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chengkp75

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About chengkp75

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    Maine or at sea
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    Former cruise ship Chief Engineer

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  1. chengkp75

    Noro Virus

    The crew are well trained in USPH requirements for proper sanitation, and anyone can see what is involved if you search for "CDC VSP manual", and you will find both the construction manual (how the ships are required to build the food service, laundry, pool, kid center, medical center, etc to meet USPH requirements) and the operations manual. The USPH inspectors who ensure compliance with these requirements are well practiced in determining when crew are reciting rote answers to questions about proper procedures, and when those procedures are being followed on a daily basis. This is why they require that a meal service be observed during their inspections, so that they can observe procedures and question staff during the stress of a full meal service, as this quickly detects whether the procedures are ingrained or "prepped" for the inspection. The best way to get crew to follow these procedures is to ensure they are done every day, day in and day out, and the motivator is that supervisors tend to lose their jobs, not the front line crew, when a ship fails an inspection. I assume that other lines do similar exercises, but at NCL, we had monthly "USPH" inspections involving every supervisor on the ship. We would set up teams where one supervisor from the area to be inspected would be part of the team and one supervisor from a totally different area would make up the "fresh eyes" of the team, and every spot on the ship was inspected to USPH standards. Supervisors and their department's performance were then discussed, rated, and corrective actions instituted. What many folks don't realize is that these USPH requirements cover so much more than what is covered by a health inspection on land. It will include not only food safety, but the operational status and construction of food handling equipment (they require special screws to be used that can be easily cleaned), the availability of hand washing stations for food handlers, ventilation, lighting, potable water handling, pool sanitation, kids club operation, laundry operation, garbage operations, hazardous chemical handling, pest control, etc.
  2. chengkp75

    No AC on Anthem of the Seas

    Thanks, I love it when I get it right.
  3. chengkp75

    Noro Virus

    The only time people hear about noro virus and outbreaks is on cruise ships. The CDC says that annually, noro virus causes between 19-21 million cases of GI illness in the US alone. Did all of those happen on cruise ships? Their Calicinet outbreak tracking site lists 655 outbreaks in the US between September 2017, and August 2018. Between September 2018 and November 2018 there were 58 outbreaks. Did anyone hear about these? Does anyone know how many people were affected by these hundreds of outbreaks? Nope. Over the same 14 month period, there were only 14 outbreaks on cruise ships that reached the 3% reporting level. Now, there may have been other outbreaks on ships that reached the 2% "outbreak" reporting level, but this number is not posted on the CDC site, so there is no data directly on that, but these outbreaks are included in the Calicinet numbers, so the number of outbreaks on cruise ships is a very small percentage of the total outbreaks in the US. The CDC, which regulates the sanitation of cruise ships through the USPH and their VSP (Vessel Sanitation Program), considers that cruise ships are not a very significant portion of the noro virus problem. Their statistics show that over a seven year period (2008-2014), only 129,678 passengers, out of 74 million cruise ship passengers (0.16%) reported GI illness, and about 1 in 10 of those were confirmed as noro virus. So, looking at the larger picture, taking that 129k sick passenger number, and averaging it over the 7 years to (18,500/year), the percentage of cruise ship passengers to total cases of noro virus in the US is 0.09%. From the CDC VSP website: "People often associate cruise ships with acute gastrointestinal illnesses such as norovirus, but acute gastrointestinal illness is relatively infrequent on cruise ships."
  4. chengkp75

    Eden Silverware, sanitary?

    Typically, the cruise lines use the VSP construction manual as a guide when building the ship, particularly the food service areas, and then USPH will do a preliminary survey prior to the ship getting it's certificate, so this should have been addressed at that time. Particularly after RCI's mammoth problems with Monarch (IIRC) when they took it back from Pullmantur and had to gut the galley areas, I would think that their compliance team would not have done anything that would run afoul of the USPH.
  5. chengkp75

    Eden Silverware, sanitary?

    If that is a separate "pocket" or liner with the individual pockets for the flatware, that would mean that the drawer liner could be taken out, not the drawer, and sanitized. That may be what I'm seeing as molded compartments for the flatware, and if this is plastic it would be easier to deal with.
  6. chengkp75

    Carnival Liberty - Muster Drill Nightmare

    While I agree about the serving of alcohol, there are far more passengers whose sense of entitlement, self-centeredness, and obliviousness to their own or other's safety is manifestly evident even without alcohol.
  7. chengkp75

    Eden Silverware, sanitary?

    I didn't say it was practical, or logical, just that it would be one way to meet the sanitation requirements. I don't think that even a quick "wipe out" with a sanitizing solution would be acceptable. Will be interesting to see when Edge gets her first in service USPH inspection, as this requires witnessing an actual meal service, and any problems with these drawers or the way it is handled between guests would come to light. From the photo, it doesn't look like the drawer is wood, is it? If it is a wood drawer, that becomes another problem, as wood surfaces, particularly with corners and such, are notoriously hard to sanitize, and I would not believe USPH would allow flatware to lie unprotected on a wood surface like that.
  8. chengkp75

    Dead Space Decks 3 and 2 Radiance Class Ships

    Yes, pretty common on older ships to have a group of passenger cabins on the lowest deck sharing with crew cabins and spaces, just as everything forward of the medical center is crew cabin as well. The area you are questioning on deck #3 is mostly the engine casing, where the engine exhaust runs up to the funnel. I suspect the small area delineated on the port side just forward of the elevator may be a service pantry.
  9. chengkp75

    Eden Silverware, sanitary?

    That arrangement does seem to present a sanitation problem. However, since the USPH is involved with the construction of a ship that is going to follow the VSP (as all cruise ships home porting in the US do), it must have been addressed. My only thought is that the entire drawer is taken out between guests, and a new drawer with the flatware already placed in it by crew with gloves is installed.
  10. chengkp75

    Carnival Liberty - Muster Drill Nightmare

    Again, reference post #5. This is not a decision made by the cruise line, it is a legal requirement per SOLAS to have the muster location as close to the lifeboats as feasible. If it cannot be accommodated at the boat locations, then it can be done at another location, provided that location is proven to have all the requirements for a muster station, not just that it is indoors. Muster station location, as required by law, does not take passenger comfort into consideration, and that is not why some ships do it indoors, as it is designed for life saving not lifestyle.
  11. chengkp75

    Another lawsuit.....

    Under 46 USC 305, unless they can prove negligence on the part of Carnival, their awards would be limited at a maximum to their actual "loss" (the cost of their medical treatment), and can be awarded down from there. Then take away 30% for the lawyers. If they did get this amount awarded, if their health insurance paid them anything, the insurance company has the right to get their money back from the award.
  12. chengkp75

    Ship Horn Signals

    You would sue in an international maritime court in your boat's country of registry, and that court would adjudicate according to international maritime law as to who was at fault, awards, etc. No, there are no contracts between shipping companies and insurers, but just like in land court cases, the lawyers for the two parties can get together and reach a settlement without a judge.
  13. chengkp75

    Ship Horn Signals

    I accept your contempt for the merchant marine, its been well documented, I however hold most of the USCG in high esteem. . But then again, when you have a power to weight ratio about 10 times higher than a merchant ship, its easy to say I can maneuver around things. And yes, in addition to the difficult (I never considered them to be "trick" questions), there are the vast majority of the USCG exam questions that are so out of date they are ludicrous. BTW, I never said that I disagreed with how the courts would interpret the rules, in fact I said there would be no lessening of responsibility towards the ship even if found to be in the right, I am saying that the real world implementation of those rules is different than the actual rule. I guess when the scull drifted in front of your ship you didn't "wake him up" with a 5 short blast, because there were other ships in sight, and they might "misunderstand" what your signal was? We find that if the boat is directly under the forward horn, that tends to give them an idea that they may be the subject of the loud noise. But, you go on "intercepting, examining, and evaluating" and have a nice night.
  14. chengkp75

    Ship Horn Signals

    And again, quite well aware of the "rules", and as Capt Heidi13 says, there are the rules and there is the real world application of those rules. No one ever said there was a "get out of jail" card, or "rule of gross tons" (though its joked about), but there is the reality that there is little a fully laden tanker can do to avoid a smaller, more agile boat that consciously places itself into an unsafe situation. Yes, if a ship hits a small boat, there is no automatic dismissal of responsibility for the ship, even if it is shown that the boat was negligent. And when a boat enters the ship's blind spot, putting the helm over or stopping the engine will not affect the outcome much if at all. There are the Rules of the Road, and then there are the Laws of Physics.
  15. chengkp75

    Ship Horn Signals

    One piece of information on the "pilot card" which is given to every pilot when they come on the ship, and is part of the Master/Pilot briefing, is the "blind spot" or how many degrees each side of straight ahead, and how far out from the bow you can't see from the bridge. In many cases, this can be the better part of a mile (for container ships with large stacks of boxes on deck, or a carrier with the large, wide, high flight deck and the offset and midships position of the "island"). The deck officers always hold their breath when a recreational boat or local fishing boat disappears in the blind spot, and don't let it out until the boat appears on the other side. In restricted waterways, like when you have a pilot onboard for entering/leaving port, the ship will station a lookout on the bow to minimize the blind spot, but in open waters, there generally isn't one up there.
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