Pets need somewhere to sleep, play, eat and relieve themselves and with cruise ships having such strict sanitation and cleanliness standards, this pretty much eliminates pets travelling on board.
Another restriction on pets is due to the varying regulations in different destinations. Whichever cruise you opt to travel on will visit numerous ports of call in various countries, all of which have their own rules and regulations on animals entering their country. In most cases any animal entering a different country will need to go into quarantine for a period of time and with cruises often only stopping in a port for a matter of hours, this time period cannot be accommodated for. Passengers and their pets would either be stranded ashore or not be able to leave the ship, which is not ideal for neither guest nor pet.
There is one exception to this rule, Cunard Line. On selected Queen Mary 2 transatlantic sailings, dogs and cats are permitted to travel. All pets are refined to a secluded Kennel area overseen by a full time Kennel Master. Pets on board are treated to the same high level of service that passengers enjoy including a comfortable bed, fleece blankets, every dog and cat toy you could imagine and a selection of gourmet pet foods and treats. Unfortunately pets are refined to this area alone but owners can visit at certain times throughout the day. Your pet will also get a life vest for health and safety reasons and you will be trained on how to put it on.
Before travelling owners must ensure all pets have a Pet Passport, a full health check and that all vaccinations are up to date. It is also advised for each individual owner to consider the nature and behaviour of their pet before travelling as for some the sea motion and new surroundings can be a stressful ordeal. Spaces are very limited so securing your kennel booking at the time of your cruise booking is highly recommended. Prices start from $300 per pet.
The other exception to this rule of course is service dogs. All cruise lines welcome all types of service dog but again these must adhere to strict health regulations and also have all vaccinations and paperwork up to date including any necessary for the ports you will be visiting. It is advised to give your chosen cruise line at least 60 days notice when travelling with a service dog. Dogs stay with the passenger at all times with both a lifejacket being provided in case of emergency and facilities arranged nearby your cabin for your dog to relieve itself.
For more information or to answer any queries you may have on this please call our Cruise Experts today on 0800 197 8050.