Big Problems Too

Because the cruise lines are so large and carry so many people each year, a large amount of cruise ship mishaps, illnesses, injuries and accidents occur on Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean.

Does that mean these cruise lines are any less safe? Are their safety guidelines and protocols less stringent? Does executive management, the ship captains and crew any less focused on passenger safety. Likely not. The popularity of these cruise lines, the amount of people vacationing, the larger amount of crew on each ship and the frequency in which these vessels sail all contribute to an increased likelihood that accidents will happen. These cruise ships are small, floating cities. Sickness and virus can readily grow quickly. Slip and fall accidents may occur just like they would if you were in your home city and were the victim of an accident.

Lawsuits filed against cruise lines for being unsanitary or unsafe conditions (assuming they resulted in real injuries, medical bills, lost earnings or intangible damages) can be successful and settlements and verdicts are often tied to the severity of injuries, their extensiveness and their potential lifelong impact upon a passenger.

More resources

CruiseCritic.com: 9 Tips for Staying Safe on a Cruise Ship (from 2017)

TripSavvy.com: Better Your Chances for a Safe Cruise Vacation (from 2017)

FoxNews.com: How to Pick a Cruise Line for Safety (from 2012).

HuffingtonPost.com: The Safest Cruise Ships at Sea (from 2014).

CondeNast.com: How Safe is Your Cruise Ship (from 2012).

TheStreet.com: 3 Reasons Cruise Passengers Will be Safer in 2015 (2017).

Check out U.S. New and World Report’s list of the Best Cruises of 2015: This article explores the top luxury cruise lines, top choices for budget travelers, best cruises for families, most romantic cruise options and best cruises for visiting the Caribbean.

Read Cruises.com customer reviews as they rank the Top 10 Cruise Ships to travel with: Top 10 Ships: Customer Reviews & Sample Sailings. Cruises.com sends more people on cruises than any other company in America, and their website features the Internet’s largest collection of customer reviews.

About Waks & Barnett, P.A.

Based in Miami, Waks & Barnett attorneys work with clients in Florida, throughout the United States and around the world. The firm’s attorneys practice in the areas of personal injury, accidents and wrongful death, with a specialization in admiralty and maritime law.

  • Cruise ship passenger personal injuries and accidents
  • Cruise ship passenger illness
  • Cruise ship medical negligence
  • Sexual assault on cruise ships
  • Protecting the rights of passengers and crew
  • Cruise ship tour and excursion accidents

Call 1-800-905-2891 for a free consultation