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Cruising with four legged friends

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Most pet owners would agree that the hardest thing about going away on holiday is leaving their furry friend behind.

Spending long periods of time apart can be stressful for both pets and their owners and, while there are great options like kennels or pet-sitters that can take care of your animals while you’re gone, there’s nothing more comforting than taking your pet with you.

While this has never really been a viable option for cruise lovers before, popular cruise line Cunard has officially changed the game.

A unique service is offered to passengers of the Queen Mary 2 which allows dogs and cats to stay on board in kennels, so owners never have to part from their pets. The cruising canines and pooches are kept under the watchful eye of the full-time Kennel Master who feeds and walks the pets regularly, as well as cleaning each of the 12 kennels.

Kennels and walking areas for dogs are open throughout the day for guests to visit and play with their pets as often as they wish.

However, booking a kennel could prove tricky as just 24 animals are permitted per voyage so limited space means you’ll need to book as early as you can. If possible, try to secure your spot a year in advance to avoid missing out.

As a part of the booking process, the cruise line requires a full medical profile of your pet plus any dietary restrictions or feeding requests. While food is supplied for all of the animals, guests can opt to bring their own or even request a different brand.

As they’re essentially on holiday as well, it would only be right that owners could even order their pets special treats from room service including chicken and steak that would be hand-delivered to the kennels.

While this luxury pet getaway is convenient for both the pet and the owner, it doesn’t come cheap. Each animal is required to have a full cage booked to itself which can be purchased as large or small depending on the breed.

Large cages will set owners back $1,000, while small cages come in at $800. Cats are welcome on board, however they do require the owner to purchase two separate cages for both the cat and the litter box.

Dog trainer, Nikki Moustaki, raved about her experience with the kennels on Cunard’s website saying: “The kennel is a great place to spend part of the day if your pet is on board. Only people who have pets are allowed inside the deck run or the kennel, so your pet is safe, and the kennel is locked tight when the kennel master isn’t there.”

She added: “The kennel is quite a curiosity on board, so be prepared to answer some questions from people stopping by to say hello to the dogs.”

The kennels are exclusively offered on Queen Mary 2’s Transatlantic Crossing between New York and Southampton.

Other than service animals, Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 is the only ship that allows pets on board so if you can’t bear to part with your fur baby then it could be well worth looking into this accommodating cruise.

As seen in Travel At 60.



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