A person with a disability is not limited to an on land vacation. Cruising can be a great option. But what does it mean for your service dog? Can they go with you? What accommodations will be made? Most importantly, where will the dog go to the bathroom?
*This page is meant to serve as a resource for potential cruisers to research what they can expect and how their needs would be met. Any legal related questions should be directed towards an ADA specialized lawyer.
If you need more information on the difference between a service dog, an emotional support animal, and a therapy dog, check out the following links.
I do not know of any cruises that allow support or therapy animals on. However, service dogs provide a great service to those who utilize them and allow the person to vacation like anyone else.
If bringing a dog, let the cruise line know and they will make sure there is a potty pad available to you. I have heard they have put it on balconies or on a deck out of the way from guests.
Dealing with those who become rude
Unfortunately, not everyone understands service dogs and the differences between other animals. There are many stereotypes out there – such as the animal must be a large dog to be useful – that can hinder fellow cruisers understanding. You may hear comments or have people complaining about your service dog. PLEASE do not think you have to listen to it. If at dinner, ask to be moved. If elsewhere, alert a staff member. You did everything right, provided the right documentation, and should be allowed a bully-free cruise.
Traveling to other countries
Every country has different requirements to bring your dog on shore. To find out more information on this, APHIS Pet Travel website can help you with the requirements needed.
A cruising friend shared an experience with trying to book the Chef’s Table on Carnival and running into a road block. While the friend suggested ways around of participating without the service dog being in the galley, no accommodations were made. See below for the official statement from Carnival’s guest service.