Are you a dog lover who can't imagine going on a cruise without your furry companion? Well, you're in for a treat. Although many cruise ships have strict no-pet policies, a select few warmly welcome your beloved pets on board. This blog post delves into the exciting world of dog-friendly cruises. We'll explore which cruise lines are pet-friendly, uncover the requirements for bringing your four-legged friend, and discuss the incredible benefits of embarking on a cruise adventure with your canine sidekick.

Whether you're seeking a chance to strengthen the bond with your dog or simply crave heartwarming companionship during your next maritime journey, you've come to the right place. Join us as we uncover everything you need to know about making your dog a part of your unforgettable cruise experience.

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Overview of Cruise Line Policies

Cruise lines have varying policies regarding allowing dogs on their ships. While some cruise lines don't permit dogs, others have designated cabins or areas where dogs are allowed. Here's an overview of the dog policies of some famous cruise lines:

Cunard Line: Cunard Line is known for being the most pet-friendly cruise line. On its Queen Mary 2 ocean liner, dogs and cats are welcome. However, there are specific requirements to meet. Dogs must be vaccinated against rabies and have a current health certificate. Additionally, they must be kept in a kennel when not in their owner's cabin.

Princess Cruises: Princess Cruises permits dogs and cats in select cabins on their ships. To bring a dog on board, they must be vaccinated against rabies and have a current health certificate. Dogs should be kept on a leash or in a carrier when not in the owner's cabin.

Royal Caribbean International: Royal Caribbean International allows dogs and cats in specific cabins on their ships. Like other cruise lines, dogs must be vaccinated against rabies and have a current health certificate. They should be kept on a leash or in a carrier when not in the owner's cabin.

Norwegian Cruise Line: Norwegian Cruise Line also permits dogs and cats in select ship cabins. The vaccination against rabies and current health certificate requirements apply here as well. Dogs should be kept on a leash or in a carrier unless in their owner's cabin.

P&O Cruises Australia: P&O Cruises Australia welcomes dogs and cats on certain ships. However, there are specific guidelines to follow. Dogs weigh 25 pounds or less, while cats weigh 15 pounds or less. It is mandatory for pets to be vaccinated against rabies and possess a current health certificate. They must be kept in a kennel throughout the cruise when not in their owner's cabin.

It's important to note that these examples represent just a few cruise lines with dog policies.

Requirements for Bringing a Dog on a Cruise Ship

If you're considering bringing your dog on a cruise, there are a few essential points to keep in mind. Not all cruise lines have pet-friendly policies, so it's crucial to verify the guidelines of the specific cruise line you're interested in.

Once you've identified a cruise line allowing pets, you must ensure your dog meets their requirements. Generally, most cruise lines mandate that dogs:

  • Have up-to-date rabies vaccinations
  • Possess a microchip for identification purposes
  • Obtain a current health certificate from a veterinarian
  • Be at least 6 months old
  • Display non-aggressive behavior

In addition to these general requirements, certain cruise lines might have additional weight or breed limitations.

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You must secure a pet-friendly cabin after confirming that your dog satisfies the necessary criteria. These cabins are usually situated on the ship's lower decks and often feature a small exercise area for dogs.

Upon arrival at the cruise port, you'll be directed to the designated pet embarkation area, where a veterinarian will examine your dog and issue a boarding pass.

Once your dog is on board, keeping them in their kennel whenever they're not in your cabin is essential. Additionally, you'll need to take your dog outside for regular bathroom breaks throughout the day.

Cruising with your dog can be a fantastic experience, but adequate preparation is vital. By adhering to the requirements and restrictions set by the cruise line, you can ensure the safety and enjoyment of your dog during the trip.

Here are some additional tips to consider when bringing your dog on a cruise:

  • Pack an ample supply of your dog's food, water, favorite toys, and bedding.
  • Inquire with the cruise line about any unique pet amenities or activities.
  • Maintain constant supervision of your dog and promptly clean up after them.
  • Proper planning lets you and your dog embark on a memorable and enjoyable cruise together.

Benefits of Taking a Cruise with Your Pet

Cruising with your dog can be an excellent way to strengthen your bond and create cherished memories that will last a lifetime. Not only do pets provide companionship, but they also offer stress relief, making them ideal companions for long cruises. Fortunately, many cruise lines recognize the importance of including pets in the vacation experience. They have tailored activities and amenities to cater to their needs, such as pet-friendly beaches, onboard pet spas, and even pet-sitting services.

Here are some of the benefits you can enjoy when taking a cruise with your dog:

Stronger Bonding: Cruising with your dog provides ample opportunities to relax, enjoy each other's company, and forge a deeper bond. Along the way, you'll also have the chance to meet fellow pet-loving travelers and make new friends.

Stress Relief: Pets can provide companionship and alleviate stress, which can be particularly valuable during a long cruise. Research has shown that petting dogs can lower blood pressure, reduce heart rate, and decrease stress hormone levels.

Special Pet-Friendly Activities: Many cruise lines go the extra mile to cater to pets, offering tailored activities and amenities. From designated pet-friendly beaches to onboard pet spas, your furry friend can enjoy an array of experiences designed just for them. Some cruise lines even provide pet-sitting services, ensuring your pet's well-being while you participate in other activities.

Unforgettable Memories: Taking your dog on a cruise guarantees many amazing moments. You'll explore new destinations together, meet fellow pet owners, and create lasting memories. Your dog will also have the chance to experience new surroundings and make new furry friends.

If you're considering taking a cruise with your dog, conducting thorough research and making early bookings is crucial, as pet-friendly cabins tend to fill up quickly.

To make your pet-friendly cruise a success, here are some helpful tips:

Book Early: Secure your spot in a pet-friendly cabin well in advance, as these accommodations are in high demand.

Choose the Right Cabin: Consider your pet's size and comfort when selecting a cabin. Ensure there's enough space for them to move around comfortably.

Pack Essentials: Bring an ample supply of your pet's favorite food and water and their beloved toys and bedding to provide a sense of familiarity.

Inquire About Pet Amenities: Contact the cruise line for any unique pet amenities or activities. This way, you can also ensure your furry companion has a delightful experience.

Supervise and Clean Up: Keep a watchful eye on your pet and promptly clean up after them to maintain a clean and pleasant environment for everyone.

Dog on a Cruise

Additional Tips for Traveling with Your Dog on a Cruise

Here are some additional tips for traveling with your dog

Ensure Your Dog's Vaccinations are Up to Date: Before the cruise, ensure your dog has received all necessary vaccinations.

Obtain a Health Certificate From Your Veterinarian: Visit your veterinarian to obtain a health certificate for your dog, confirming their overall health and fitness for travel.

Carry Copies of Vaccination Records and the Health Certificate: Bring copies of your dog's vaccination records and health certificate on the cruise for reference and any potential requirements.

Familiarize Your Dog with Crate Training: Help your dog feel comfortable in a crate by introducing crate training before the cruise. This will make them feel secure in a small space.

Bring a Cozy Crate for Your Dog's Sleeping Area: Ensure you have a comfortable and appropriately sized crate for your dog during the cruise.

Provide Ample Exercise Before and After the Cruise: Engage your dog in plenty of physical activity before and after the cruise to help them release energy and stay relaxed during the trip.

Expect Some Stress During the Cruise: Understand that the new environment and experience may cause your dog to feel a bit stressed. Be patient and provide reassurance.

Take Your Dog for Walks on the Ship's Deck: Utilize designated areas on the ship's deck to take your dog for walks and provide them with fresh air and exercise.

Allow Your Dog to Explore The Ship with You: Take your dog on supervised adventures around the ship, allowing them to become familiar with their surroundings while being by your side.

Never Leave Your Dog Unattended in the Cabin: Avoid leaving your dog alone in the cabin to ensure their safety and prevent potential issues or distress.

Onboard Dog Amenities and Services

Cruise Lines understand the importance of catering to pet owners and offer a range of amenities and services to make the experience enjoyable for humans and their furry companions. Here are some of the popular onboard dog amenities and services you can expect to find:

Pet-friendly Cabins: Many cruise lines provide pet-friendly ones, typically on the lower decks. These cabins feature exceptional pet-friendly amenities like non-slip floors, comfortable bedding, and waste disposal bags.

Designated Areas for Dogs to Run and Play: Cruise ships often have designated areas, such as the pool or sports deck, where dogs can safely run and play.

Onboard Pet Spas: Some cruise lines go the extra mile by offering onboard pet spas. These spas provide baths, haircuts, and grooming sessions to pamper your dog during the voyage.

Pet-walking Programs: Certain cruise lines offer pet-walking programs, where dedicated staff members can take your dog for a stroll, ensuring they get their exercise even while at sea.

Pet-friendly Deck Parties: Some cruise lines organize pet-friendly deck parties. These events allow dogs to mingle with other furry friends while their owners enjoy the festivities.

"Paws and Puzzles" Contests: For a bit of fun and friendly competition, some cruise lines organize "paws and puzzles" contests. Dogs can participate by solving puzzles and have a chance to win exciting prizes.

Are Small Dogs Allowed on Cruise Ships?

While most cruise ships have a no-pets policy, there are a few exceptions to this rule. Certain cruise lines allow small dogs on board, albeit with specific weight and size limitations. One example is Cunard Line, which permits small dogs on its Queen Mary 2 ocean liner. However, dogs must weigh under 20 pounds and remain in a kennel when not in their owner's cabin.

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If you're considering bringing your small dog on a cruise, it's crucial to confirm with the cruise line whether they allow pets and to inquire about any weight and size restrictions they may have in place. This will ensure you have the necessary information and can plan accordingly for a pet-friendly cruise experience.

Best Dog-Friendly Cruises In 2023

Here are 10 of the best dog-friendly cruises in 2023:

  1. Cunard Queen Mary 2
  2. P&O Cruises Australia
  3. Princess Cruises
  4. Norwegian Cruise Line
  5. Royal Caribbean International
  6. Holland America Line
  7. Silversea
  8. Seabourn
  9. Windstar Cruises
  10. Azamara Club Cruises

When selecting a cruise that accommodates dogs, it's crucial to consider your furry companion's size and temperament. Certain cruises impose weight limitations for dogs, while others may not be suitable for easily stressed or anxious dogs. Additionally, making your cruise reservations well in advance is advisable, as pet-friendly cabins tend to be in high demand and fill up quickly. Considering these factors, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for you and your four-legged friend on your dog-friendly cruise.

Alternatives for Dog Owners

If you're a dog owner who loves cruising but is disappointed that most cruise lines don't permit pets on board, alternative options can still allow you to enjoy a vacation with your furry friend.

One appealing choice is to opt for a river cruise. River cruises tend to be smaller and more pet-friendly than ocean cruises. Many river cruise lines welcome dogs on board; some even offer exceptional amenities like pet-friendly excursions and onboard pet spas.

Another great alternative is a yacht cruise. Yacht cruises are exceptionally pet-friendly, and numerous yacht charter companies permit you to bring your dog. Yacht cruises offer a personalized experience, allowing you to explore at your own pace.

Consider embarking on a road trip with your dog for a more budget-friendly option. Road trips allow you to discover various parts of the country while stopping at pet-friendly attractions.

Regardless of your option, conducting thorough research and booking your trip well in advance is crucial. Pet-friendly travel options tend to fill quickly, so being prepared is essential.


If you're considering bringing your dog on a cruise ship, it's vital to understand the specific policies and guidelines of the cruise line you plan to sail with. While most cruise lines do not allow pets onboard, alternative options are available for pet-friendly travel. Additionally, road trips will enable you to explore different destinations at your own pace, stopping at pet-friendly attractions. Whichever option you choose, thorough research and early booking are vital to securing your spot, as pet-friendly accommodations tend to fill up quickly. With the proper preparation, you can embark on a memorable vacation with your beloved canine companion, creating lasting memories together.