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Cunard A Cruise Line For The Dogs

Many years ago, on a visit to the vet with our brother-in-law and his dog, we noticed a brochure on the counter advertising "pet insurance." We laughed at the prospect of needing such an unnecessary and frivolous expense. In the succeeding years of Princessmounting veterinary bills in both households, the laughing ceased.

So it is today that we refuse to mock dogs and cruises. Instead, we shall only report…

That Cunard has a kennel program (or "programme") for pets on the Queen Mary 2, which means that pets can cruise across the Atlantic from New York to Southampton or vice-versa.

That the dogs are not allowed in any guest area of the ship.

That there is a full-time kennel master who will feed, walk and…you know, clean up after the pets.

That the animals will receive a complimentary gift pack.

That visitation is allowed during the day, enabling the owners to feed, walk and, you know…

That there is only room for 12 "spacious" kennels.

That the dogs and cats must be in possession of a "pet passport."

The cost? Given our history, does it really matter?

Today at Phil Reimer's portsandbows.com: Cruise news, views and gossip

Carnival Conquest
7 nights
August 24, 2014
Miami (return): CozumelBelizeRoatanCosta Maya
Balcony: $559
Cost per day: $79

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


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.

Norwegian Spirit
7 nights
January 8, 2012
New Orleans (return): Costa Maya, Belize City, Roatan, Cozumel
Inside $409.00

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