Dog on cruise ship

Ahoy, matey!

In today’s world, pets aren’t just balls of fur who spend their time in our backyards watching the birds. Pets are family members who sleep on our beds, have their own clothing, and who go just about everywhere with us. So why not include your pet in your summer vacation? It may seem crazy to even consider taking your pet on a cruise, but one pet-friendly cruise line would beg to differ.

One of the biggest hassles pet owners face when going on vacation is what to do with their pets while they are away. For families who spend a lot of time with their pets, leaving them behind in a boarding facility just isn’t an option. However, that used to mean that vacations were limited to pet-friendly hotels or camping. Thanks to one pet-loving cruise line, your little companion can now travel the world with you.

Cunard cruise line

Isolated travel dog

If your dog fits the bill and you are both ready to set sail, there is one cruise line that allows pets on board. Cunard allows dogs and cats to come aboard their transatlantic cruises from New York to Southampton. The cruise line has a full boarding facility complete with 12 kennels. Your pet will have to stay in the pet area for the duration of the cruise, but you can visit him or her throughout the day. Space is limited, so consider booking a space for your pet well in advance.

If you do decide to take your pet on the cruise you can rest easy knowing that your pet will receive the same level of pampering that you do! Pets receive a goodie bag upon arrival and get to experience all the luxuries of a pet vacation including plush beds and all the toys they could dream of. The pet facility includes both an indoor and outdoor area so your pet can work on their tan and then take a nap indoors.

Cruise ship standards

Unfortunately you’ll be hard pressed to find many cruise lines offering the option to bring your pet. Cruise lines have to adhere to strict levels of cleanliness, which eliminates pets and their subsequent messes from coming aboard. In addition cruise ships sail into the ports of many different countries, and they are bound by the rules and regulations in each country. In many cases animals are subject to a period of quarantine before they enter a country. The duration of the cruise isn’t long enough to accommodate that, meaning vacationers and their pets would be stuck on the boat.

Health requirements

Your pet will need a pet passport to travel and will likely require a health check and up-to-date vaccination records. Check with the cruise line in advance to see what their requirements are. As a pet owner you know your pet the best, so consider if your pet would even be up for an ocean cruise. Much like humans, pets can suffer from seasickness, and the new environment could prove to be really stressful for your pet. Pets should be mild-mannered, in good health, and should get along well with other dogs and people.

Fly away

Unless you live near the port, you and your pet will have to book a flight, and each airline has certain regulations for pet travel as well. In some cases your pet will have to travel in the cargo area of the plane and, depending on where you live, the temperatures may make that impossible. If it is too hot or too cold, airlines will not allow pets in their cargo areas.

Tell us

Would you take your pet on a cruise with you?

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Comments on "Float away this summer with this pet-friendly cruise line"

edith gilliam February 27, 2014 | 6:44 AM

Sorry I asked. My baby girl has to stay in the room with me at all times. It would be ok just to take her in only pet areas but she would be on vacation to. I would want to show her the water and other animals for her to see what I see. So if this is the only way the whole family will have to stay home or go to the beach.

Sherry February 18, 2014 | 4:57 PM

So let me try to understand something, we have service dogs and to bring them along with us we wouldnt not be allowed to have them with us? i can see putting them in like doggie daycare at ports but a service dog should never be a victim of dissciremantion

Jane February 18, 2014 | 6:19 AM

Pet friendly? That is not pet friendly at all. The reason I'm bringing my dog with me is so that she could be with me at all times and enjoy the vacation as much as I do. Keeping them in a kennel where you can visit them is NOT pet friendly. This will make it more difficult to enjoy the trip as you would be worried of them. Might as well keep them home with someone you trust.

Trevor Smith February 13, 2014 | 6:45 PM

If I wanted my "son" to be in a kennel I would board him in one. The purpose of taking him with me is for him to be WITH me, not visited by me. I may as well leave him home. This totally defeats the purpose of bringing him.

Kdog February 09, 2014 | 7:38 AM

I am really surprised at the comments. When you need to get to Europe and you want to take your dog you only have three choices - private Charter, in the cargo hold of a plane, on the Queen Mary 2. As the charter option is just not feasible for most - I would much rather go this way then the flight. I applaud Cunard for offering this option. We will be using it both ways this summer when we go to Germany for a couple of months.

Iliana February 01, 2014 | 9:51 PM

Not acceptable i pay for my dog to come on board because I can't leave him alone he has separation anxiety and he's deaf so he cries daily when I go to work I can't imagine leaving him in a kennel while I enjoy myself no way I understand not everyone is pet friendly but at least let my pet sleep with me and hang out with me in certain parts of the ship

elizabeth January 21, 2014 | 8:46 AM

If I am to bring my 4 legged child with me, you better bet he will be sleeping in my room with me. What's the point of even having the option of "pet-friendly" if they are still stuck in a kennel. Even if you are able to see them whenever, you will be too busy with the other activities that you will barely see them. For this I might as well just keep them at home with another trusted family/friend.

VML January 20, 2014 | 9:47 AM

My cat stays in my suite with me. No other option will do.

Jack Babcock December 11, 2013 | 7:26 PM

These accommodations for pets is not acceptable. Too restrictive

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