Originally Posted by zincpenny
neither my dog nor i have ever been on a civilian cruise.........
cunard's qe2 is the only cruise ship that allows a limited number of dogs and there is almost always a wait list for openings. if you have a true service dog it is allowed on the lines but the vaccinations and paperwork is another hurdle. because of all the ports visited it is usually very expensive to get a service dog ready to cruise. the cruise lines usually do not qualify comfort dogs and pets for therapy like occ and add.
hi penny, thanks for your reply.
i'm pretty sure both cunard's qm2 & newest queen elizabeth take 'pets' but my dog [rex] is not a pet. i've done some recon on s-dogs rules/regs on cruise-ships in general. with very few exceptions, rex can go where i go (planes, trains, restaurants, grocery, hospital) i.e., he's okay for ships. in addition to the stuff i already knew about s-dogs, i've learned a lot from reading posts about dogs on ships, accessibility, etc.
however, you're right about foreign ports (even hawaii). at least from what i've read, there are lot's of different requirements, aka: hurdles (as you put it) to clear for specific countries--including port/date specific documentation in some cases. by planning ahead, it's possible to cover the requirements. the question is: is it worth it to me?
cost/benefit analysis [should be] easy ... if i want to go ashore [badly enough] in a port, i'll meet the requirements to do so--if not, i'll stay on the ship. in my mind (at least) there's a big difference between my being forbidden access to a place--and my making a conscious choice to forgo getting the appropriate access.
in a port with impractical s-dog requirements, it would be a matter of conditions on the ground:
if i felt comfortable going ashore solo (w/out rex) and was comfortable with where he would be while we're apart, i may give it a go. if not, no harm no foul.
either way, worst case scenario: i'd be 'stranded' on a floating resort that's adequately staffed & provisioned ... with added peace/quiet, generally no waiting, lines or shortage of deck chairs--and possibly some good [port-day] deals/values on stuff like rubdowns etc, experiences/services i ordinarily might not try. maybe even some off-leash fun/games for rex--again, based on conditions on the ground. i think even the most cynical person would be hard-pressed to complain about being 'stuck' in such an environment.
my larger challenge [as i see it] will be finding the right person to bunk with (thereby vastly reduce costs). i think what most people don't realize, is that s-dogs (via their nature and training) are non-intrusive--still, i realize that bunking with a stranger (and his 'non-intrusive' dog) could be a relevant issue in tight quarters--which is why i asked ellie (the ad's poster) what stateroom category (sq ft, etc) her friend is looking at.
also, if ellie's friend needs occasional assistance i could lend--the arrangement could work out. like with any 'sharing' agreement--upfront/honest communication (re: smoke/drink/snoring/expectation) is important, as is establishing ground rules (guests, etc). the other stuff, like how much time (if any) the 'sharers' spend together outside their quarters, would be dependent on mutual enjoyment/benefit, etc. anyhow--i wrote more than i intended to.
if i find a person to share with--excellent. if not, i'll go solo ... albeit, probably less often. but, if 'taking fewer cruises each year' is my biggest problem, then i've got a pretty good life, right! ;-) thanks for your input!