Is It Time To Treat Your Pet To A Cruise?
A recent survey revealed that 10.5 million pet owners spend the majority of their time on vacation worrying about the pets they have left behind at home. For these people, their first priority after booking their vacation is organizing pet care while they are away.
However the survey also found that one in ten owners will not even consider taking a vacation without having their pet with them. When taking a pet on vacation there are considerations that must be made, such as making sure their routine is kept as closely as possible to the one they have at home, checking that your destination has all the appropriate facilities for your pet, making sure your pet has an identity tag or collar with your contact details on, and potentially getting your pet vaccinated to reduce the risk of exposing your pet to foreign diseases or health risks.
Cruising With Pets
Going on a cruise is becoming an increasingly popular vacation choice within the travel industry for many people, but is it possible to take a pet on a cruise with you?
Unfortunately, most major cruise liners don’t accept pets on board unless they are a service animal, such as a guide dog, which helps a person with a disability and can go anywhere with their owner on a cruise ship. These limitations are in place just because most ships are just not designed to cope with animals in a limited space already filled with hundreds of people. They need areas to sleep, exercise and be able to relieve themselves and this would be difficult to accommodate whilst also sticking to the strict health and safety regulations that are in place on cruise ships. With a service animal, the owner is obligated to research and plan ahead to find out about the restrictions of bringing animals into the foreign countries visited on a cruise, and they should provide the necessary paperwork and permits as well as ensuring that the animal is under their supervision at all times.
Only one cruise service allows pets, a British cruise company called Cunard. This company has allied with the Pet Travel Scheme to provide the same luxury accommodation for their customer’s pets as their customers receive! They have two ships that are equipped to carry and handle animals, the QE2 and the QM2, and these ships are equipped with luxury air-conditioned kennels, 24 hour care and attendance from a designated kennel master, indoor and outdoor exercise areas and the cost of food included in your travel ticket. Owners can provide their own bed or bedding for their pet, to supplement the fleece blankets provided by the cruise company. Pets also receive a food bowl complete with premium pet food, healthy, freshly baked cookies which they are fed daily at bed time, a name tag and their own Frisbee to play with!
The Fine Print
There are designated visiting hours for you to visit your pet whilst you are traveling, as they must stay in their kennels for the duration of the trip, which are from 7.30am – 9.30am, 11.00am – 12.00pm and 3.30pm – 6.30pm. You will need to check availability and book well in advance, as places are limited to 12 per ship and book up very quickly! You should adhere to the paperwork requests such as a pet passport and certificates that demonstrate the health of the pet and prove they have passed a recent check-up. There are also restrictions in place for the size of your pet, so larger animals will possibly not be able to travel. Please visit the Cunard website for more information on the kennel rules and regulations.
Famous Travelers and Their Pets!
The Cunard cruise company has also had the privilege of transporting some rather famous pets and their owners over the years! Elizabeth Taylor’s dog, The Duke and Duchess of Windsor’s puppy and Britain’s most popular dog Pudsey and his owner Ashley have all benefited from the star treatment provided by Cunard. Pets on Deck is clearly a great concept for any pet and their owners, no matter how famous they are! Cruising these days is not just for people, and who knows, maybe this could be the start of a new trend in vacation-ing with your pets!