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Old 10-08-2012, 02:28 PM   #1
ducky2u
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service dogs

Do they allow service dogs on ships?
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:30 PM   #2
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Yes, I have seen them. I believe by law they have to.
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:32 PM   #3
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Yes...real ones and questionable ones. However, there has been at least one instance of a supposed service dog biting another guest; that dog has been permanently banned from the cruise line.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:43 PM   #4
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Yes...real ones and questionable ones. However, there has been at least one instance of a supposed service dog biting another guest; that dog has been permanently banned from the cruise line.
Was it an "assistance dog" ( guild, service or signal dog) or a 'therapy dog'? The differences are huge. Use of a therapy dog is not protected under the ADA.
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:05 AM   #5
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I remember seeing photos someone posted of himself on his verandah with his service dog. They were provided with a plastic kiddie pool lined with sod for the dog to go potty!
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:40 AM   #6
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I found the TR with that photo: here's a link-

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2052361
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:26 PM   #7
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Yes...real ones and questionable ones. However, there has been at least one instance of a supposed service dog biting another guest; that dog has been permanently banned from the cruise line.
I have a service dog, trained and registered. He has saved my life on multiple occasions. He is a shih-tzu. Not what one would think to be a service dog. He is trained to alert me of my blood sugars. People don't respect service animals. My dog is small and very cute, clearly marked he is a service dog but yet people will come up and start petting him. They are working! People should ask if they can be petted. I've had adults have their children come up and pet him. I wonder what the circumstance was of the dog bite. I agree, some people abuse the system, but it's very hard to get them trained and certified plus expensive. Mine has papers and a photo ID. We have to go through all the countries the cruise goes to and get authorization and permission from those countries to have the animal come into port and the Captain has to show that info to the government officials. We are in the process of getting ours allowed to get to Grand Cayman. We do not plan to get off the ship, however, we still have to have it. It's a 3 month process and can get very expensive.
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:01 AM   #8
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I have a service dog, trained and registered. He has saved my life on multiple occasions. He is a shih-tzu. Not what one would think to be a service dog. He is trained to alert me of my blood sugars. People don't respect service animals. My dog is small and very cute, clearly marked he is a service dog but yet people will come up and start petting him. They are working! People should ask if they can be petted. I've had adults have their children come up and pet him. I wonder what the circumstance was of the dog bite. I agree, some people abuse the system, but it's very hard to get them trained and certified plus expensive. Mine has papers and a photo ID. We have to go through all the countries the cruise goes to and get authorization and permission from those countries to have the animal come into port and the Captain has to show that info to the government officials. We are in the process of getting ours allowed to get to Grand Cayman. We do not plan to get off the ship, however, we still have to have it. It's a 3 month process and can get very expensive.
No disrespect intended. This dog was a problem--yapping and snapping at guests until it finally bit one. It behaved quite differently from any service dog we'd ever seen. We have been involved in training puppies prior to being sent to a school for seeing eye dogs, and have also done "dog sitting" during the American Federation of the Blind conference. We have friends who opt to not take their dogs to the banquet, preferring to give them a "night off" bu they would never think of leaving their very valuable animals alone in a hotel room.

My experience is that a service dog on duty is well behaved; we were somewhat surprised the first time we saw our friends' dogs without their harnesses--they turned in to very playful creatures...but they'd never act that way while "on duty."

We've seen dogs of many sizes and varieties on DCL--again, with this one exception well behaved. This one just left me scratching my head.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:54 AM   #9
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I think it is so disrespectful that parents don't teach their children about service dogs and proper manners around them. My kids learned at a very young age that if they ever see a dog with a service jacket on that they could look but not touch.

They were so good following the rules when they were taught them and the reasons why they should be followed. After they would always go near so they could look at the dog but they would never attempt to pet them. They would get rewarded every so often when the person would let them know they could pet the dog, but they would always look to me to make sure it was ok. Of course I would thank the person for letting them.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debbie H View Post
I have a service dog, trained and registered. He has saved my life on multiple occasions. He is a shih-tzu. Not what one would think to be a service dog. He is trained to alert me of my blood sugars. People don't respect service animals. My dog is small and very cute, clearly marked he is a service dog but yet people will come up and start petting him. They are working! People should ask if they can be petted. I've had adults have their children come up and pet him. I wonder what the circumstance was of the dog bite. I agree, some people abuse the system, but it's very hard to get them trained and certified plus expensive. Mine has papers and a photo ID. We have to go through all the countries the cruise goes to and get authorization and permission from those countries to have the animal come into port and the Captain has to show that info to the government officials. We are in the process of getting ours allowed to get to Grand Cayman. We do not plan to get off the ship, however, we still have to have it. It's a 3 month process and can get very expensive.
Thank you so much for posting this!

We were recently on the Dream and saw someone with a darling small white dog on Castaway Cay. Yes, there were many comments about how that couldn't be a service animal and how the woman looked fine, etc.

I have a friend who needs a service dog and is sick and tired of being asked how long she's been blind (she's not), and being told that she can't bring her dog into so many places -- including doctor's offices! -- that she can practically quote the ADA regulations at people. It's a shame that a lack of knowledge of these things causes people to stick their feet into their mouths.

As, apart from this, I do not have a lot of experience with this issue, I am so pleased that you posted, as it's a good way of educating the uninformed. My own guess was that the dog we saw was there as a seizure predictor, so it's good to learn that they can help with blood sugar levels. Every little bit of information helps us to not act in an ignorant way.
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:34 PM   #11
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My sister went on a Hawaii cruise (not dcl) last fall and couldn't bring her dog, remember the ships don't have to follow Ada because they are international based ships. I would call dcl to clarify.
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:40 PM   #12
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There was a large yellow service dog on Wonder's 14-night cruise to Hawaii this past May.
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:44 PM   #13
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DCL not only allows service dogs but is incredibly helpful in advising guests traveling with service animals about the required documentation to travel to the ports on the particular itinerary.

I don't have direct experience with other cruise lines, but I've heard that other lines are much more hands off and expect the cruiser to figure out that part on their own.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:14 PM   #14
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My sister went on a Hawaii cruise (not dcl) last fall and couldn't bring her dog, remember the ships don't have to follow Ada because they are international based ships. I would call dcl to clarify.
Hawaii has VERY strict laws regarding bringing dogs onto the island. They have to be quarantined before they are allowed on the islands, so this is probably why. Service dogs have to have antibodies tests, proof of rabies vaccine, be microchipped and a bunch of other stuff before they are allowed on the island.
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:10 PM   #15
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If the dog is a service dog they are by law required to allow it onboard. Note that some ports (like Hawaii) may require shots and immunizations to be up to date and recorded. The dog on the Hawaii cruise was likely not permitted to disembark in the islands if there was a requirement for it to be quarantined; don't know if ADA trumps that state regulation because ADA is federal law.

I don't know the requirements regarding providing documentation that the dog is, in fact, a service dog. I understand that in some situations the business may be barred by law from even asking why the person needs the animal.

In some instances it is probably true that persons are able to bring along their pets by claiming they are service dogs, but that's really not determinable.
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