Ever Wonder How Clean Your Cruise Ship Will Be? I think I know a way to find out. Plus Top 10 suggestions.

News groups and “news bloggers” like Yahoo and such enjoy posting items that slam certain companies. Norovirus on cruise ships is always popular for some odd reason. With the most recent Corona Novel Virus it is even more popular to pick on cruise lines. Some of it is valid because being on a cruise ship, in a college dorm, military barracks or other close quarters can also virus from Norovirus to MRSA to spread quickly.

So let’s say you are thinking of booking a cruise or have one booked but are a germophobe. Now there is a way you can do more research on the ship you have in mind.

You can go to the CDC and search for your cruise ship to see the most recent scores. Keep in mind these are like restaurant scores. A ship can do poorly on a given day but do perfect on another if the timing is bad. Imagine a cruise ship with a broken dishwasher and a kid in the pool in his diaper (not the fault of the cruise line) and could get a failing score. https://wwwn.cdc.gov/InspectionQueryTool/InspectionSearch.aspx

On the CDC site you’ll find the “Green Sheet” which are good scores of ships. You can drill down to find all sorts of data.

You can also find the ships that got a perfect score of 100 !!


  1. Wash your hands with soap and water, A LOT.
  2. Don’t rely only on the hand sanitizer stations to clean your hands. These help but some won’t kill virus germs.
  3. Be careful what you eat in port. Sure the ship might not be perfect much like your favorite restaurant on land but eating the cool hipster jerk chicken street taco from the beach vendor in Progresso Mexico might not be your best move.
  4. Bring a tiny spray can of Lysol with you and spray your room down when you first get to your cabin. You don’t know who was in there a few hours prior. The staff does a great job of cleaning but they can’t be perfect. Why do you think they wear rubber gloves all the time. They aren’t cheap but mini cans of Lysol can be found in the travel products section at many stores. If you can’t do that at least take Wet Wipes and clean the door handles, light switches, remote control, sink handle, toilet handle, etc.
  5. Avoid touching your nose, eyes or mouth if you haven’t just washed your hands. Even Kate Winslet warns about this in the movie Contagion and she still dies in the movie.
  6. Use the paper door opener napkins by public bathrooms when available. Just because you wash your hands doesn’t mean the person who left the bathroom prior to you did.
  7. Try to avoid using the tongs in the buffet line if possible. This one is ultra hard and the staff cleans and replaces these often but germs can spread with using these. If you must use them try to wipe your hands or clean them before you eat with your hands or just use a fork and spoon only.
  8. Get plenty of rest and limit alcohol. Sure we all want to think that drinking enough Bahama Mama’s at the poor bar will kill the germs in your system (see number 3 above) but it really will just make you hung over and tired.
  9. Don’t drink or even wash your teeth with the tap water in your room. The plumbing systems on ships is complex and the water isn’t always what your body is used to at home. This can lead to minor stomach issues at best. I like to hand a tag or something on the sink to remind me to only use it for hand washing, etc.
  10. Wash your hands. 15 seconds or more with soap and water is your best friend.

OK so now your are prepared to book your cruise. Do me a favor and go to my favorite booking agent: Cruises and Castles Travel

How to find a “Theme” cruise. Or…..avoid one.

Ever want to go on a theme cruise? Maybe your really into doing a Christmas cruise or an art focused cruise. A cruise that caters to disabled people or fitness junkies. Does a wine cruise, religious or maybe a Harry Potter cruise appeal to you?Then I have the site for you.  It’s Theme Cruise Finders.

Theme cruise finder 2

They list all sorts of themed cruises. They don’t list EVERY themed cruise but they do have a bunch. Sounds great right.

What might be more important to you is to avoid a theme cruise. For example let’s say your booked on the Carnival Pride later this year. You can find out some of the theme cruises that are going to take place on that ship. Keep in mind not all theme cruises will be on the list however.

First click on the “Advanced” search feature on the home page.

Theme cruise 3

Then enter the name of the ship you are booked on.

theme cruise 4

The result will pull up any theme cruise that people have listed.  Here is an example of what came up when I searched “Carnival Pride”

Theme Cruise Finder   Search Result

Now maybe you want to be on the Big Gay Pride Wedding Cruise or maybe you don’t. Maybe you hate the band “The Embers featuring Craig Woolard” whoever they are? At least this way you won’t be surprised.

You can click on each cruise listed for more details on the exact date, etc.

Theme Cruise Finder   2015 Making Waves Cruise with The Embers Featuring Craig Woolard

Again they don’t list EVERY themed cruise but should catch most of the popular ones. Also remember ships are big and just because 150 Star Wars fans will be on-board doesn’t mean it will ruin your vacation. But if say 1,800 Justin Bieber fan’s are on-board it could be a different story.

Theme Cruise Finder lists over 500 Theme Cruises...

VacationsToGo and some Cruise lines you may not know about

I love taking cruises. It only hurts that my day job doesn’t allow me to go on many more cruises. One of my favorite places to search for cruises is Vacationstogo (I don’t get a kickback from them) but I am a big fan. It really helps me dream of my next trip but also do a ton of research. They are great. You do have to register by giving them your email address but it’s well worth it. They have a ton of search ability.


Basically just enter your dates and where you want to go or use the “90 day ticker” and it will pull up the options.

90 Day Ticker

They even have some odd cruise lines you may not know very well like this Astor cruise example. Can you imagine 38 night cruise for $3,009 per person. Not bad.

cruise example

One of the ones I’ve been looking into lately is Pulmantur which is a Spanish line with many options. Pullmantur Cruises is a Spanish cruise line that offers cruises to a mostly Spanish-speaking clientele. Spanish is the primary language onboard but many staff members also speak English. English-speaking guests looking to immerse themselves in the Spanish may enjoy cruises with Pullmantur. The Spanish link is here Pullmantur.es


Another lesser known cruise line is AIDA. Apparently they are owned by some other cruise investors. It is a German speaking cruise line that you won’t find on VacationsToGo.


Another lesser known cruise line is the UK line Thomson Cruise Lines. They are a UK based line with various ships and options for mainly English speaking clients. The are affiliated with Thomson Airways and have some interesting options for veteran cruisers that can sail from the UK.

Thomson   Cruise Itinerary   Myths   Legends   Cruises that suit your needs

These are just a few options out there if your tired of the run of the mill Carnival, NCL, type cruises or if your a veteran cruiser and are looking for some other options. A word of warning that these can be a bit more adventurous and typically the ships are a little older ships that they obtained from the big guys. Some of these ships are smaller which allows for unique port calls also.

I’ll try to follow up this post with some more cruise lines in the future. Oh and I don’t get kick backs from any of these links in case your wondering. Enjoy.