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When Traveling Goes To The Dogs…

On the weekend, we put our daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter on a plane for home after a welcome visit that was short on time and long on enjoyment. But that's beside the point, because we wouldn't be telling you this unless there was some connection to cruising.

And there is.

On their plane were at least five, and maybe as many as 10 dogs. Now to be clear about something, we love dogs. Not in that "some of our best friends are dogs" kind of way, but in the family way, if you'll pardon the expression. There have always been dogs somewhere in our family, and there always will be.

However, count us among the airline passengers who think dogs have no place in the cabins of planes…and the connection to cruising, if you haven't figured it out, is that Corgi-Sannse(WC) copythey also have no place on cruise ships. Fortunately, they remain unwelcome on ships unless they are working — as service dogs for people who require them.

There are good reasons behind our reasoning. At least we think so. Dogs can travel in the hold of planes. Our Corgi did it for years and years. One time, she even flew in the hold when we weren't in the cabin after the flight attendant alerted is that it would be too cold for her, so she took a later flight.

Secondly, as hard as this is to believe, some people just don't like dogs. And some are allergic to dogs. And some could be bitten by dogs roaming the aisle — just wait! — the way little kids do. And some will find it annoying if a dogs whines or growls or, worse yet, makes a mess in his Mommy's purse, or wherever it is they keep pet dogs on planes now. As an aside, none of these things happened on our family's latest flight…in fact all five or 10 dogs were eerily quiet.

On our family's flight this weekend, these were not "purse" dogs. There was a German Shepherd, a black lab, etc. etc.

So far, cruise lines are pet smart and not pet friendly.

However, life changes in strange ways, doesn't it?

Photo credit: Sannse, Wikimedia Commons

Today at Phil Reimer's portsandbows.com: Royal Caribbean, New Orleans parting ways

Norwegian Star
9 nights
July 12, 2014
Copenhagen (return): BerlinTallinnSt. PetersburgHelsinkiStockholm
Inside: $699
Cost per day: $77
www.ncl.com

 

Queen Mary 2's Canine Corps

Here’s a strange cruise item for you. If booked on the Queen Mary 2, passengers can take their dogs on a cruise. They no longer have to be only (or disguised as!!!) service dogs.

As people who always took our (late) dog on vacation and who right now are dog-sitting (his name is Max) for friends, this borders on being exciting news. Doggy daycare on a cruise ship. We can hardly wait to tell our kids, who have all invested heavily in doggy daycare on land.

Cunard, alas, has some limitations.

It only applies when the Queen Mary sails from Southampton to New York. On the ship, dog owners are encouraged to visit their dogs as often as they’d like. There is access to the kennel, and the walking areas, indoor and out.

There’s only one problem. Dogs are not allowed in the staterooms. Every dog lover knows that dogs not only go where you go, but they sleep where you sleep.

Just ask Max.

DAILY DEAL:
Norwegian Spirit
7 nights
January 8, 2012
New Orleans (return): Costa Maya, Belize City, Roatan, Cozumel
Inside $409.00
www.ncl.com

Princess and its Dogs an Education

This month’s feel-good story comes from Princess. It’s about dogs. Since we have had two dogs in our  family named Princess, we should be the ones to bring this story to your attention.

Ours were not guide dogs. These are. We had no idea guide dogs went on cruise ships, but they do, and Princess is probably not the only cruise line to accommodate them. On the other side of the guide dog is, of course, a passenger who is visually impaired.

The cruise line has been accommodating blind (or visually impaired) passengers and their dogs for 18 years. Learning how has been an evolution — everything from having dishes of water in the dining room to a special area on what is called the “poop” deck to having a day when other passengers can visit with the dogs on the top deck. For dog owners who get homesick, of course.

The latest crop of graduates from Guide Dogs for the Blind brought their owners aboard the Sea Princess (below) for a day when the ship was moored in San Francisco.

The most telling comment from the day was that the experiences have given Princess “a different way to see the world.”

The dogs feel the same way.

All of the details are available on YouTube — just click here.

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