Can You Take Your Pet on a Cruise Holiday?


If you’re looking for a pet-friendly holiday, cruising may not be the first thing that springs to mind. But if you can’t bear the idea of leaving your furry companion behind as you set sail, it is possible to bring your pet on a cruise trip.

Which ships allow pets on board?

Not many cruise liners allow pets on board. In fact, only one: Cunard’s Queen Mary II, “the most magnificent ocean liner ever built”, permits pets all year round. While some smaller cruise liners host special events in which dogs and cats are allowed on board, these are usually one-day-only occasions and are more for novelty value than a luxury holiday experience.

Queen Mary 2 | Pet on a cruise

Will my pet get to stay in my cabin?

Unfortunately, pets aren’t permitted in cabins except for service animals (more on them later). If you had visions of waking up to a wagging tail and enjoying the sea air with your dog or cat by your side, think again.

Dogs and cats are confined to their own quarters on board the ship, where they are assigned their own kennel. You will only be able to visit them during designated hours, and taking them off for a jaunt around the ship is out of the question. But on the bright side, they will be given their own bed and the very best of care from dedicated crew members, who will feed, walk, play with and clean up after them – as well as spoiling them rotten with toys and treats.

How much will it cost to take my pet on a cruise?

Bringing your four-legged family member along for the duration of the cruise doesn’t come cheap. The Queen Mary II allows pets aboard on transatlantic journeys between New York and Southampton. Prices range from $500 to $1,000 per dog and from $1,000 to $1,600 for cat (cats require two kennel spaces – one for the litter box).

Do I need to book ahead?

If you’re still keen on giving your dog or cat the luxury cruise experience, you’ll need to book 12 to 18 months in advance, as there’s only space for 12 pets on the ship. In some cases pets are able to share kennels depending on their size, but cats and miniature dogs such as chihuahuas are the limit. Great Danes and even Labradors will need a kennel each.

Pet on a cruise holiday

What about service animals?

Although most lines do not allow dogs on board, exceptions are made for service animals. Requirements for service animals vary from cruise line to cruise line, so be sure to enquire about the policy before booking. You should also find out about provisions – will food be provided or will you have to bring your own? Is there a place for the dog to relieve itself?

Due to past instances of passengers bringing their pet on board and pretending it is a service dog, some cruise lines can be wary of permitting them on board. It is likely that you will need to show your dog’s certificate, and ensure that they are wearing their harness or cape at all times when outside your cabin.

If you need more help and advice on taking your pet on a cruise holiday, contact the Cruise1st Australia team today on 1300 857 345 and our friendly customer service team will be happy to help you.


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