Cruising With A Service Dog....everything You Ever Wanted To Know!

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Missouri, USA
2,677 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
Originally posted by wizard-of-roz
Have a wonderful weekend everyone........I'm so glad to read that Delta is cracking-down on Service Dog fakes.......I hope that everyone else will follow!
Seriously!
We flew Southwest last Tuesday and Saturday, STL to San Diego and back. In STL, I went through the full service line, dropped my checked bag, got a pre-board pass. The agent didn't ask anything at all about Scooter. He was wearing his vest and heeled nicely. He stopped when I stopped, sat when I got to the check in counter at a hand signal, and just waited. She just handed me the boarding document and had the preboard on it.

We went to the Pre-Check line, I told Scooter to sit at the metal detector, went through it, then called Scooter to me. His harness has enough metal to signal it. I was expecting it, so was waiting for the agent to call a colleague to do a pat down. The agents in STL have previously just had me do a stand-stay while they run a hand over each side and make sure nothing is under the cape. Easy-peasy.

In San Diego, there was a very long line to check in. We went through it, Scooter behaved perfectly. There was another dog, no cape, owner carrying a carrier for it, but the carrier looked too small for the dog and the dog was on the floor. That dog was on a leash, but pulled toward Scooter. Scooter just stared at it. Anyway, the agent at check in asked, "Is your dog a service dog?" to which I replied yes. Then the agent asked, "What does the dog do for you?" Which I answered. Easy, but the first time I've been asked. We've previously flown out of STL, Las Vegas, and Orlando. When we went through security, I did my usual, tell him to sit, go through, call him. As expected, he sounded. The TSA Agent wanted me to take his gear off. I refused and said that I was happy for the dog to be pat down, and to please call a colleague. They didn't handle it well. I need to remember to send a note to the TSA supervisor there.

Someone else in the terminal had a little bitty dog in arms, wearing a collar that said service dog. That dog saw Scooter and started yipping. Again, Scooter just looked as though to say, "Dude! What is your issue!"

He still doesn't like to fly. I think I'll buy some Mutt-Muffs and see if they help before he travels with me in May. We aren't taking him on our cruise in February.

On Wednesday, I was in a building on campus and a faculty member walked by with her dog. Dog not marked in any way, just wearing a leash and gentle leader. Our campus has a policy against dogs in the building unless they are a trained service dog or SDiT (which is MO Law). The campus REQUESTS that your dog wear a cape or marking that it is a SD, and that you register it with HR. I've gone round and round with them about the registration, since I don't believe it is being handled correctly. I'm happy to "register" my dog and happy to provide vaccination records annually. We will get it worked out one of these days. HR management changed again, so it is in limbo.
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Barb

Carnival Elation Dec 2010 almost turned me off cruising
Celebrity Eclipse 2012 showed me what it really is!
Celebrity Reflection February 2013 * Celebrity Solstice May 2013 California Coastal * Celebrity Equinox February 2014 *
Celebrity Equinox June 2014 with the family * Celebrity Reflection February 2015 B2B * Celebrity Silhouette December 2015 NYE with the Family*Celebrity Silhouette B2B February 2016 * Celebrity Eclipse Feb 2017 * Celebrity Silhouette Dec 2017 with the Family


Southern California
11,557 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Originally posted by Algebralovr
Seriously!
We flew Southwest last Tuesday and Saturday, STL to San Diego and back. In STL, I went through the full service line, dropped my checked bag, got a pre-board pass. The agent didn't ask anything at all about Scooter. He was wearing his vest and heeled nicely. He stopped when I stopped, sat when I got to the check in counter at a hand signal, and just waited. She just handed me the boarding document and had the preboard on it.

We went to the Pre-Check line, I told Scooter to sit at the metal detector, went through it, then called Scooter to me. His harness has enough metal to signal it. I was expecting it, so was waiting for the agent to call a colleague to do a pat down. The agents in STL have previously just had me do a stand-stay while they run a hand over each side and make sure nothing is under the cape. Easy-peasy.

In San Diego, there was a very long line to check in. We went through it, Scooter behaved perfectly. There was another dog, no cape, owner carrying a carrier for it, but the carrier looked too small for the dog and the dog was on the floor. That dog was on a leash, but pulled toward Scooter. Scooter just stared at it. Anyway, the agent at check in asked, "Is your dog a service dog?" to which I replied yes. Then the agent asked, "What does the dog do for you?" Which I answered. Easy, but the first time I've been asked. We've previously flown out of STL, Las Vegas, and Orlando. When we went through security, I did my usual, tell him to sit, go through, call him. As expected, he sounded. The TSA Agent wanted me to take his gear off. I refused and said that I was happy for the dog to be pat down, and to please call a colleague. They didn't handle it well. I need to remember to send a note to the TSA supervisor there.

Someone else in the terminal had a little bitty dog in arms, wearing a collar that said service dog. That dog saw Scooter and started yipping. Again, Scooter just looked as though to say, "Dude! What is your issue!"

He still doesn't like to fly. I think I'll buy some Mutt-Muffs and see if they help before he travels with me in May. We aren't taking him on our cruise in February.

On Wednesday, I was in a building on campus and a faculty member walked by with her dog. Dog not marked in any way, just wearing a leash and gentle leader. Our campus has a policy against dogs in the building unless they are a trained service dog or SDiT (which is MO Law). The campus REQUESTS that your dog wear a cape or marking that it is a SD, and that you register it with HR. I've gone round and round with them about the registration, since I don't believe it is being handled correctly. I'm happy to "register" my dog and happy to provide vaccination records annually. We will get it worked out one of these days. HR management changed again, so it is in limbo.
I know the law states that a Service Dog does NOT have to wear any kind of vest identifying it as a "Service Dog" but, I, personally, believe it's a good idea for the public to see the vest so there are not too many questions or doubts. I always have a vest on Horton when we're entering a cruise ship and when we're leaving. CCI provides us with the vest and gives us a new one every few years.
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ROZ

Horton holding Horton the Elephant


December 2, 2017 - Hawaii - Carnival Miracle
April 27, 2018 - Alaska - Emerald Princess
New Jersey
1,664 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Originally posted by Algebralovr
Did you all see that Delta is going to tighten up the rules a tiny bit? I do mean tiny:

CBS reports here and USA Today reports here.

They aren't asking for much.
The fact that they are requiring a doctor's note is key. If there is a "emotional support" dog on a flight and it bites someone, alot of airlines are going after the doctor that provided the note. Once doctors start hearing this, they may not be so ready to supply notes for people that only want to get their pet dogs on the plane. Jet Blue does not let "emotional support dogs of any kind on their flights.
Missouri, USA
2,677 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
Originally posted by wizard-of-roz
I know the law states that a Service Dog does NOT have to wear any kind of vest identifying it as a "Service Dog" but, I, personally, believe it's a good idea for the public to see the vest so there are not too many questions or doubts. I always have a vest on Horton when we're entering a cruise ship and when we're leaving. CCI provides us with the vest and gives us a new one every few years.
I'm with you on the vest. The training with Scooter has basically been:
Vest is on - best behavior
Vest is off - dog welcome to scamper and get belly rubs and love
The vest is a tool for all. It tells the dog that best behavior is expected. It tells the public to leave the dog alone and not distract the dog. There are a few people who don't believe it applies to them, but I keep harping at it.

Campus wanted to make a vest REQUIRED for a dog to be in the building, but I showed the PTBs where it is stated by the DOJ that a vest can't be mandated. The new policy is that they REQUEST that the dog wear something, preferably a vest, stating that the dog is a SD when in a building. They also REQUEST that a student, faculty member or staff member register the dog. No cost to do so. It is really a way for them to know who may have a dog in a building, have a copy of vaccination records just to protect themselves, and prevent non-SDs from being in buildings. There have been a handful of students who have brought their dogs with them to campus, in the buildings, and let the dogs make a mess. Then they simply left the mess without either cleaning it up or even letting anyone know about it. You know, a few ruining it for all.
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Barb

Carnival Elation Dec 2010 almost turned me off cruising
Celebrity Eclipse 2012 showed me what it really is!
Celebrity Reflection February 2013 * Celebrity Solstice May 2013 California Coastal * Celebrity Equinox February 2014 *
Celebrity Equinox June 2014 with the family * Celebrity Reflection February 2015 B2B * Celebrity Silhouette December 2015 NYE with the Family*Celebrity Silhouette B2B February 2016 * Celebrity Eclipse Feb 2017 * Celebrity Silhouette Dec 2017 with the Family


Missouri, USA
2,677 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
Originally posted by DisneyKidsDad
The fact that they are requiring a doctor's note is key. If there is a "emotional support" dog on a flight and it bites someone, alot of airlines are going after the doctor that provided the note. Once doctors start hearing this, they may not be so ready to supply notes for people that only want to get their pet dogs on the plane. Jet Blue does not let "emotional support dogs of any kind on their flights.
Interesting about Jet Blue, since I thought the ACAA required them to allow ESAs on the flight with documentation from a mental health professional.
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Barb

Carnival Elation Dec 2010 almost turned me off cruising
Celebrity Eclipse 2012 showed me what it really is!
Celebrity Reflection February 2013 * Celebrity Solstice May 2013 California Coastal * Celebrity Equinox February 2014 *
Celebrity Equinox June 2014 with the family * Celebrity Reflection February 2015 B2B * Celebrity Silhouette December 2015 NYE with the Family*Celebrity Silhouette B2B February 2016 * Celebrity Eclipse Feb 2017 * Celebrity Silhouette Dec 2017 with the Family


SF Bay Area
770 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
Originally posted by holliharrison94
Idon't know Canada's laws & requirements about service dogs entering the country. I have spoken on the phone with RCCL & scoured the internet. They directed me to the internet searches and all that came up was stuff about pets. Are those requirements the same?

I am also worried about Echo getting seasick.
Canada is really super easy - all that they require is proof of rabies vaccination.

You can go to the USDA Aphis website to check the requirements to travel to most countries.

https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet...ttravel-canada

Even though it is not required, I do have my vet fill out an international health form (it makes the cruise line happy) when I travel to Canada with my service dog.

You might try taking your dog out again on a ferry to see if she gets sick again. That may have just been a bad day for her. You can give you dog bonine (you can get the correct dosage from your vet) and see if that helps. While the big ships do have stabilizers, I have been on several cruises where even the crew was sick because the seas were so rough. I can completely understand that you don't want to leave your dog behind.

Dianne
SF Bay Area
770 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
Originally posted by Algebralovr
Interesting about Jet Blue, since I thought the ACAA required them to allow ESAs on the flight with documentation from a mental health professional.
That's right - I think he must mean JetBlue does not allow ESA's without the required documentation.

Dianne
Florida
2,337 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Originally posted by Macallan and Me
So, we are scheduled for our cruise March 25-April 1st On NCL. I am currently trying to decide whether to bring Macallan or leave him home. I’ve never stressed about traveling with him. I want to be able to relax and enjoy our vacation. I don’t want to short change my partner on enjoying our excursions. I’m very concerned about Macallan’s safety at ports regarding disease and stray dogs/animals. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. We are not “outdoorsy” but do enjoying sightseeing and animals/aquariums/zoos/easy water activities.

Most importantly, can someone help me navigate what is needed to allow Macallan at the following ports:
Cozemel, Mexico
Costa Maya, Mexico
Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras

Harvest Caye, Belize
Have you looked at the USDA APHIS website “Pet Travel” information online yet? There is a drop-down menu by country of the requirements. As a Roz said, the basic health certificate (APHIS Form 7001] is a must, signed by a USDA-accredited Vet, along with rabies certificate.

If you can’t find the answer on some countries (Honduras comes to mind), check with their embassy for pet import requirements. Yes, we all know service dogs are not pets, but the import laws are generally the same.
New Jersey
1,664 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Originally posted by wizard-of-roz
I know the law states that a Service Dog does NOT have to wear any kind of vest identifying it as a "Service Dog" but, I, personally, believe it's a good idea for the public to see the vest so there are not too many questions or doubts. I always have a vest on Horton when we're entering a cruise ship and when we're leaving. CCI provides us with the vest and gives us a new one every few years.
Roz,
CCI here in the Northeast no longer give out new vests. Now you have to buy a new one for I think it's $35.
Southern California
11,557 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Originally posted by DisneyKidsDad
Roz,
CCI here in the Northeast no longer give out new vests. Now you have to buy a new one for I think it's $35.
I'm happy to pay for anything that CCI may provide me. I could NEVER pay them back for the peace of mind, love, and true devotion that my dogs have given me since 2002.

I am forever changed, for the better, for having a CCI dog in my life!
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ROZ

Horton holding Horton the Elephant


December 2, 2017 - Hawaii - Carnival Miracle
April 27, 2018 - Alaska - Emerald Princess
Florida
2,337 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Originally posted by wizard-of-roz
I'm happy to pay for anything that CCI may provide me. I could NEVER pay them back for the peace of mind, love, and true devotion that my dogs have given me since 2002.

I am forever changed, for the better, for having a CCI dog in my life!
So true! I bought an extra set (collar, leash, jacket/vest) from Dogs for the Deaf the year I got my dog just in case I needed a backup, and after four years, It’s time for her to wear the new vest - Old one is a bit frayed.

But in November, DFD had a name change to Dogs for Better Lives, so I think they are eventually sending everybody new stuff. The name change reflects the Autism Assistance Dog and Program Dog aspects they now offer as well.
Florida
2,337 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Originally posted by Miki_moto
Does anyone have experience with service dogs on Cunard (QE)? The last posts I saw were from 2011.

Thanks!
I wish I could answer from personal experience, but I’ve only taken my dog on Celebrity and Holland America Line. But I met a blind woman with a Guide Dog on one of our cruises - she had been on Cunard and said they were very helpful to her with information on paperwork, etc. for a transatlantic.
Southern California
11,557 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Originally posted by Miki_moto
Does anyone have experience with service dogs on Cunard (QE)? The last posts I saw were from 2011.

Thanks!
I have heard some very nice things about Cunard and the treatment of Service Dogs.

After you've taken your cruise please come back and share all the details with us. ♥
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ROZ

Horton holding Horton the Elephant


December 2, 2017 - Hawaii - Carnival Miracle
April 27, 2018 - Alaska - Emerald Princess
Beautiful British Columbia
5 Posts
Joined Jan 2018
Thanks for your replies, Chris and Roz.

I phoned Cunard this morning and was advised to email their access department, which I've done. It may take up to ten days for a reply but I'll be sure to post whatever information I do get.

We're going on one of Cunard's first cruises to Alaska in June of 2019, so a personal update will take some time!

I'm really annoyed that I didn't follow up more with the owner of the service dog on the transatlantic trip. ☹️ He did say the toileting spot was near his cabin in the steward's area and that there was some sort of threshold that I wouldn't be able to manage with my chair. He also said they used some kind of "litter", but this was in 2015 so things may have changed.

Thanks again,
Karen
Southern California
11,557 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Originally posted by Miki_moto
Thanks for your replies, Chris and Roz.

I phoned Cunard this morning and was advised to email their access department, which I've done. It may take up to ten days for a reply but I'll be sure to post whatever information I do get.

We're going on one of Cunard's first cruises to Alaska in June of 2019, so a personal update will take some time!

I'm really annoyed that I didn't follow up more with the owner of the service dog on the transatlantic trip. ☹️ He did say the toileting spot was near his cabin in the steward's area and that there was some sort of threshold that I wouldn't be able to manage with my chair. He also said they used some kind of "litter", but this was in 2015 so things may have changed.

Thanks again,
Karen
Karen, like any major cruise line they want your repeat business. If you're unhappy with where they've placed the box just ask for the Hotel Manager and tell him or her where you would prefer it be placed. We've all talked on here how the box can be placed on your veranda or in a stairwell near your cabin. Stairwells do have very heavy doors that have to be manipulated by someone with a bit of muscle and they usually have a large lip that can not be maneuvered by a wheelchair

I bring a roll of artificial turf to cover any filler that I don't like. I buy it at Osh, it's not so expensive and Horton likes to walk and relieve on it. I usually leave it behind after the cruise. I ALWAYS pick up the solid waste and ask for a "hazard waste bag" be placed on the patio. I do tip very well and do appreciate the extra work that might be incurred by my room Steward.

Alaska is very easy as far as the paperwork goes for our dogs. Canada used to be more difficult and demanding than it is now. Again, the Aphis 7001 Form; microchip; recent Vet visit; and current immunizations is mostly all that you will need.


Give yourself lots of time to get from place to place, allowing for folks to ask you lots of questions.


The Service Dog is so respected and loved by dog lovers......your fellow passengers will feel so lucky to be in the presence of one. They will want the opportunity to pat him. But, only when you've been asked.
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ROZ

Horton holding Horton the Elephant


December 2, 2017 - Hawaii - Carnival Miracle
April 27, 2018 - Alaska - Emerald Princess