Crew Stories: Firsthand experience with the USPH Cleaning - Failures and Achievements

Oct 16, 2019

My duties while working for Princess Cruises were very clear. As a bar waitress, I need to carry a tray, serve drinks, collect empty glasses and follow USPH procedures (cleaning before inspections). That included wiping the shelves where the bottles are kept, wiping the tables and bar with greater detail, changing the tray for the one with the fruit for cocktails. I would also assist in the cocktail making if the bar was very crowded and wipe the bar one more time before closing. That was it. 

On my first contract with Royal Princess my first USPH we didn’t pass and I remember how much we were all frustrated and overworking because of one situation. During the big USPH on the ship, the deck supervisor didn’t give two guys proper instructions on what has to be done. Since it was the first contract for both of them there was no way for them to know everything. 

Deck supervisor forgot to mention that it is necessary to clean and wipe the big trolley, the one we use to move around and sell bear when the deck is really crowded. When the inside of the trolley was inspected, they found a lot of empty beer cans and it was very dirty. The inspection took five points from the ship. 

And after the kitchen was inspected and a few dirty spots were discovered, we finished that USPH with 80 points, which was not enough for a passing grade. It meant that everything had to be cleaned again with grater attention and that all crew members needed to be on higher alert, including the management. On my fourth contract with Pacific Princess, I was working in Coffee Bar scheduled from; 6 am to open and setup Bar till 9 am then 3 hours brake and then from midday till 3 pm, brake and one more shift from 6 pm till 22pm when I was alone closing the bar. Wiping coffee machine, bottles, putting labels on juices, vegetables it was a lot of work and cleaning all metal surfaces in the back of the pantry. I was cleaning all of that for one hour and more before I could finish my work for the day. I helped out the bartender and barista prepare drinks for Guests. When USPH came on board, the pressure was very high! My Bartender, Supervisor even Bar Manager showed me how to clean up, coffee cups, top of the coffee machine, every surface to be all the time clean that you can lick from it and eat. Milk and Cream Jugs to be wiped from any stains, right color of food timer to be there I was edgy, honestly that even If guest was asking something particular I would be like: "I am so sorry we have important inspection on board right now I don’t have this mini sandwiches, because is not allowed right now, but we will have them tomorrow, you can order Room service any time, Thank you”. With huge smile on my face. And USPH inspector was also because of the guests sitting on the bar very fast with looking around so all was good, and my Bar manager was very pleased we won 100%. 

On my fifth contract I was getting used to USPH and double check cleaning 3 times in a shift. Just our Bar department Crew were even too much relaxed. 

Again I am in the Coffee Bar, but there are more bar stewards so we all split parts to be cleaned. And couple hours before inspectors came to part, I came to my shift and just from some curiosity double-check fridges in one of them someone from Filipino crew member colleges left in plastic food and in Label wrote "Sabao". This was hilarious I asked Bartender: "Guys are you for real, this shouldn’t be here, right?” With a smile on my face and college answered to me: "What, why has Label on it?” We laughed for a few seconds. Then I entered the Bar just to see if they cleaned up some Irish Coffee Mugs who had a day before some old stains on them. I picked up three or four of them they looked very unclean. At that moment bar manager from India Anthony walked in. I showed him Mugs and I said to him: "I don’t know, why guys left these Mugs here, if USPH Inspector sees this we will lose points!” He looked at me and said: "Yes Tamara you are right”. So we remove all of the dirty once and put them in dirty area in the pantry. The first thing that USPH Inspector touched when he came to this bar was these Coffee Mugs, but all the rest that we left were perfectly clean. 

Bar Manager even wrote down in my appraisal in section Safety and Compliance: ,, Tamara has a very good understanding of the company's USPH standards; she will consistently help the bartenders in cleaning the bar.

Tamara was found to be a team player during our recent CAPH and USPH inspections held in May and June of 2016 where the ship scored 99% and 97% respectively. On an ending note prior to the La Pat bar being inspected by the PH inspectors, Tamara took the initiative to check every single glassware and cutlery in the bar area to make sure they were PH compliant and this is an example of perfect business ownership mentality. Tamara is well aware of the company's RSA policies and does not hesitate to alert her bartenders or bar supervisor on any RSA issues”. I become very good in preparations for USPH.