‘Aberration’: The Veendam. *File photo
‘Aberration’: The Veendam. *File photo

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 26: Hundreds of happy tourists spilled into to the streets and stores of Hamilton when the Veendam arrived in port.

But on board the Holland American ship life was not quite so ‘ship-shape’, according to a recent health report.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention cited over 100 infractions that inspectors came across when they carried out a sanitation check on the vessel on August 19.

Its report documents cinnamon sticks being stored next to a baited roach trap, the presence of live flies and leaks as being some of the reasons why the ship received a failing score of 77 out of 100.

The 1,350-passenger ship has been calling in Bermuda for the past three summers, and proved a popular visitor with local traders, especially within the city of Hamilton. But the weekly caller will not be returning to the island next year.

The CDCP report catalogued finding flies in a pastry dry stores locker, a prep room and numerous galleys throughout the ship.

Inspectors recommend the crew effectively control the presence of insects, rodents and other pests.

The report says that some refrigerators and dishwashing machines on board were in need of repair. Workers were seen taking dirty dishes and putting them in clean storage racks.

And another misdemeanour involved a cook preparing food without a beard restraint over his goatee. The surprise inspections are carried out twice a year and 86 is the pass mark.

The Veendam has passed each of its 32 tests and was given a score of 93 in its most recent April exam.

The Bermuda Sun contacted Holland America for a comment but no statement was forthcoming. However, in an official statement published on the Cruise Critic website, Holland America said: “The score resulted largely from one area of the ship’s overall operation. All the issues raised in the report were immediately addressed and have now been corrected. We have also ensured that our management and training practices in this area have been refocused to ensure continued success.

“While unacceptable for Holland America Line, the unsatisfactory score is highly unusual and an aberration.

“We are confident this will not occur again, and that Veendam’s VSP scores in future will return to their consistently high levels.

“Holland America Line is committed to a comprehensive programme to provide a clean and sanitary shipboard environment to ensure the health and safety of its guests and crew.”