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When Cleanliness Counts: The Cleanest Cruise Ships of 2013

A beautiful room--and clean, too. The Celebrity Solstice earned a perfect score from the CDC
A beautiful room--and clean, too. The Celebrity Solstice earned a perfect score from the CDC
Teri Crane

When you get ready to book your next cruise vacation, it might be helpful to know just which ships are the cleanest, and presumably, the healthiest ships sailing from US ports. The results of inspections by the Centers for Disease Control are a matter of public record, so your cruise agent should help you make a sound decision.

Here are the value- and mid-priced ships that earned a perfect score in 2013:

Carnival leads the pack with 5 perfect scores on the Carnival Paradise, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Freedom Carnival Victory and Carnival Sensation. What may surprise you is these are not Carnival's latest ships! I can personally attest to the condition of the Carnival Liberty--it was impeccably maintained and spotless wherever you look!

Next in line is Holland America with 4 perfect scores--the Eurodam, Volendam, Zaandam and Nieuw Amsterdam.

Tied with Holland America is Royal Caribbean with perfect scores for the Adventure of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Rhapsody of the Seas and the Oasis of the Seas.

Celebrity earned perfect scores for the Celebrity Reflection, Celebrity Eclipse and Celebrity Solstice.

NCL tied Celebrity with perfect scores for the NCL Epic (we were just on her and she shined!!), the Norwegian Gem and the worthy old Norwegian Sky.

Princess reports perfect scores for the new Royal Princess, as well as the Star Princess.

And Disney reports a perfect score for the Disney Dream.

Is your favorite ship missing from the list? I wouldn't worry too much, but there is something very reassuring about sailing (and dining) on a ship that the CDC has passed with flying colors. The inspections are challenging!

Want to sail on a shiny clean ship? Pat Crane and his 7 Seas Cruises keeps abreast of all the scores and will help you sail on a spotless ship--and save big money on your voyage. Call him toll-free at 1-866-424-1090 or write cruise7seas@msn.com.

Bon Voyage!