No More Deck 9 Cookouts for HAL

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#81
New Brunswick
42,056 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by RuthC
"Ought to be" being the operative words. I can't remember which ship is was, but there was at least one ship where the lack of a sneeze guard in the Neptune Lounge kept certain foods from being served there. It took forever for that situation to be rectified.
It was the Westerdam.
Originally posted by Despegue
One thing though:
As long as a HAL ship is not in US waters or departing /arriving from/to a US port, the USPH have no jurisdiction at all over what HAL does onboard, as the ships are DUTCH. At least that is what people, more knowledgeable in Maritime Law are telling me...
Having cruised in Europe and on TA's I can say safely that HAL upholds the same standards that they would in US waters.

Sadly, that meant no Lido bbq's on our most recent cruise.

Sure hope it is fixed by the time we sail again as the Prinsendam really does this right
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#82
Belgium, Europe
1,445 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
Checked my books again.

Nope. They have no jurisdiction at all when a vessel does not have a US port of call.
However, it makes sense for HAL to apply the rules of the country that is deemed to have the most restrictive regulations and with whom they deal the most. But legally, when doing for example a Mediterranean cruise, the Americans have obviously no jurisdiction.
#83
San Diego, CA
5,896 Posts
Joined Sep 2001
What a bout a closed loop sailing that calls in all foreign ports (Mexico for example)? Would they be able to conduct a poolside BBQ / Fiesta, say upon pulling out of Mazatlan and continuing to Puerto Vallarta for example?
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#84
Georgia
9,088 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Are there any cruise ships affected by this that never visit any US ports ever?

This message may have been entered using voice recognition. Please excuse any typos.
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#85
4,719 Posts
Joined Jun 2013
Amsterdam:
CDC Inspection date: 12/4/2016
Lido Buffet date: 11/25/ 2016

Looks like CDC might "inspect" prior events uniess this CDC inspection takes over a several week period of time. Anyone know?

As mentioned before, there is still no correction report for this very low 12/16 Amsterdam inspection report of 86. 85 flunks, https://wwwn.cdc.gov/InspectionQuery...0XcSd2lvBrM%3d

My guess is it would not be good policy for HAL to wait until they were outside of jurisdictional waters and then flaunt restricted activity. Agree, the outdoor buffets are very part of the overall cruise experience so hope they can find a way to keep everyone happy. Particularly memorable ones on the overnights in Istanbul and Shanghai when one has the most primo location in the entire city as all the lights come on and the air is warm.
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#86
Maine
11,682 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
With regards to jurisdictional matters:

All nations have the right, and most exercise these, to inspect any vessel when entering the country from a foreign port. Health inspectors have been a part of clearing a ship into port for a hundred years. There is the practice of "free pratique", where the Captain assures the port officials that his ship is free of disease, and the port authorities will issue the certificate of "free pratique" without an inspection. So, in terms of cruise ships, every time a ship, whether foreign flag or US flag enters a US port from a foreign destination, the USPH has the mandate to inspect the ship for infectious diseases to keep from introducing those diseases into the US (this is actually the USPH's mandate, not maintaining the cruise passenger's health while onboard). So, they could inspect the ships every week, doing a full inspection, including health interviews with selected passengers and crew; imagine the outrage of the passengers if this lengthy process was part of each and every cruise.

The USPH/CDC VSP (Vessel Sanitation Plan) is a joint creation between the USPH/CDC and the cruise industry, which the USPH/CDC has agreed to, whereby if a ship maintains the construction and operational requirements of the plan, throughout voyages that call at US ports, then the requirement for inspection is reduced to a maximum of two random inspections a year.

So, all operations the ship undertakes anywhere during its previous voyage can be included in the USPH inspection. Records for many things that are part of a USPH inspection are for the previous full year (GI medical records, pool chemistry, potable water tests, blast chiller records).

Many cruise ships that stop calling at US ports for part of the year (European redeployment in summer, for example), will continue to abide by the USPH requirements, just to keep this operational culture and mind set in the crew's "muscle memory" for the eventual return to the US, but it is not a legal requirement. Some ships won't follow this, and these ships tend to have dismal scores at their first USPH inspection upon returning to the US. Some cruise lines will hold to USPH requirements even if a ship is permanently deployed elsewhere in the world, simply to be able to transfer crew from one ship to another without extensive retraining.

Ships that call at EU ports must meet the EU's "ShipSan" program, which is very similar to the USPH's VSP.

In all other areas, each country can adopt ship sanitation laws, or enact enabling legislation that mirrors the WHO's vessel sanitation requirements.

In my experience, having something like the VSP in place results in less individual interpretation of sanitation requirements than in those countries where such a plan does not exist. While I've not heard of "shakedowns" of cruise ships, many countries' health inspectors are known to require bribes to allow cargo ships to enter port.
#87
Centerville, Ohio, USA
8,882 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
chengkp75's explanation makes good sense to me, particularly with regard of needing to keep the crew's "muscle memory" in good shape as to the requirements. It would be foolish for any cruise line to think that because we are out of US waters, we now can ignore the CDC/USPH protocols if the most of the world sees them as being the Gold Standard. I am glad that there is not any fluctuations of standards on safety.

But.

What I still don't understand is what is the need for more stringent standards, in 2017 for MDR Buffets or Deck BBQs? What is different now from open deck buffets in full Sunlight with sneeze guards never considered during cruises in the '60's, '70's, 80's, etc.? Has the immune system of the human race been so weakened that the CDC believes it must protect us from all these possible evil pathogens?
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#88
Maine
11,682 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by rkacruiser
chengkp75's explanation makes good sense to me, particularly with regard of needing to keep the crew's "muscle memory" in good shape as to the requirements. It would be foolish for any cruise line to think that because we are out of US waters, we now can ignore the CDC/USPH protocols if the most of the world sees them as being the Gold Standard. I am glad that there is not any fluctuations of standards on safety.

But.

What I still don't understand is what is the need for more stringent standards, in 2017 for MDR Buffets or Deck BBQs? What is different now from open deck buffets in full Sunlight with sneeze guards never considered during cruises in the '60's, '70's, 80's, etc.? Has the immune system of the human race been so weakened that the CDC believes it must protect us from all these possible evil pathogens?
About a year or so ago, I had a question concerning the diapered kid's pool on one of the new RCI ships, where the area held about 2" of water, which was a violation of the construction standards for these pools. I contacted the CDC about this, to see if there had been a change in the requirements. I was told that there was a review undergoing for the VSP, and that a new manual would be forthcoming. They were very friendly, and willing to discuss and research answers to questions.

As noted in a previous post, ServSafe regulations may be also requiring changes to public consumption of food prepared outdoors. There may be statistical evidence of outbreaks of food-borne pathogens from cook-outs, that would be the CDC's forte, and they would have the data. If you are really interested, contact them at "[email protected]" and ask about the changes in regulations or interpretations, and the reasons why.

As to why there may be a need for more stringent regulations today, there are ever more resistant mutations of bacteria and viruses every year, so the incidences of illnesses from cookouts may be on a dramatic rise, I don't know, I haven't studied it.
#89
adrift
497 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
I am very skeptical (and cynical) about this sort of "standards" from work experience but it is what it is.
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#90
Centerville, Ohio, USA
8,882 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
chengkp75,

Thanks for your reply and I will send an e-mail inquiry to the address that you provided.

Basic news reports tell us that there are increasing numbers of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Such a concern by the CDC may well be the reason for a change in regulations. In my e-mail request, I am going to ask for whatever data they may have for illness traced to shipboard buffets and deck cook-outs.
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#91
466 Posts
Joined May 2010
Just off the Zaandam on June 11 and the taco bar is still alive and well :-)
We ate there several times for lunch
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Karen

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#92
New Brunswick
42,056 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by ksqueak
Just off the Zaandam on June 11 and the taco bar is still alive and well :-)
We ate there several times for lunch
Taco bar was alive and well on our cruise too.

It's not the lido bbq's/cookouts that are being referred to here though. those are a horse of a different colour. Much different
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#93
America's Hometown
16,958 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by kazu
Taco bar was alive and well on our cruise too.



It's not the lido bbq's/cookouts that are being referred to here though. those are a horse of a different colour. Much different


Personally, while DH enjoys the BBQ's, I do not. Call me a germaphobe, but it's a little creepy to me to eat food that 1000 or so of my best friends breathing on the food! The Lido makes me less leery because the food is somewhat protected with plastic shields.


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Sheila
"innlady1"
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#94
New Cumberland,PA, USA
28,128 Posts
Joined May 2000
We think buffets (which would include the ole BBQ) are fine...but our personal preference is to relax in a comfy dining room and have waiters see to our needs. Standing in queues for BBQ ribs, water logged corn on the cob (with no corn holders)...and then trying to find a clean table....etc etc....if just not our idea of a great time. If there is a BBQ on deck we will stroll past, eye the offerings, and usually end up in the MDR. If I want a BBQ I can do it at my own home and have what I want cooked to my own specifications, served hot, and with no hassles. We will admit that we once experienced an amazing exception to our rule...and that happened on the Grand Med cruise (Prinsendam) where they had a very nice BBQ luncheon. They opened the aft doors of the MDR and had the grills on the aft of the ship just behind the MDR. One could get their food (all served hot off the grills) and then walk a few feet into the MDR where there was plenty of seating and decent waiter service for drinks, extras, etc. The surprise at that particular BBQ is that they had BBQ Lobster Tails (as much as one wanted) which were terrific.

Hank
#95
New Brunswick
42,056 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by Hlitner
We think buffets (which would include the ole BBQ) are fine...but our personal preference is to relax in a comfy dining room and have waiters see to our needs. Standing in queues for BBQ ribs, water logged corn on the cob (with no corn holders)...and then trying to find a clean table....etc etc....if just not our idea of a great time. If there is a BBQ on deck we will stroll past, eye the offerings, and usually end up in the MDR. If I want a BBQ I can do it at my own home and have what I want cooked to my own specifications, served hot, and with no hassles. We will admit that we once experienced an amazing exception to our rule...and that happened on the Grand Med cruise (Prinsendam) where they had a very nice BBQ luncheon. They opened the aft doors of the MDR and had the grills on the aft of the ship just behind the MDR. One could get their food (all served hot off the grills) and then walk a few feet into the MDR where there was plenty of seating and decent waiter service for drinks, extras, etc. The surprise at that particular BBQ is that they had BBQ Lobster Tails (as much as one wanted) which were terrific.

Hank
Originally posted by innlady1
Personally, while DH enjoys the BBQ's, I do not. Call me a germaphobe, but it's a little creepy to me to eat food that 1000 or so of my best friends breathing on the food! The Lido makes me less leery because the food is somewhat protected with plastic shields.


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For Hank (hitner),

I abhor buffets and standing in line, but the Prinsendam's buffets were magnificent. Everything was cooked to order as you arrived and, yes, as you said, you could go to the MDR if you wanted. One was called the Mongolian and it was fantastic.

the selection of fish, shellfish, etc. was amazing.

for Innlady1 - along with the Prinsendam we had wonderful bbq's on the Westerdam on our Hawaii, Tahiti Marquesas cruise. There was no "touching and feeling". The crew served and you ordered your tuna or whatever seafood/meat was being served as you wanted. The crew put it on the plate and served. The same with the salad and other goodies.

I rarely do buffets as they are just not my cup of tea. But, these two experiences (3 on the P'dam) were so good that I couldn't resist.

the fish on the Westerdam was fresh from the islands and a lot of the fish on the P'dam was picked up in the Azores and fresh. It was all delicious.

Nothing like this has ever been offered in the MDR other than an Indonesian Collectors' lunch (also on the P'dam and also a buffet) and I doubt it could be with the freshness that we had.

I have no expectations, but if there is any leniency on the rules, I know which ship will do it and I will be on her next year I don't have my hopes up though.
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#97
4,719 Posts
Joined Jun 2013
Originally posted by Canada 59
Sounds to me like Hal is looking for an excuse to cut yet another perk out of there cruises!
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How does that square with the specific CDC violation report about continuing outdoor buffets?
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#98
Georgia
9,088 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Originally posted by OlsSalt
How does that square with the specific CDC violation report about continuing outdoor buffets?
I agree. What was Canada 59 suggesting? That the cruise line bribed an official to issue a citation against them?
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#99
Vancouver
90 Posts
Joined May 2014
No just that they were unwilling to do what was required to keep the service going for the guests, another way of saving money for the company at the clients expense!


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Originally posted by Canada 59
No just that they were unwilling to do what was required to keep the service going for the guests, another way of saving money for the company at the clients expense!


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How much would it cost to retrofit all their ships to provide this occasional and not universally welcome benefit? Give us your findings so we can see how HAL might have evaluated this current compliance decision. Perhaps as we speak they are trying to retrofit the ships. The CDC violation only happened in Dec 1016 and they have yet to file their follow-up report.

I do have to agree with other posters, when these outdoor buffets have been offered the food is just not that good. No matter what the theme. (This does not include the Prinsendam)

It is fun to have a dining event outdoors when the night is warm and the harbor view spectacular, but it is a hassle to find seating, slow lines are annoying. However, Worst of all the past few times it has been so dark on deck it was impossible to see what you were getting. You just dug a spoon in and hoped for the best.
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