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  #1  
Old July 6th, 2007, 06:55 PM
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wizard-of-roz wizard-of-roz is offline
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Wink Cruising With A Service Dog....everything You Ever Wanted To Know!

We travel with a service dog..she is going to be on her 6th cruise in September and 7th in November.....We've learned a lot and have some suggestions for you....
  • Don't be hesitant to do it.....it's wonderful! And truly has made our cruising so much more fun!!!!!!
  • We've cruised on Celebrity/NCL/Princess/Carnival and HAL.
  • The Best (most accomodating-all around) - HAL
  • The Best set-up (potty-box) - NCL/Princess
  • The Best crew for dog friendliness HAL/Princess
  • Passenger friendliness...every ship we've ever been on. We only 1 passenger in all of our cruises who absolutely refused to eat in the Buffet area, with a dog!
If you have any questions about the ship requirements/easy way to deal with "special needs" departments/cabins/dining area/potty box/food/exercise/hotel/excursions/airplanes, etc. Ask away......

I don't want to bore you with all the details...so, I'll let you lead the way!
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Old July 7th, 2007, 04:48 AM
Quampapetet Quampapetet is offline
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Thank you for posting this! I just joined this board to ask some questions for going on my first cruise, some of those questions being about cruising with my service dog. It is hard to find people who have cruised with their service dog.

I've travelled a lot with my service dog, domestically and internationally, but never on a cruise ship. (Only boats she's been on are high-speed ferries and the rides and Friendships at Disney.) The biggest difference, of course, being no land for pottying on a cruise ship!

We'll be going on Royal Caribbean in the spring. I see you haven't gone on them before, but I'll still accept any and all tips from ya.

RC's Web site says they provide a 4'x4' box of mulch as a potty spot. It doesn't say where or if they give a grass/turf option. I've written the special needs e-mail address, but never got a response. The TA (group trip) is supposed to be looking into the info. for me, but I hear she may forget about it. I think I will call RC myself.

Since we are seasoned travellers, I don't have questions about basic travelling or flying or anything. The biggest one is the potty box details. The other is an excursion for Cozumel, Mexico (I already know what I'm doing in Key West and can't get off at the other two places, as far as I have read up on via the Internet [technically I could get off at Cayman Islands, but am not about to spend the time and money {couple hundred} just for less than 8 hours there]).

Have you used one of those plastic water bowls that is supposed to keep the water from splashing/spilling out of it? I don't know how well they work and I normally just use the Outward Hound plastic folding travel bowls (the ones that fold up and you could keep the pack of three of them in your pocket), but I figured on a moving boat, it might be worth it to take up luggage space with the non-splashing bowl (I saw one brand with carpet grabbers on the bottom, so think I'll get that one to prevent the bowl itself from sliding/slipping around). I'll still use a folding bowl for food.

Any tips or stories you can post will be great! Thanks!
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Old July 7th, 2007, 07:10 PM
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We'll be going on Royal Caribbean in the spring. I see you haven't gone on them before, but I'll still accept any and all tips from ya.
Looks to me like Roz has been on Royal Caribbean 5 times according to her sig! I bet she can help you out.
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Old July 9th, 2007, 03:17 PM
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Quam: We have not taken "Brenda" on RCCL (those trips were prior to my receiving her!) However, I do have the "Special Needs" Department phone number for RCCL: 800.722.5472 Ex:#34492.

The Potty Box is always a "variable" on different cruise lines.
Celebrity uses a 4x4 wooden box (sturdily built) and filled with cyprus mulch. They placed it on deck 4 (starboard, forward), where the public does not go (unless it's an Alaskan cruise.) It's right outside the Theatre so it was very convenient in the evening, after the shows.

Depending on where your cabin is, you must go through the casino, forward and then out the Starboard side. Once "Brenda" did it, I was able to remove her leash once we were out on deck and she would go to her box immediately! These service dogs are so smart!!!!

Princess uses a 4x4 cardboard box (disposable) filled with woodshavings. They placed the box in a stairwell, around the corner from our cabin. It was great! However, if you are in a wheelchair this would not work. The door is extremely heavy, leading to the stairwell and has a huge lip that you must cross. I asked for this placement, specifically. They originally had the box on a deck that was used by smokers and they would drop their cigarette butts in the box. I requested that it be moved.

NCL uses a 4x4 wooden box (sturdily built), with a plastic liner and wood chips (the kind you see in gardens). It was placed exactly 20 feet from our cabin, in a laundry room that the crew uses for washing their mops. It had the words "crew only" on the door and it was the most convenient. I could go there in my pajamas! I loved it!!!!

Holland America uses a 4x3 wood box (smaller than the rest), (sturdily built), with sod, (the kind used for lawns.) It was placed on deck 3, forward. The only problem with this is it was the "wrap around" deck, where people would do their jogging or walking and was a bit distracting for Brenda. Boy, were they shocked when they say her doing her thing! Their hotel manager was the most wonderful. He would check with me, frequently, to make sure we were happy!

Carnival uses a 4x4 wooden box filled with those damn paper pellets. Before the muster drill and when I should have been exploring the ship or having lunch; I was busy trying to get them to move her box and put something else in place of the pellets.

The box was initially placed on the deck where they have a golf simulator (so while pople were playing golf, Brenda was supposed to go potty?) It was also located on a deck where you had to climb two sets of stairs, (what were they thinking?)

The hotel manager had a crew member leave the ship with a bucket and a shovel.....he literally dug up dirt, under a tree, across the street from the dock (this was in San Diego!) Unblieveable, but true!!!!! Once the dirt was mixed with the pellets Brenda easily relieved herself!

The box was moved to deck 10, where passengers smoked (I was always retrieveing cigarette butts out of the dirt!) It was better than where it was and I met with the hotel manager, to explain my displeasure of his being so ill prepared for a service dog and was offered a 15% discount on a future cruise!

Brenda has been in Mazatlan; Puerto Vallarta; Cabo San Lucas; Acapulco; Ixtapa; Zihuatenajo; La Paz; Catalina and more. In Mexico, the only problem is loose dogs. Although my husband became the "look-out" and protector, to keep the stray animals away; Mexico really does not have a "leash/vaccination or license law." So, be careful and watchful.

Brenda has her favorite "travel dish" that we bring on all cruises. It's a regular double/type water & food dish. It's made of plastic and travels well! You really do not need to worry about spilage. It never happens. The stabilizers on these grand ships keep the water in it's place.

She's on Eukanuba kibble; I put each days feeding in a plastic bag, put it in her dish, twice a day & save the bags for recycling. I carry a "foldable" water dish, in my purse. I love it and have used it many times (usually while waiting to board the ship.) I purchased it online from CCI (Canine Companions for Independence.) It has a clip on it so it can attach to my belt or to her vest.

Always get to know the Hotel Manager (he/she will make sure that you're needs are met.) Upon boarding the ship immediately go to the Purser's (Information Desk), introduce yourself and inquire as to where the box has been placed. If you're not happy insist they move it.

I must tell you that they will not always have the "filling" that you requested.....they use a variety of "fillers" from: Paper pellets (Brenda hates these; they're hard, circular shaped and are unpleasant to step on); various kinds of mulch; dirt; wood chips or wood shavings.

I now bring a bag of mulch with me. I pack it in a large plastic bag and place it in my hanging bag. I will NEVER take the chance of her not having what she needs ever again! It's way too time consuming and I miss too much fun, in the beginning of the cruise. If I don't like the filling, I dump my bag on top....mix it around...and, waalah! We're cruising!!!!!!!!!!

My suggestion is to try and get a cabin mid-ship this way, depending on where they place the box, you're never too far away! Although my favorite Handicapped cabin, on Princess, is in the aft part of the ship (this is the one I use the stairwell for her potty box!)

When "tendering" into a port. Make sure that someone on the "tender" is prepared to take your dogs leash, until you get onboard. And, the same for when you are re-boarding the ship! It can be a bit "spooky" because the "tender" is always moving and it puts the dog a bit "off balance!"

From what you've written, it seems that you're a pretty saavy traveler. I hope that the above helps a little more....
....Have a wonderful cruise!
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Old July 9th, 2007, 04:56 PM
Quampapetet Quampapetet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard-of-roz View Post
Quam: We have not taken "Brenda" on RCCL (those trips were prior to my receiving her!) However, I do have the "Special Needs" Department phone number for RCCL: 800.722.5472 Ex:#34492.
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard-of-roz View Post

The Potty Box is always a "variable" on different cruise lines.

Celebrity uses a 4x4 wooden box (sturdily built) and filled with cyprus mulch.
That's what RCCL's Web site says they use - a 4'x4' box of Cyprus mulch. I need to look up online what exactly Cyprus mulch is. I don't know if it is similar to what is used around plants or not. My dog is fine with grass or the mulch used around plants (though she prefers grass, of course, as do I - the mulch isn't always as absorbant).

[color=indigo]
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Originally Posted by wizard-of-roz View Post
They placed it on deck 4 (starboard, forward), where the public does not go (unless it's an Alaskan cruise.) It's right outside the Theatre so it was very convenient in the evening, after the shows. Depending on where your cabin is, you must go through the casino, forward and then out the Starboard side. Once "Brenda" did it, I was able to remove her leash once we were out on deck and she would go to her box immediately! These service dogs are so smart!!!!
Sounds like that placement was semi-convenient. That is great that you could let her off-leash to go, since nobody else was there.

Do the ships normally have convenient places for you to throw out the poo pick-up bags?


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Princess
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Originally Posted by wizard-of-roz View Post
uses a 4x4 cardboard box (disposable) filled with woodshavings. They placed the box in a stairwell, around the corner from our cabin. It was great! However, if you are in a wheelchair this would not work.


I'm not in a chair, so a stairwell or other such location would be fine for me. A cardboard box doesn't sound as sturdy as a wood box, though!

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The door is extremely heavy, leading to the stairwell and has a huge lip that you must cross. I asked for this placement, specifically. They originally had the box on a deck that was used by smokers and they would drop their cigarette butts in the box. I requested that it be moved.


That stinks that the smokers dropped their butts in the potty box! I'd have been ticked. (Although, was it labeled? If it wasn't labeled as a doggy potty, they prob'ly thought it was there for them.) Glad they moved it for you!


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NCL
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard-of-roz View Post
uses a 4x4 wooden box (sturdily built), with a plastic liner and wood chips (the kind you see in gardens). It was placed exactly 20 feet from our cabin, in a laundry room that the crew uses for washing their mops. It had the words "crew only" on the door and it was the most convenient. I could go there in my pajamas! I loved it!!!!


That sounds like quite the ideal setup! Hopefully there were no exposed chemicals in there or anything. I wouldn't mind a setup like that.


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Holland America
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard-of-roz View Post
uses a 4x3 wood box (smaller than the rest), (sturdily built), with sod, (the kind used for lawns.) It was placed on deck 3, forward. The only problem with this is it was the "wrap around" deck, where people would do their jogging or walking and was a bit distracting for Brenda. Boy, were they shocked when they say her doing her thing! Their hotel manager was the most wonderful. He would check with me, frequently, to make sure we were happy!


Haha, I can just picture people's faces coming around the corner on a cruise ship and seeing a dog in the midst of "doody"! Yeah, that definitely could be a distracting location, though.


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Carnival
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Originally Posted by wizard-of-roz View Post
uses a 4x4 wooden box filled with those damn paper pellets.


Paper pellets? What were they thinking?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard-of-roz View Post
Before the muster drill and when I should have been exploring the ship or having lunch; I was busy trying to get them to move her box and put something else in place of the pellets.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard-of-roz View Post

The box was initially placed on the deck where they have a golf simulator (so while pople were playing golf, Brenda was supposed to go potty?) It was also located on a deck where you had to climb two sets of stairs, (what were they thinking?)
Oh yeah, great thinking. Sheesh!


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Originally Posted by wizard-of-roz View Post
The hotel manager had a crew member leave the ship with a bucket and a shovel.....he literally dug up dirt, under a tree, across the street from the dock (this was in San Diego!) Unblieveable, but true!!!!! Once the dirt was mixed with the pellets Brenda easily relieved herself!


That made me laugh!! That is awesome that they did that for you, though! Yeah, dirt is much better than paper pellets (cat litter?).


Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard-of-roz View Post
The box was moved to deck 10, where passengers smoked (I was always retrieveing cigarette butts out of the dirt!) It was better than where it was and I met with the hotel manager, to explain my displeasure of his being so ill prepared for a service dog and was offered a 15% discount on a future cruise!


That stinks it was in a smoking area and people dropped their butts in it all the time, but that's nice that they moved it from the golf area. That's great that you were able to share your displeasure and even got a discount! Hopefully the next time somebody brings their service dog on that cruise, they will know better.


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Brenda has been in Mazatlan; Puerto Vallarta; Cabo San Lucas; Acapulco; Ixtapa; Zihuatenajo; La Paz; Catalina and more.


I can't even pronounce most of those, LOL! Sounds like she is well-travelled, though!

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In Mexico, the only problem is loose dogs. Although my husband became the "look-out" and protector, to keep the stray animals away; Mexico really does not have a "leash/vaccination or license law." So, be careful and watchful.


Thanks for the tip! Maybe I will have to buy that "Direct Stop" stuff. Have you seen that? It is a can of citrus stuff that you can spray at attacking dogs. Unlike pepper spray, it can't harm them. It just startles and distracts them.


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Originally Posted by wizard-of-roz View Post
Brenda has her favorite "travel dish" that we bring on all cruises. It's a regular double/type water & food dish. It's made of plastic and travels well! You really do not need to worry about spilage. It never happens. The stabilizers on these grand ships keep the water in it's place.


Thanks! Good to know. I'll just stick with our regular travel bowls, then (the folding "disposable" [though I never dispose of them] ones).


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She's on Eukanuba kibble; I put each days feeding in a plastic bag, put it in her dish, twice a day & save the bags for recycling.


That's what I do with her dried food when we travel, too. (She gets canned food for breakfast and dried for dinner. She eats Merrick for both.) I measure out the dried in individual baggies and then roll all the air out of them. I don't add the supplements 'til I feed them, though, mostly 'cause it wouldn't work (the powder and liquid ones would just get stuck on the bag) and so they stay fresh and all. I've never recycled plastic baggies, though. Never thought of that.

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I carry a "foldable" water dish, in my purse. I love it and have used it many times (usually while waiting to board the ship.) I purchased it online from CCI (Canine Companions for Independence.) It has a clip on it so it can attach to my belt or to her vest.


Yeah, I keep one of the Outward Hound plastic folding "disposable" bowls in my dog's pack at all times. It does come in handy when you're out all day, especially when it is really hot out! And it takes up no room, so it is great.


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Always get to know the Hotel Manager (he/she will make sure that you're needs are met.) Upon boarding the ship immediately go to the Purser's (Information Desk), introduce yourself and inquire as to where the box has been placed. If you're not happy insist they move it.


Thanks for the encouragement to be insistent!! I needed that. Hopefully I won't settle for a poor placement for the box! (I think I'll bring a sign with me, though, to label the box and say no cigarette butts are to be put in it, just in case.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard-of-roz View Post
I must tell you that they will not always have the "filling" that you requested.....they use a variety of "fillers" from: Paper pellets (Brenda hates these; they're hard, circular shaped and are unpleasant to step on); various kinds of mulch; dirt; wood chips or wood shavings.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard-of-roz View Post

I now bring a bag of mulch with me. I pack it in a large plastic bag and place it in my hanging bag. I will NEVER take the chance of her not having what she needs ever again! It's way too time consuming and I miss too much fun, in the beginning of the cruise. If I don't like the filling, I dump my bag on top....mix it around...and, waalah! We're cruising!!!!!!!!!!
Great idea. How much of it do you bring? I've seen online a company that sells a plastic potty spot for dogs (for the apartment/highrise crowd) and have thought about checking that out for a "just in case" or easy-access idea (I have a balcony cabin).


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Originally Posted by wizard-of-roz View Post
My suggestion is to try and get a cabin mid-ship this way, depending on where they place the box, you're never too far away! Although my favorite Handicapped cabin, on Princess, is in the aft part of the ship (this is the one I use the stairwell for her potty box!)


I'm going with a group, so am not choosing the cabin. It is just whichever on the TA assigns/assigned (don't know if she has done it yet). I don't need a handicapped one, though, since I'm not in a chair, so it'll be just a regular cabin.


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Originally Posted by wizard-of-roz View Post
When "tendering" into a port. Make sure that someone on the "tender" is prepared to take your dogs leash, until you get onboard. And, the same for when you are re-boarding the ship! It can be a bit "spooky" because the "tender" is always moving and it puts the dog a bit "off balance!"


The only tendered port for our cruise is one we won't be getting off at (I didn't choose the cruise, as it is a group cruise I'm going on).


Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard-of-roz View Post
From what you've written, it seems that you're a pretty saavy traveler.


Yeah, I travel at least once a year (not including the vacation spot we drive to for some weekends or days or a month). Since I got my dog, it has been at least twice a year we've travelled (again, not including the one we drive to). She's been on at least 16 flights (and I've been on a ton more than that), including international. So, we've done the flying thing before. Just not the cruising thing (which I've also never done). And neither of us have been to Mexico before.

We were on two high-speed ferries this past weekend. It wasn't her first time on that kind of ship, but the first since I knew we were going on a cruise (still can't believe I actually signed myself up for one! What was I thinking?! LOL!), so I watched her to see what she thought of the whole boating thing. She didn't have any problem with it. My own stomach and head, on the other hand, was a bit bothered! Anti-seasickness pills, here I come!

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I hope that the above helps a little more....
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....Have a wonderful cruise!
It does, thanks!!!!

Last edited by Quampapetet; July 9th, 2007 at 05:01 PM.
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Old July 9th, 2007, 05:35 PM
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After reading all this, I'm happier with my decision to leave my service dog at home when I cruise for the first time this fall. The potential problems on the ship are one thing (and I've already trained my SD to relieve herself on command,) but the hassles when going ashore are a greater unknown. Each country must have its own regulations about bringing animals ashore. And then there are the stray dogs, particularly in the Caribbean. Although I'll miss my SD for many reasons, at least I was able to find a safe and comfortable place for her to stay while I'm away on the cruise.
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Old July 9th, 2007, 06:11 PM
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Quam: Every ship supplied a waste disposal container, located next to the box, (I pick up/wrap up and dropt it) except for Carnival. So, I picked up the pooh; closed & knotted the bag and left it outside of the box. Next time we returned it was gone. I can only insist on so much!!!!!

Your idea of having a sign which reads "DO NOT PUT CIGARETTE BUTTS HERE, FOR DOG BUTTS, ONLY!" Is a great idea, I'm preparing one as I write this! I'll bring some tape to make sure it doesn't disappear!

"Direct Stop" I will have to look into getting some. That would be perfect and would help me to be more independent! Thanks!

By now I'm sure you've picked up on the fact that I double, triple check everywhere my girl goes, before she goes! All harmful chemicals and mops were removed from the area! And, I introduced her to the side of the ship (while on leash) to show her the ocean and the "drop!") Then she was allowed to explore, her own area, on her own!

The mulch that the ships use is the same that is placed in plant areas on land; in hotels, etc. Walmart or Green Thumb Nursery carries the (cyprus or cedar) mulch that I used and she loved it.

I buy the small bags; carry it with me (it's not heavy) when I go to the information desk to inquire about the box - (DO NOT TRY TO LOCATE THE BOX YOURSELF.....***INSIST THEY TAKEYOU TO IT!***) Pretend your navigationally challenged! I once spent 2 hours (not kidding) looking for the box and it was not where they said and around and around I went. What a gross waste of vacation time! I'll never do that again!!

If I don't need my bag of mulch I leave it there. It's not expense but it will (I promise you) save you so much strife!

***When I insist on something, I always use my softest/kindest/gentlest voice. It goes a loooooong way!!!!!!!

Thank you for your helpful hints....maybe, one day, our paws will meet.
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Old July 9th, 2007, 06:36 PM
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dakwriter: I LOVE having Brenda with us.....she's such a part of me....I don't want to go anywhere without her.....and, my DH is so attached to her. He's a diabetic who suffers from severe neurological pain. When I come home from work, Brenda looks for him; lays down with him and he tells me that all his pain diminishes when she's around!

She works with me but really serves us both! It's amazing!!!! She changes me and lightens his load! I wouldn't think of going without her! She loves the ocean and is a wonderful traveler! She's my heart and soul!

I know it sounds like a hassle and believe me, it was! It isn't anymore...I've learned where to go/how to go and what is the easiest way of doing everything for cruising! Now, it's so much fun!

I love walking her, on deck. And seeing her face when the ship rolls out to sea. She loves the smell of the salt air. We play ball on deck and the attention she gets from the crew and other passengers is always welcome! I can't imagine a cruise without her!
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Old July 9th, 2007, 07:09 PM
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dakwriter: I LOVE having Brenda with us.....she's such a part of me....I don't want to go anywhere without her.....and, my DH is so attached to her. He's a diabetic who suffers from severe neurological pain. When I come home from work, Brenda looks for him; lays down with him and he tells me that all his pain diminishes when she's around!

She works with me but really serves us both! It's amazing!!!! She changes me and lightens his load! I wouldn't think of going without her! She loves the ocean and is a wonderful traveler! She's my heart and soul!

I know it sounds like a hassle and believe me, it was! It isn't anymore...I've learned where to go/how to go and what is the easiest way of doing everything for cruising! Now, it's so much fun!

I love walking her, on deck. And seeing her face when the ship rolls out to sea. She loves the smell of the salt air. We play ball on deck and the attention she gets from the crew and other passengers is always welcome! I can't imagine a cruise without her!
Oh, Roz, I really do envy you, but I'm glad for you at the same time. If I could take my sweet "Ruby" with me everywhere I most certainly would! I'm so very attached to her and not just because she intuitively knows what to do when I need help. But my DH, who is even more dear to me, pointed out that not only would we have to deal with shipboard hassles and the many unknowns at ports of call if we took her along, but we also wouldn't be able to go on any of the shore excursions we are hoping to enjoy. It's just the two of us -- who would watch after Ruby while we snorkel or cave tube? If I was single, I would simply skip the shore excursions altogether and stay onboard for the entire cruise, enjoying the amenities, the change of scenery, my fellow passengers and being with my beloved Ruby. That would be more than enough vacation for me. As things are, however, I've resigned myself to having to leave her behind when we cruise, just as I do whenever we go to Disney World.
All the best,
Deb K.
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Old July 9th, 2007, 07:21 PM
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Deb: Isn't life such a "give and a take?" I've given up some of what I used to do; such as horseback riding in Mexico so that Brenda could be with me. I chose her company instead and that's okay for me!

I'm sure that you've found the best place for your "Ruby" to be when you're traveling and that works for you.

I wish you many, many healthy and happy days with her and funfilled, safe and joyful holidays with your DH!
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Old July 9th, 2007, 10:26 PM
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WOWOWOW ROZ! You are so informative and helpful! I do not have a service dog but I have friends who do...maybe I can convince them to come on a cruise!

I am just curious, and you don't have to answer if you don't want to. I think people with visible disabilities are more "allowed" to have service dogs by the general public, if you know what I mean. For example, if someone has a helper dog, people usually know what the dog is for. Same for someone who is obviously blind - people know what the dog does. But what about someone who is visually impaired, or hearing impaired? I have a friend who is visually impaired and she can often "see" a bit, so sometimes she has gotten confronted over bringing her guide dog places - people assume that if she can read a restaurant menu by herself, she can see just fine! I have another friend who is deaf but speaks well, so some people don't think she is deaf and they confront her about her hearing ear dog. So how do you deal with it when other pax decide "oh she can walk, she doesn't need a dog!" and complain about it? I assume most people are okay, but I bet crew does hear complaints from people who think a dog shouldn't be on board. Has anybody ever confronted you directly about bringing her on a ship?
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Old July 10th, 2007, 01:01 AM
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Valentine's Mom Valentine's Mom is offline
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I travel with my 10lb service dog named Valentine. To look at me I look fine and can walk with a cane for short distances but Valentine has gotten me out of some predicaments quite a few times. We do get some strange looks and a lot of questions. I don't mind a sincere question and Valentine and I will always stop and spend a few minutes explaining just what she does and why she is allowed to be on the ship when their pet is not. I have never had anyone say that they would not eat with a dog in the room. Everyone here has been very nice. I do always explain as soon as we are all seated that she is under the table so as not to catch anyone unaware and for her safety. I did have one drunk man say very loudly "There's that stupid service dog again!" Always said in a very loud mean voice everywhere that we went. How rude. Valentine has been on 6 cruises all in the . I have not run into the loose dogs in Mexico but I believe that we were probably lucky. Since Valentine is so small I do travel with her in a rolling suitcase, special for dogs, to keep her safe. She is small and people don't think to look down and one foot could break her little leg so even though we get the occasionaly laugh we will continue to ride this way. She doesn't help the laugh factor as she likes to ride standing up. I tell her she is surfing.! LOL

Valentine prefers the paper pellets for her litter box. I think it has something to do with size and the amount to absorb. We usually brought our own but Carnival has started to carry the very product that we use at home so we just use theirs. The only ship that we felt unwelcome on was NCL.

I say give it a try it really isn't that bad and she has been on 6 cruises so far and she would be going on a TA this year if we didn't have to stop in England. I would never quarantine her.

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  #13  
Old July 10th, 2007, 02:52 PM
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wizard-of-roz wizard-of-roz is offline
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Valentine's Mom: We've exchanged thoughts before. It's good to hear from you! And, I'm glad to see that "Valentine" is doing well!

I always warn people who are sitting adjacent to us, at restaurants or theatre's, that a service dog will be exiting from under the table or chair, "please don't be frightened!" I have always been thanked for doing this. Some people are scared to death of dogs and are not prepared to see one come out from under a table or chair.

Service dogs, in public places, should be considered the "invisible dog."

etoile: My quest in life is to educate the public about service dogs and their unique abilities. I also want to see them become more and more visible in the public arena.

The public needs to know that there are service dogs who are trained to do a myriad of jobs that don't always include assisting people who are blind. That is just "one" of the many, many jobs that these glorious animals can perform.

Brenda and I have been asked to leave department stores/restaurants/libraries/hair salons/hotels/airports, etc., etc. I have NEVER walked away without putting up a fight for my service dog. In some instances I've had to show what she actually does and I've produced her CCI/ADA (American's with Disabilities Act) license/city license and registered tags.

In Las Vegas we got our entire stay "paid for" because a security guard tried to escort me out and I went to the Hotel Mangager and complained. I know it's still a battle for service dogs but I'm a fighter and I hope to make it easier and easier. I enjoy the fight!

I know there are some disabled folks who would prefer to take the least path of resistence and I totally understand. However, that said.....I believe that more people (in the general public) would "get it" if more people like me didn't give up. And I won't!

As you've mentioned service dogs can do many, many tasks for many different people. Brenda can push the button on the elevator/open & close doors/pick up things off the floor/carry things in her mouth/tug a wheechair/open the refrigerator/retrieve items in drawers and then shut the drawer. She can alert to someone knocking on a door or alert to a phone ringing or someone saying a specific name or an alarm going off. She's amazing!

Brenda knows over 100 commands......and could learn more...it's up to me to train her.


And, you are so right, when you mention the attitude of the public when they see a perfectly healthy "looking" woman walking around with a big black labrador, aboard a ship or anywhere, in public for that matter.

They have had to leave their dear beloved furry friends with a kennel/mom & dad/grandma or friends. They're missing them and are curious why I can bring my "pet" on board and they can't!

I get the "goofiest" responses, when they see us. Such as, "I didn't know we could bring our pets on board!" Or, "How did you sneak her on?" Or, "You're not blind, how come you have a service dog?" And, on and on!!!!

I hope I haven't bored you all with the above......as you can see I'm very passionate about these dogs and I will defend them to the hilt!
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Old July 12th, 2007, 02:27 AM
Quampapetet Quampapetet is offline
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Arrgh! The Internet ate my reply! Here goes a second one....

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Originally Posted by wizard-of-roz View Post
Quam: Every ship supplied a waste disposal container, located next to the box, (I pick up/wrap up and dropt it) except for Carnival. So, I picked up the pooh; closed & knotted the bag and left it outside of the box. Next time we returned it was gone. I can only insist on so much!!!!!


That's good that they had a container (except Carnival, but at least they picked up the garbage for ya).


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Originally Posted by wizard-of-roz View Post
Your idea of having a sign which reads "DO NOT PUT CIGARETTE BUTTS HERE, FOR DOG BUTTS, ONLY!" Is a great idea, I'm preparing one as I write this! I'll bring some tape to make sure it doesn't disappear!


I LOVE your wording - "for dog butts only"!!!!


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Originally Posted by wizard-of-roz View Post
"Direct Stop" I will have to look into getting some. That would be perfect and would help me to be more independent! Thanks!


I've seen it for sale at Petsmart. I've also seen it in dog catalogs and online stores.


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Originally Posted by wizard-of-roz View Post
By now I'm sure you've picked up on the fact that I double, triple check everywhere my girl goes, before she goes! All harmful chemicals and mops were removed from the area! And, I introduced her to the side of the ship (while on leash) to show her the ocean and the "drop!") Then she was allowed to explore, her own area, on her own!


That's good they removed the chemicals. Great idea to lead her around to show her the side of the ship first! (For me, it might be my dog showing me the side, as I have a height phobia! And a drowning one! And, yup, I can get motion/seasick. Aren't I perfect cruise material?! )

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Originally Posted by wizard-of-roz View Post
The mulch that the ships use is the same that is placed in plant areas on land; in hotels, etc. Walmart or Green Thumb Nursery carries the (cyprus or cedar) mulch that I used and she loved it.
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Originally Posted by wizard-of-roz View Post

I buy the small bags; carry it with me (it's not heavy) when I go to the information desk to inquire about the box - (DO NOT TRY TO LOCATE THE BOX YOURSELF.....***INSIST THEY TAKEYOU TO IT!***) Pretend your navigationally challenged! I once spent 2 hours (not kidding) looking for the box and it was not where they said and around and around I went. What a gross waste of vacation time! I'll never do that again!!

If I don't need my bag of mulch I leave it there. It's not expense but it will (I promise you) save you so much strife!


I shall look for the small bags. Thanks for the info.! And, yeah, if an experienced cruiser like yourself had such a hard time finding the box, I definitely won't be able to find it on my own! I'll definitely ask to be taken to it, thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard-of-roz View Post
***When I insist on something, I always use my softest/kindest/gentlest voice. It goes a loooooong way!!!!!!!


That's a good thing.

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Originally Posted by wizard-of-roz View Post
Thank you for your helpful hints....maybe, one day, our paws will meet.
That would be fun!
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Old July 12th, 2007, 02:40 AM
Quampapetet Quampapetet is offline
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As things are, however, I've resigned myself to having to leave her behind when we cruise, just as I do whenever we go to Disney World.
Oh, you really should take her to Disney with you! They are really great about service dogs being there.

She can go on a lot of the rides. For the ones she can't go on, you can do rider switch - one person stays with the dog while the other(s) go on the ride, then when that person/group finishes the ride, they stay with the dog while the person who didn't ride yet goes on the ride right then, no having to go through the line again or anything. I went where it was just one friend and myself, so I know what it is like to not get to ride things together, but it really isn't that big of a deal once you do it. I also know what it is like to go solo for a bit, since my friend had to rest for a few hours, so I was doing rides alone. I don't recommend solo if you like rides service dogs can't go on (like Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain, etc.), but one other person or more is fine.

Another option you can do if you either are solo or have a big hankering for going on rides with the only other person in your party is you can drop your dog off at the park's kennels (just outside the park's gates) while you go do the ride you want to do that your dog can't go on. It is free. I wouldn't necessarily recommend doing it, since your dog should be with you at all times, but if you must do it, it is there as an option.

Disney has designated service dog potty areas in the parks, too.

My service dog loved Disney World. Her favorite ride was Pirates of the Caribbean (but I think that might have something to do with Captain Jack Sparrow being in it now... ). We had no problems there.
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 01:02 PM
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rangeley rangeley is offline
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Thanks for the info Roz. We have cruised before and left our service dog with a relative who also had a dog. They just had to put their dog down this weekend, so we are thinking of taking our dog with us. We are traveling on HAL and we have a few questions. I heard from one woman that they put the dog box on their balcony, have you heard of this?? We have an 80lb yellow lab and wondered if the dog can get some off the leash time in some area of the ship to run around?? We're traveling to St Thomas, Puerto Rico, Half Moon Cay and Grand Turk. We figured Turk would be the only problem to take the dog off ship. Also did you have to train your dog to go in the box? We appreciate all your input.
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 03:32 PM
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Rangeley: I've inquired about putting the "potty box" on our veranda and have been told that it's a "health issue!" That neighbors on either side or top or bottom might not like it......not that we would leave any droppings in the box....and the urine smell would take at least 2 weeks before it would be noticed.....none of the ships, we were on, would allow it!

Going to the "potty box", is a good thing! It gives you both a chance to walk and Brenda always appreciates the stroll and the chance for all the different smells. It's a great way for her to get the necessary exercise she needs.

My DH and I always look for a secluded lounge, to play tridominoes, when everyone else is ashore. I bring Brenda's favorite ball and throw it for her, it gives her a chance to let out some of that energy and be off leash. I also find a deck; take her off leash; throw the ball (so it doesn't bounce) and she loves this. All of the ships have a "lip" around the sides so if the ball rolls to the side....it doesn't go overboard. Don't throw it high! Keep it low!

I definitely had to train Brenda to go into a box before cruising. It's very easy. Make a 4x4 box; put some mulch in it (keep it pretty thick to begin training, it gives them good footing); put it on your patio or in your backyard; (make sure it doesn't move, in any way) put the dogs leash on and lead her/him to the box; while holding the leash, walk to the other side of the box and use your command for going potty (while pulling on the leash.) The dog will, at first refuse, keep it up (you can use an intisive treat to lure them); until they urinate; give a treat and lots of praise. Repeat; repeat; repeat.......it's amazing and it's so convenient!

If you need further help with this, let me know!
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 08:28 PM
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Thanks for the info Roz!
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 08:39 PM
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I love your avitar and the dogs both look like Brenda....it makes me smile!
Brenda's mom is yellow and her dad is black. Brenda is black and all of her siblings are yellow!

I never wanted a black dog until I worked with her, 5 years ago...now, I can't imagine my life without her!

Oh! I've got black hair all over my house..in places where you would never imagine hair could go! And, I'm a bit of a "clean freak!" That also changed, it took me some time to get used to the change...but, it's so worth it and so is she!
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 08:56 PM
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Oh! I've got black hair all over my house..in places where you would never imagine hair could go!
We have four cats and we have decided that a meal is never complete without cat hair! We also have had one long-haired cat in the past, she died in January 2006 and we still find long fur bits around the house.
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