When you're having the time of your life on a luxury cruise ship, it seems that nothing might go wrong except for cockroaches and potentially hazardous food. Wait, what? Health inspectors found unsanitary conditions on two luxury cruise ships and these might pose health threats to passengers and crew members.

U.S. inspectors discovered potentially hazardous food, unsanitary pool water and cockroaches on board two Southampton-based cruise ships, Carnival Corporation's P&O Oceana and P&O Oriana.

The sanitary problems were seen by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials during a spot check on sanitation. P&O Oceana failed the inspection with a score of 82 out of a perfect score of 100. According to the report, the ship had kitchens with soiled grout, insect remains and other potentially hazardous food.

"The tile grout in [the soup kitchen] was soiled and in disrepair, while nine fruit flies were observed on the seam to the deckhead above the preparation counter behind the beverage station," the inspection report said.

CDC closed the ship's swimming pools and spa pools after discovering that its chlorine levels were insufficient. A total of 48 violations were noted during the spot inspection on March 1.

No other cruise ships received a failing mark on the first quarter of 2016. The cruise ship receiving a failing mark, however, will have time to address the issues because a re-inspection will be scheduled within 30 to 45 days.

The ship is still permitted to sail even if it incurred a failing mark. If the violations needs immediate action and there's an imminent health risk, that's the time health officials will ban the ship from sailing.

P&O Oriana, on the other hand, incurred a score of 90 even if the inspectors found cockroaches in a grill. The passing score is 85 out of 100.

"We are extremely disappointed in the result of this inspection and we immediately rectified the areas identified as needing attention," a P&O Cruises spokesperson said.

Only four cruise ships failed a CDC inspection since 2008. In 2012, more than 400 passengers aboard the Oriana have been confined to its cabins during a 10-day trip due to a norovirus outbreak. Norovirus infection is usually transferred through the oral-fecal route, which means it's considered a food borne illness.

Photo: Joe Ross | Flickr 

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