Guest and Crewmember Health, Safety & Security
Striving to be free of injuries, we continue to build on our commitment to protect the health, safety and security of our guests, employees and all others working on our behalf.
- We continue to enhance our health and safety procedures for our ships. In 2018, we further improved our procedures regarding food safety and the management of medical emergencies
FY2018 Health Performance
PUBLIC HEALTH TRAINING
New, interactive food safety training modules were developed and launched on all of our ships in 2018. In 2019, we will further enhance the program with the development of additional modules covering outbreak management, potable water and recreational water facility management.
Public Health INSPECTIONS
14 of our ships received a perfect score of 100 from voluntary Centers of Disease Control (CDC) Vessel Sanitation inspections. Three of our ships received failing scores and initiatives were launched to further enhance public health standards and avoid such instances in the future.
The implementation of a single, standard electronic health record (EHR) platform was completed across our fleet. This program, known as SeaCare, is enhancing many aspects of our medical operations and services. Initial training of medical staff to support SeaCare was completed.
Our response to the worldwide Zika virus outbreak continued with the implementation of a range of prevention measures including:
- Provision of specific health advice to passengers, crew, medical staff and port employees.
- Provision of appropriate insect repellents onboard and during shore excursions.
- Application of mosquito prevention strategies both onboard and in our ports.
In 2018, no significant health impacts were reported on our ships or at the ports we own. At the end of the year, we returned to our routine mosquito prevention.
OFFICER WELLNESS PROGRAM
A pilot executive health assessment program was launched at the clinic and medical wellness facility at the Arison Maritime Center (known as CSMART), for Deck and Technical Officers. We anticipate that these regular health assessments, together with access to better personal health information and expert advice, will lead to longer term health improvements among our officers over time.
GUEST AND CREW CARETEAMS
Our CareTeams continue to provide compassionate care in the event of an emergency while onboard. CareTeam employees receive specialized training on how to sensitively and appropriately support guests, crew and their families during an emergency. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and respond to a variety of guest and crew emergencies, primarily medical-related situations, and are dispatched to locations throughout our cruising regions to provide personalized support and assistance as needed to all of our brands.
MARITIME PUBLIC HEALTH PROCEDURE DEVELOPMENT
Throughout the year, we contribute to the review of a number of international heath procedures and guidance developed by various organizations including:
- The updated CDC Vessel Sanitation Program Operations Manual and Construction Guidelines which were issued in summer 2018.
- The American College of Emergency Physicians Healthcare Guidelines for Cruise Ship Medical Facilities.
- The new Healthy Gateways European Union (EU) Joint Action, which addresses health preparedness at all points of entry (ground crossings, airports and seaports) in Europe. This builds on work previously completed as part of the EU SHIPSAN Joint Action. In 2018, a standard grading system for ship health inspections was developed and is currently being piloted.
INDUSTRY COMMUNICATION AND BEST PRACTICE SHARING
As members of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), we regularly discuss health matters and communicate with all member lines to share best practices. In 2018, we participated in several CLIA health programs and initiatives, such as:
- Consultation on a revised directive for the quality of water intended for human consumption in Europe (98/83 EC), working with the Directorate General for the Environment (DG ENV) and other organizations.
- The development of Healthy Gateways and SHIPSAN health initiatives.
PORT HEALTH INITIATIVES
We continue to develop and implement comprehensive health standards and procedures at the ports we own and operate. These ports include Puerta Maya, Cozumel, Mexico; Grand Turk Cruise Center, Turks & Caicos Islands; Amber Cove Cruise Center, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; and Mahogany Bay Cruise Center, Roatán, Honduras.
We have established comprehensive health standards that go beyond regulatory requirements to help protect the health of our guests, crew and port employees. These standards are implemented and enforced by each of our brands on all of our ships and within the port facilities that we own and operate. As part of our commitment, we also lead and participate in health-related cruise industry task forces and working groups.
We have taken a proactive role in addressing the quality of shipboard medical care. All of our medical personnel are expected to meet the qualification standards outlined in our medical and public health procedures. Our onboard facilities are designed to be able to provide emergency medical care for guests and crew, stabilize patients and initiate reasonable diagnostic and therapeutic intervention and facilitate the evacuation of seriously ill or injured patients when deemed necessary.
Our public health programs have been developed from worldwide health and sanitation regulations, best practices and ship operating experience. Our programs are audited both internally by public health specialists and externally by officers from health authorities worldwide. We coordinate internal cross-brand and external cross-company Medical and Public Health Working Groups, which help to drive our ongoing health strategies and focus on continuous improvement. Through these forums, we are able to leverage the extensive health expertise and experience that exists both within our individual brands and across the cruise industry. In the U.S., we collaborate with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees health and sanitary conditions on all passenger vessels visiting U.S. ports. The CDC provides guidelines, reviews plans and conducts unannounced ship inspections. We continue to work with the CDC throughout a ship’s life to maintain safe standards through regular inspections, crew training and guest education.
One of our priorities remains promoting the prevention of gastrointestinal illness onboard our ships and the port facilities we own and operate. Our fleetwide Outbreak Prevention and Response Plan guides our actions to prevent and respond to outbreaks of illness onboard our ships. The strategy detailed in the plan addresses health screening and surveillance measures, the communication and provision of health advice, isolation of ill guests and crew, medical treatment, reporting to health authorities and the use of proven sanitation and infection control measures.
Additionally, we collect relevant data on all cases of gastrointestinal illness and report this information to international health agencies. This information helps with identification of types of infection, potential sources, and the likely methods of transmission, thereby allowing us to implement even more effective risk mitigation strategies.