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I recently came across several articles stating that pets are not allowed on cruise ships. Being a stickler for journalistic truth, I’d like to clear the air.
Disney, Carnival and other cruise lines do allow service animals on board and on Cunard line’s Queen Mary 2 dogs and cats can travel in style between New York and Southampton, U.K. There also are several smaller ships and ferry lines that allow pets in Europe.Cunard has a long history of providing a safe trans-Atlantic crossing to passengers with pets. Three cats were the first feline passengers who sailed in 1840 on Britannia’s maiden voyage.
Gone are the days when pampered pooches of royalty and movie stars shared their cabins with their pets. Now there is a specially designed kennel on the QM2. I’ve sailed on this beautiful ship and it would be my choice of transport for my kitty crew if we had to move to Europe. For dogs it beats being flown in cargo. In fact, it’s like a luxury floating pet kennel offering the best of both worlds, a vacation together with separate downtime for all.
If you are considering Cunard’s “Pets on Deck” program on the QM2 with Fluffy or Fido, please note:
- All pets must have up-to-date vaccinations and be micro-chipped.
- Reservations must be made well in advance (six months is not uncommon)
- Pets cannot travel unaccompanied.
- Pets are restricted to the kennel area or the outdoors exercise deck.
- Cats are not allowed outdoors.
- There are 12 spacious kennels. Two kennels can be joined for two pet mates or a larger dog. There is choice of beds and blankets or you can bring your own.
- The following dog breeds are not allowed due to size: Afghan, Bloodhound, Borzoi, Briard, Irish Wolfhound, Mastiff, New Foundland, Curly Coated Retriever, Gordon Setter, Great Dane, Greyhound, Irish Setter, Deer Hound, Doberman, Pyrenees, Saluki, Bull Mastiff, St. Bernard, Weimeraner and Malamute.
- A Kennel Master takes excellent care feeding, walking and caring for pets.
- Passengers can select meals of their choice of provide their own pet food.
- There are fresh-baked biscuits and a turn-down service.
- Pets receive a complimentary gift pack including items such as a QM2-logoed coat, Frisbee, name tag, food bowl and scoop, a crossing certificate, personalized cruise card and an optional portrait taken with their pet(s).
- Pet guardians are allowed to visit several times a day in the visiting room or play outdoors with their dog.
- The cost is from $300.00 per pet.
- The trans-Atlantic crossing takes a pleasant six days. Getting there is half the fun. Bon voyage!