If you’re disabled and depend on a service dog to help you with certain tasks, then there is good news. Many cruise lines, including the world’s largest ones, allow you to bring your service animal aboard the ship. There are some exceptions, though, too many to list in a single article, but these seven tips will get you started.
All animals brought on board must be qualified service animals. Emotional support animals and companion animals do not qualify. There is only one cruise line in the world that allows “pets” on board, and only on a single ship. Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 has a kennel and specially trained staff to take care of your pets. This is the only ship in the world with this capacity, and its the only cruise you can bring your cat along on.
Most major cruise lines like Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Holland America Lines, Norwegian Cruise Lines, and P&O do allow qualified service dogs, but with differing definitions of qualified. It’s best to call the cruise line and speak with an informed service representative. Some lines, Norwegian comes to mind, have special representatives that deal specifically with making special arrangements for disabled cruisers, and their service dogs. A notable exception is Costa Cruises which doesn’t seem to allow service animals at all.