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The Physicians Committee

NEWS RELEASE January 22, 2003

Doctors Rate the Top Cruise Lines for Healthy Options

Smooth Sailing on Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, and Windstar; Rough Ride on Disney and Delta Queen

WASHINGTON—Just in time for the popular winter cruise season, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is releasing its first review of onboard cuisine. Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and Windstar cruise lines were rated the healthiest, all receiving four stars.

The cruise lines were rated on a four-star system, receiving one star each for offering a low-fat, high-fiber entrée for breakfast, for serving a vegetarian option at lunch and dinner (with a bonus star if both meals were nondairy), and for offering fruit for desserts and snacks.

“Travelers want a stress-free cruise and worrying about packing on the pounds can ruin anyone’s vacation. If you’re aboard one of our ‘four-star’ cruise lines, you don’t have to worry about going overboard amidst a sea of fat and cholesterol. These low-fat, delicious meals throw you a much-needed life preserver,” says PCRM dietitian, Brie Turner-McGrievy, M.S., R.D.

The Norwalk virus outbreaks, which recently affected more than 1,000 people, brought the issue of food safety at sea into the national spotlight. Ms. Turner-McGrievy notes that “the most common means of contracting foodborne illness are through eggs, undercooked seafood, and undercooked meats. Vegetarian choices are your safest bet for staying healthy at sea and enjoying your vacation.”

PCRM’s Cruise Line Ratings:
Availability of Healthy Food Choices
The Ten Most Popular Cruise Lines

Cruise Line Star Rating
Carnival Cruise Lines
**** (4)
Norwegian Cruise Line
**** (4)
Royal Caribbean International
**** (4)
Windstar Cruises
**** (4)
Holland America Line
***  (3)
Princess Cruises
***  (3)
Celebrity Cruises
***  (3)
Crystal Cruises
***  (3)
Disney Cruise Line
**   (2)
Delta Queen Steamboat Co.
**   (2)

* Based on the cruise lines most requested by travelers, courtesy of Orbitz Travel.

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.

Media Contact:
Jeanne S. McVey

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