Cruise NewsRoyal Caribbean Issues Update on Their Ban on Emotional Support Animals

Royal Caribbean Issues Update on Their Ban on Emotional Support Animals

Two weeks ago, Royal Caribbean began to ban passengers from bringing emotional support animals onboard their 25 cruise ships.

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The cruise line has sent out an update to travel agents to clarify the new rules regarding bringing emotional support animals and trained service animals onto their cruise ships.  The update, posted below, should help clarify any misunderstandings future Royal Caribbean passengers may have regarding this new policy.

Royal Caribbean’s emotional support animals update for August 31, 2018:

“We’ve recently changed our policy on emotional support animals onboard all our ships. Our policy now differentiates emotional support animals from service animals that are trained to perform a function for a person with a disability. We will continue to welcome service animals onboard for guests with disabilities, and will no longer have emotional support animals onboard.

As we transition into our new policy, any guest that processed a request to bring their emotional support animal on or before July 30th, 2018, will be allowed to do so for their existing cruise. We apologize for any impact this may cause your clients, but we hope your clients understand and look forward to welcoming them onboard very soon!”

Royal Caribbean’s website lists the following for service dogs: Service dogs will be permitted to accompany a person with a disability in all public areas, including dining venues on Royal Caribbean cruise ships. While in public areas, service dogs must be on a leash, harness or other restraining device. Due to health regulations, service dogs are not permitted in pools, whirlpools or spas.

Royal Caribbean defines a service dog as “any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability.” Service dogs are not considered pets.

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Ben Souza
Ben Souza
Ben is a world traveler who has visited 40+ countries, taken over 70 cruises. He is one of USA TODAY's experts for their 10Best Readers' Choice Awards. His writings have appeared and been cited in various media outlets such as Yahoo News, MSN, NPR, CNN, Fox, and ABC News. Ben currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. Follow Ben on Instagram. Visit Ben Souza on Linkedin. You may email Ben at [email protected].
Cruise NewsRoyal Caribbean Issues Update on Their Ban on Emotional Support Animals


  1. Thanks!! Dogs do not belong in food areas. People cuddle their “comfort dogs” then touch the rolls or tongs, ugh. I overheard one lady tell another person her comfort dog was really just her regular pet at home.

  2. I have a true emotional support dog. I suffer from anxiety and dont like how the medications make me feel, so I do have dog who’s job is to keep me from having anxiety attacks. I do have a letter from doctor prescribing him for my condition.
    It’s sad people have ruined this for those of us who really need them and for especially ourveterans. .So I guess until you recognize that ESA animals perform a service I won’t be sailing with you anytime soon.

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