Only one major cruise line allows dogs: Cunard. There is a reason that a dog’s nickname is “man’s best friend,” and that reason being they are smart, loyal, and always by your side. But can they always be by your side? Even when you decide to go on vacation, do cruise ships allow dogs? The answer is kind-of, and exclusively on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2.
All Aboard! Queen Mary 2 Allows Non-Service Dogs Too
As other cruise lines may allow service animals, Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 is the world’s only major cruise ship to allow pets on board. Even so, this does not mean that you will be side-by-side with your furry friend most of the day, get to walk them around the ship, or even sleep with them in your stateroom. Instead, all dogs and other pets will be boarded to Queen Mary 2’s onboard kennel, where the ship’s kennel master feeds, walks, and cleans up after your beloved partner-in-crime. It is important to keep in mind that though your dogs must be boarded, they are in good hands and able to be visited during designated hours each day.
Because they must stay in the kennel and require extra care, dogs and cats unfortunately do not cruise for free aboard Queen Mary 2. The cost is about $800-$1,000 per dog per voyage and, due to their popularity, guests who plan to travel with their pets must reserve a kennel 12-18 months in advance. The ship only carries 24 kennels to ensure each animal receives total care, and one can imagine that the only major cruise ship in the world with this capability will fill up fast!
Do Cruise Ships Allow Service Dogs?
Apart from Cunard, no other major cruise line allows pets onboard. However, exceptions are to be made for physical/emotional support animals or service dogs. Requirements for service dogs vary by cruise line, so it is important to double-check with your preferred line before bringing your companion onboard. Service dogs can be helpful to their owners in a variety of ways, depending on the reason for their stay onboard. These companions can help ease intense anxiety, assist the blind, and even sense and potentially stop seizures before they happen. Since these dogs are brought onboard to serve their owners, they are allowed in staterooms and public areas (barring swimming pools and galleys) provided they are on a leash.
For more information on cruising with dogs, call The Cruise Web at 1-800-377-9383 to speak with one of our expert travel consultants or visit us online at www.cruiseweb.com.