The Carnival Fascination is seen February 18, 2013 in Key West, Florida. Courtesy Getty Images.
Citing live flies, dried food waste and even a "roach nymph," inspectors for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have given the 2,056-passenger Carnival Fascination a failing health grade.
In a report made public this week, inspectors from the CDC's Vessel Sanitation Program scored the Fascination at 84. Ships docking at U.S. ports receive surprise inspections twice a year and are graded on a 100-point scale. Anything below 86 is considered failing.
The inspection of the Fascination on Feb. 21 came just 11 days after an engine room fire on Carnival Triumph left that ship disabled at sea for five days, with passengers having to endure a lack of basic services including working toilets.
The inspectors found a number of violations on the Fascination including not enough chlorination at the ship's water park, salad bar items not protected by a sneeze shield and not enough lighting for cleaning in several food-related areas.
And then there were the flies.
"At the hamburger grill, there was a large fly around the uncovered raw hamburger patties. The area was open during the inspection," according to the report.
Under one kitchen counter where dried food waste was discovered, "It appeared that the food waste was leaking through the sealant. A small fly was in this compartment," an inspector writes.
Elsewhere, four to six small flies and a "roach nymph" - an immature form of cockroach - was found around the deck drain below the room service juice dispenser.
Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen tells USA TODAY that a Carnival ship failing a CDC inspection is a rare occurrence.
"In the past five years, no Carnival ship has failed a U.S.P.H (U.S. Public Health) inspection and the fleet's average score during that time period is 97. The average over 20 inspections already conducted in 2013 is 97.2," Gulliksen says.
He says in response to the CDC report, "corrective action was taken immediately, with several issues being resolved during the inspection and all issues resolved within 24 hours of the inspection."
Gulliksen adds that Carnival has requested a re-inspection of the ship "as soon as possible."