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Guide Dogs on Cruise Ships

Guide Dogs on Cruise Ships

In the cruise industry, cruise lines are unwaveringly committed to ensuring their guests have access to a wide array of amenities and services, catering to their diverse needs. Whether it’s bolstered WiFi connectivity for staying in touch with loved ones back home, a more adaptable dining policy, or the provisions for accommodating guide dogs on cruise ships.

Each cruise brand may have distinct policies concerning the inclusion of guide dogs on their vessels, but they universally acknowledge the importance of these service animals in facilitating daily activities.


Azamara Cruises warmly welcome service dogs on board but do not allow regular pets. Service dogs have access to shared relief areas, can accompany guests with disabilities in all public areas, including dining venues, while being required to be leashed or harnessed. However, service dogs are not permitted in pool, whirlpool, or spa areas. It’s important to emphasize that owners are solely responsible for the care and supervision of their service dogs, as the cruise ships do not provide food or care for them.

Carnival Cruise Line:

Carnival welcomes legally defined service dogs individually trained to assist individuals with disabilities by performing tasks such as guiding, alerting, or aiding with mobility. It’s important to note that many ports of call have strict entry requirements for animals, and guests traveling with service dogs should consult with the dog’s veterinarian to understand each destination country’s policies. Carnival requests guests to carry all necessary documents and the service dog’s current vaccination records, which may be requested once onboard.

Celebrity Cruises:

Celebrity Cruises warmly welcome service dogs while strictly prohibiting pets on board. Guests are kindly requested to provide a minimum of 14 days’ advance notice if they plan to bring a service animal on board.


Cunard welcomes registered assistance dogs on board, provided they are certified by an organisation that is a full member of Assistance Dogs International (ADI) or International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF). Please note that emotional support dogs, not recognised as assistance dogs by these organisations, are not allowed on board. Additionally, all assistance dogs are carried free of charge.

Cunard warmly welcomes registered assistance dogs on all their ships, with a DEFRA license for specific routes. Owners are advised to stay informed about travel conditions and carry their dog’s identification card in case it’s needed by local authorities.

Disney Cruise Line:

Most areas on Disney Cruise ships are open to trained service animals, as long as they are kept on a leash and under the owner’s control. Please note that the cruise line does not provide care or food for your service animal.

Service animals are restricted from pools and wet play areas on our ships and should not be left unattended in staterooms. It’s important to emphasise that some Port Adventures excursions may not permit service animals due to their specific nature.

Holland America:

Holland America ships do not allow animals or pets on board, except for qualified service animals assisting guests with disabilities.

Guests intending to bring service animals on board are encouraged to contact the Access & Compliance Department before traveling and should be prepared to provide health certificate documentation for the animal in ports of call.

Holland America emphasises to passengers that specific itineraries may include ports of call with strict entry requirements, potentially leading to service animals not being allowed ashore until these conditions are satisfied.

MSC Cruises:

MSC ships welcome properly trained and certified guide dogs on board, as long as they are in good health and possess all the necessary documents for entry into the countries visited during the cruise.

The cruise line assures that guests will receive advance information regarding the accommodations for the dog, available facilities, and embarkation and disembarkation procedures. It is important to emphasize that guests bear full responsibility for the custody, feeding, and overall care of the animal.

Norwegian Cruise Line:

Norwegian Cruise Line welcomes trained service dogs that perform specific tasks, but guests traveling with them must book at least two weeks in advance. This time allows for checks with each port of call and the submission of all necessary documentation.

Guests are required to provide copies of the dog’s current up-to-date vaccination records, a USDA or International Health certificate, and assume responsibility for bringing the dog’s food, medication, and a life jacket.

P&O Cruises:

P&O Cruises welcomes registered assistance dogs that are certified by recognized assistance dog accrediting bodies. Guests planning to travel with an assistance dog must notify the cruise line at least 48 hours before departure and should be aware that only fully trained assistance dogs are allowed.

Owners are advised to carry their dog’s identification card and provide confirmation of their assistance dog during booking. Onboard, the assistance dog must remain with the owner at all times. Assistance dogs are required to wear their harness at all times when outside the cabin, and P&O Cruises emphasizes that, given the cruise’s nature, they cannot offer a secure off-leash area for these dogs.

Princess Cruises:

Service animals are permitted on Princess cruise ships, although it’s important for guests to be aware that entry regulations for service animals differ from port to port.

Passengers are advised to contact local authorities at each port before departure for specific information. Additionally, please note that the cruise line does not provide food for animals.

Royal Caribbean:

Royal Caribbean commits to offering small relief areas for guide dogs brought on board and requests that guests notify their Special Services team when booking their cruise. This allows the team to facilitate onboard clearance. However, it’s essential for individuals with guide dogs to understand that they are solely responsible for the care and supervision of their service animal, including providing food and care.

For any more information on taking guide dogs on cruise ships, call our cruise specialists on 02380 658 386.

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