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

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I have run into a big snag in my preparations to leave for the Panama Canal on Princess Island at the end of March. Actually, two snags.

The first is teaching Jazz to use the box on board ship. I got a square child's wading pool 4x4 and filled it with cedar mulch (that's what Princess said theirs would have). Jazz had to be commanded to get in it, but would not relieve himself in it. I added some plants to make it seem more like the rest of the yard, but no luck. He refused to use the pool for a full 24 hours before I relented and allowed him to relieve himself outside of the pool. We then went on vacation and are back now and he is still refusing to use the pool.  Due to my frustration, I think he thinks I do not want him to relieve himself there and am actually teaching him not to go there. I have no idea what to do at this point. Any suggestions?

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My second snag is that the vet, who told me they could handle my international travel, now says they can't. I am in Southern CA and wondering if anyone can remind me which agency I need to contact to find a qualified vet. Thanks so much.

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I had the same issue with Miss Tish.  When I brought her to the box on the ship, she would just walk around and walk out of it.  It took a couple of tries and she finally peed in the box.  Unfortunately she wouldn't poop.  It is the first thing she did when she got off the ship in St. Martin.  After that she was fine and used the box.

 

I tried to train her at home, but she wouldn't use what I got for her.  I tried what the vet said which was to rub some of her poop in the box and some of her pee.  Just didn't work with her.  But again, she was fine once she got on the ship.

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1 hour ago, Wendsong said:

I have run into a big snag in my preparations to leave for the Panama Canal on Princess Island at the end of March. Actually, two snags.

The first is teaching Jazz to use the box on board ship. I got a square child's wading pool 4x4 and filled it with cedar mulch (that's what Princess said theirs would have). Jazz had to be commanded to get in it, but would not relieve himself in it. I added some plants to make it seem more like the rest of the yard, but no luck. He refused to use the pool for a full 24 hours before I relented and allowed him to relieve himself outside of the pool. We then went on vacation and are back now and he is still refusing to use the pool.  Due to my frustration, I think he thinks I do not want him to relieve himself there and am actually teaching him not to go there. I have no idea what to do at this point. Any suggestions?

Can you move it to a whole new spot?  Maybe somewhere that is surrounded by concrete.  Try putting an exercise pen around it so that you 'kennel' him in there for a while.  Like going to a dog park or something akin to that.  Does he prefer any other substance?  Like grass?  If so, pick up a flat of sod and lay it in there; that might help him to understand.  You have time to get this worked out, so try not to get uptight or anxious about him going potty.  It will only result in him thinking there is something WRONG with pottying, which is definitely not what you want him to think.  When you walk him, do you stop before going into stores/etc., and tell him to potty?  Will he (urinate ... poop's a whole other topic!) 90% of the time ?  Or is it a hit and miss sort of thing.  People who have dogs that get mature bladders early on who can go for hours between 'breaks' have a more difficult time of teaching the potty command because the dog knows it can hold it for a long time so it won't go.  My puppies are on leash during potty opportunities for the first year of their lives, so they definitely KNOW what I mean and they'll do it anywhere/anytime.  The older dogs that I've gotten have been much more difficult in this regard because they are already housebroke, but they are often used to going potty loose in a backyard or a kennel, and they prefer not to do it connected to ME!!  :)  When I tell Mavis to potty, she will always squat and try; it doesn't always result in urine, but at least I know she understood what I wanted from her.  You might just start by reinforcing the command 'potty' (or whatever you use) on your general outings.  Carry HIGH value treats and lavish them on him when he goes.  Make a big deal about what a good boy he is.  Encourage him to drink lots of water so you have more opportunities to take him out to pee.  Use the wait command to build release, so that he's looking forward to peeing.  Walk him up to an area that he likes to pee, ask him if he needs to go, then tell him to wait.  (Be excited and happy, you're trying to build drive.  Think of it almost as if he saw something that he wanted to chase.  You'd say, "Do you see that [bunny]? Wait ... ...  OK!!! Get it!!"  You want him excited about the opportunity to pee.)  Then tell him, "OK!!!  Potty!" and just wait.  If he doesn't go, ignore it and lead him away.  If he starts to go, calmly say, "Gooood potty, gooood boy" so he gets that it's the act of peeing that makes you happy.  Then when he's done, jump and clap your hands with an excited "YES!!!" and shovel out those treats.  Once 'potty' is a reflexive action and not just a word, you can work on changing up the substance he'll do it on.  Mavis's most impressive places that she's gone are on TOP of a dense 2 foot tall shrub (that's all that was in the parking lot!), on a steel grate, and in the gutter in a busy city (we live on a farm).  He'll get it - he's a poodle - they are super intelligent!

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1 hour ago, kmg365suzyq said:

"rub some of her poop in the box and some of her pee.  Just didn't work with her.  But again, she was fine once she got on the ship."

I have tried the poo and pee suggestion, but he wasn't impressed. I hope he will be better on the ship, but I am worried because he can be so stubborn. I am worried because I think I am teaching him that if he doesn't go in the box, I'll give in and let him go outside the box. Would not be pretty on the ship...

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51 minutes ago, Mavis and Me said:

Can you move it to a whole new spot?  Maybe somewhere that is surrounded by concrete.  Try putting an exercise pen around it so that you 'kennel' him in there for a while.  Like going to a dog park or something akin to that.  Does he prefer any other substance?  Like grass?  If so, pick up a flat of sod and lay it in there; that might help him to understand.  You have time to get this worked out, so try not to get uptight or anxious about him going potty.  It will only result in him thinking there is something WRONG with pottying, which is definitely not what you want him to think.  When you walk him, do you stop before going into stores/etc., and tell him to potty?  Will he (urinate ... poop's a whole other topic!) 90% of the time ?  Or is it a hit and miss sort of thing.  People who have dogs that get mature bladders early on who can go for hours between 'breaks' have a more difficult time of teaching the potty command because the dog knows it can hold it for a long time so it won't go.  My puppies are on leash during potty opportunities for the first year of their lives, so they definitely KNOW what I mean and they'll do it anywhere/anytime.  The older dogs that I've gotten have been much more difficult in this regard because they are already housebroke, but they are often used to going potty loose in a backyard or a kennel, and they prefer not to do it connected to ME!! 🙂  When I tell Mavis to potty, she will always squat and try; it doesn't always result in urine, but at least I know she understood what I wanted from her.  You might just start by reinforcing the command 'potty' (or whatever you use) on your general outings.  Carry HIGH value treats and lavish them on him when he goes.  Make a big deal about what a good boy he is.  Encourage him to drink lots of water so you have more opportunities to take him out to pee.  Use the wait command to build release, so that he's looking forward to peeing.  Walk him up to an area that he likes to pee, ask him if he needs to go, then tell him to wait.  (Be excited and happy, you're trying to build drive.  Think of it almost as if he saw something that he wanted to chase.  You'd say, "Do you see that [bunny]? Wait ... ...  OK!!! Get it!!"  You want him excited about the opportunity to pee.)  Then tell him, "OK!!!  Potty!" and just wait.  If he doesn't go, ignore it and lead him away.  If he starts to go, calmly say, "Gooood potty, gooood boy" so he gets that it's the act of peeing that makes you happy.  Then when he's done, jump and clap your hands with an excited "YES!!!" and shovel out those treats.  Once 'potty' is a reflexive action and not just a word, you can work on changing up the substance he'll do it on.  Mavis's most impressive places that she's gone are on TOP of a dense 2 foot tall shrub (that's all that was in the parking lot!), on a steel grate, and in the gutter in a busy city (we live on a farm).  He'll get it - he's a poodle - they are super intelligent!

Some really good suggestions that I will be trying out this coming week, especially getting him some grass. I have a fence that I got for him as a puppy, but it won't surround the box,  but that's a good suggestion, as well. Unless I empty the pool (and what a mess that would be), I can't move it. It's on a concrete patio now over a drain in case of rain. I tried giving him treats afterwards one time in the park, but he looked at me like I was crazy and refused to take it!! It's true, he is a Poodle, but he marches to his own drummer! 

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14 hours ago, Mavis and Me said:

Can you move it to a whole new spot?  Maybe somewhere that is surrounded by concrete.  Try putting an exercise pen around it so that you 'kennel' him in there for a while.  Like going to a dog park or something akin to that.  Does he prefer any other substance?  Like grass?  If so, pick up a flat of sod and lay it in there; that might help him to understand.  You have time to get this worked out, so try not to get uptight or anxious about him going potty.  It will only result in him thinking there is something WRONG with pottying, which is definitely not what you want him to think.  When you walk him, do you stop before going into stores/etc., and tell him to potty?  Will he (urinate ... poop's a whole other topic!) 90% of the time ?  Or is it a hit and miss sort of thing.  People who have dogs that get mature bladders early on who can go for hours between 'breaks' have a more difficult time of teaching the potty command because the dog knows it can hold it for a long time so it won't go.  My puppies are on leash during potty opportunities for the first year of their lives, so they definitely KNOW what I mean and they'll do it anywhere/anytime.  The older dogs that I've gotten have been much more difficult in this regard because they are already housebroke, but they are often used to going potty loose in a backyard or a kennel, and they prefer not to do it connected to ME!!  :)  When I tell Mavis to potty, she will always squat and try; it doesn't always result in urine, but at least I know she understood what I wanted from her.  You might just start by reinforcing the command 'potty' (or whatever you use) on your general outings.  Carry HIGH value treats and lavish them on him when he goes.  Make a big deal about what a good boy he is.  Encourage him to drink lots of water so you have more opportunities to take him out to pee.  Use the wait command to build release, so that he's looking forward to peeing.  Walk him up to an area that he likes to pee, ask him if he needs to go, then tell him to wait.  (Be excited and happy, you're trying to build drive.  Think of it almost as if he saw something that he wanted to chase.  You'd say, "Do you see that [bunny]? Wait ... ...  OK!!! Get it!!"  You want him excited about the opportunity to pee.)  Then tell him, "OK!!!  Potty!" and just wait.  If he doesn't go, ignore it and lead him away.  If he starts to go, calmly say, "Gooood potty, gooood boy" so he gets that it's the act of peeing that makes you happy.  Then when he's done, jump and clap your hands with an excited "YES!!!" and shovel out those treats.  Once 'potty' is a reflexive action and not just a word, you can work on changing up the substance he'll do it on.  Mavis's most impressive places that she's gone are on TOP of a dense 2 foot tall shrub (that's all that was in the parking lot!), on a steel grate, and in the gutter in a busy city (we live on a farm).  He'll get it - he's a poodle - they are super intelligent!

It took us awhile too - ours did not like the big lip of a baby pool so we opted for one of the trays that go in crates.  We also did sod since that is what he is used to going on.  He did not want to use the box at first either, so we would give him 5 or 10 minutes and if he didn’t go, we went back inside.   Probably the 4th or 5th trip he peed in the box and was given praise and kibbles.  We did not give him access to regular potty spot at all.   It took a couple of days for him to go on command in the tray, but he finally did.  We switched out the sod every 4 or 5 days for 2 months before our cruise and made him use that area Only to relieve himself, just to make sure we had no issues. 

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Question, does anyone's Vet charge them to fill out the forms needed?  And does the APHIS waive the fee for the "seal" that is required for some ports if it's for a Service animal?  

I know someone just sailed to Turks and did not get their permit & didn't get off the ship.  We are cruising to Grand Turk in May on Carnival & they are telling us that if we don't have the permit the ship won't be allowed to dock?  

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I had the same issue with Scooter a couple of years ago.  I ended up taking him out every hour on the hour, only to the box we were using.  It was on a concrete pad.  I wouldn't let him get near the grass/yard at all.  In between trips out, he was in his crate.  When it had been 3 - 4 hours, I actually took him out to the box about every 20 minutes.  Finally, he went.  We had a PARTY!!!!!  he got TREATS and TREATS and TREATS!!!!!.  After that, I started taking his ball outside with me.  The reward was that after potty, we had 10 minutes of ball in the yard.  That was what finally really clicked for him.

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8 minutes ago, MelanieDyer said:

Question, does anyone's Vet charge them to fill out the forms needed?  And does the APHIS waive the fee for the "seal" that is required for some ports if it's for a Service animal?  

I know someone just sailed to Turks and did not get their permit & didn't get off the ship.  We are cruising to Grand Turk in May on Carnival & they are telling us that if we don't have the permit the ship won't be allowed to dock?  

Yes, my vet charges me for providing the forms. I would be surprised if any vets do it for free since an office visit is required. The USDA will waive the fee for Service Animals as defined by the ADA (they do charge for Emotional Support Animals).

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On 2/24/2020 at 12:32 PM, Wendsong said:

My second snag is that the vet, who told me they could handle my international travel, now says they can't. I am in Southern CA and wondering if anyone can remind me which agency I need to contact to find a qualified vet. Thanks so much.

You can just call around to Vets in your area and ask if they are USDA accredited and can provide international health certificates. Otherwise, you can contact the USDA office in Sacramento and they can help you find a vet in your area.

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It's also a good idea to keep the lip on the box no more than 2-4 inches.  For some reason if they have to feel like they're climbing, they're suspicious of the safety of it.  Also, make sure that you're giving your dog lots of time to just sniff around the box and that it's large enough for them to make circles.  I wouldn't put any objects in the box, other than the filler and or artificial turf.   

 

I've trained two dogs to use a potty box and, I must admit, it does take time, patience and valuable treats!  I also used an attached leash each time we went out to potty, until my dog would simply go in the box on their own.  And, then I took off the leash and only used the command.  I always give my dog lots and lots of praise when they're done!  Don't give up, it does work and makes travel and living in a condo so much easier!!!!

 

Also, the only form I used for the Panama Canal was the same I use for Mexico; the Aphis 7001, completely filled out by me and my Vet.  No extra forms or blood tests.  I met with Custom Officials in an empty lounge one morning.  I went into port at most of the stops and was never stopped or questioned.  I was very careful to look out for stray dogs in each port.

 

Good luck!  Make it fun!!!

 

Also, my Vet charges me for filling out the form.  It does take time and he gives a quick exam as well.

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8 hours ago, MelanieDyer said:

Question, does anyone's Vet charge them to fill out the forms needed?  And does the APHIS waive the fee for the "seal" that is required for some ports if it's for a Service animal?  

I know someone just sailed to Turks and did not get their permit & didn't get off the ship.  We are cruising to Grand Turk in May on Carnival & they are telling us that if we don't have the permit the ship won't be allowed to dock?  

The vet charges and it's not cheap, but fees are waived for service dog by APHIS with proper documentation.

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7 hours ago, DUTRAVEL said:

You can just call around to Vets in your area and ask if they are USDA accredited and can provide international health certificates. Otherwise, you can contact the USDA office in Sacramento and they can help you find a vet in your area.

I called my local office in El Segundo. She was very helpful, giving me a list of vets near their office so I could visit the vet and APHIS on the same day. The vet gave me a list of things they need so I could email them in advance of the appointment. There were no other vets in my area. I am hopeful this will go off without a hitch. Thanks for the advice.

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2 hours ago, wizard-of-roz said:

It's also a good idea to keep the lip on the box no more than 2-4 inches.  For some reason if they have to feel like they're climbing, they're suspicious of the safety of it.  Also, make sure that you're giving your dog lots of time to just sniff around the box and that it's large enough for them to make circles.  I wouldn't put any objects in the box, other than the filler and or artificial turf.   

 

I've trained two dogs to use a potty box and, I must admit, it does take time, patience and valuable treats!  I also used an attached leash each time we went out to potty, until my dog would simply go in the box on their own.  And, then I took off the leash and only used the command.  I always give my dog lots and lots of praise when they're done!  Don't give up, it does work and makes travel and living in a condo so much easier!!!!

 

Also, the only form I used for the Panama Canal was the same I use for Mexico; the Aphis 7001, completely filled out by me and my Vet.  No extra forms or blood tests.  I met with Custom Officials in an empty lounge one morning.  I went into port at most of the stops and was never stopped or questioned.  I was very careful to look out for stray dogs in each port.

 

Good luck!  Make it fun!!!

 

Also, my Vet charges me for filling out the form.  It does take time and he gives a quick exam as well.

Today, we started over. All I did was ask him to 'get in'. Lots of treats and big praise. Tomorrow, I am going to teach him the word 'box'.  Once he can associate 'box' with the box and thinks getting in it is a good idea, maybe he will spend more time in it and get the idea.  Tomorrow,  we're going to Home Depot and get grass. It will have to be removed eventually, because there won't be grass on the ship.  I'd love to lower the sides, but with the way the thing is made, that's not really an option. He is so tall, perhaps it won't matter. The plants will have to come out at some point as well. I have gotten some really great advice, thanks so much.

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2 hours ago, Wendsong said:

Today, we started over. All I did was ask him to 'get in'. Lots of treats and big praise. Tomorrow, I am going to teach him the word 'box'.  Once he can associate 'box' with the box and thinks getting in it is a good idea, maybe he will spend more time in it and get the idea.  Tomorrow,  we're going to Home Depot and get grass. It will have to be removed eventually, because there won't be grass on the ship.  I'd love to lower the sides, but with the way the thing is made, that's not really an option. He is so tall, perhaps it won't matter. The plants will have to come out at some point as well. I have gotten some really great advice, thanks so much.

I like your ideas and your wonderful attitude.

 

I must tell you that the sod MUST be changed at least every two weeks.  The urine makes the sod "stinky".  It doesn't bother the dog but it sure bothered me.

 

My first dog was much shorter than my second.  I did keep the lip of the box at 2.5 inches no matter what I use for filler.

 

There is a wonderful business in the Los Angeles/Orange County area called:  "Doggie In The City".  I used them when I worked full time and they were amazing.  I highly recommend them.  They provided the box/sod and they did all the work.  All I had to do was pick up the solids.  The potty box was kept in an underground parking garage and was changed every two weeks.  It cost me $60.00 a month for,  I could still use them at home and may do so again in the future.

 

 

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I love the poodle and thought that would be the perfect Service Dog to have for someone with allergies and would allow for much less clean-up from shedding.  Horton sheds another dog every few weeks!  As I've aged I've developed some severe eye, nasal and lung allergies to his hair.  I have to use drops constantly and keep well hydrated just to stay well on a daily basis with all the hair EVERYWHERE!

 

Unfortunately, CCI does not train Poodles or their crosses.  I've already inquired if they've ever considered breeding/raising/training the Poodle or Labradoodle and was told that there has been discussions but nothing planned.  Apparently, Poodles do not "pass off" well.  As pups the demand to go to so many different homes; from the Puppy Raisers to various facilities, to multiple trainers then to their permanent homes can be too much for this gentle, loving, sweet, clingy breed.  Poodles ALWAYS want their "Mommy" and need to be reassured that they're okay and, although they're brilliant dogs when it comes to training, they need constant reassurance and love..  Where the Lab has an innate nature to please who ever is loving them at the moment and can be passed from owner to owner to owner.  And, do very well with anyone training them, as long as they're loved and treated with respect they do very well with anyone who is "Mommy" at the moment!!!!!

 

It's rare to have a Lab fail this part of their placement while in the training process.  Although, there is the rare Lab personality that whines, barks or becomes stressed from training and being transferred to different trainers/caretakers.  These Labs are taken out of the program and become a  COC [change of career dog.]  They can become available for the public to adopt, if their issues are severe enough or they can go on to become drug sniffers or work with a myriad of other facilities in the police dept. or legal and medical world.  We're so lucky when we encounter some of these wonderful hero's while out and about in our society.  I got to meet a wonderful COC dog from CCI who is now working with children who have been abused and must appear in court.  These dogs comfort and make the children feel safe.  Such miracle workers!!!!!

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16 hours ago, MelanieDyer said:

Question, does anyone's Vet charge them to fill out the forms needed?  And does the APHIS waive the fee for the "seal" that is required for some ports if it's for a Service animal?  

I know someone just sailed to Turks and did not get their permit & didn't get off the ship.  We are cruising to Grand Turk in May on Carnival & they are telling us that if we don't have the permit the ship won't be allowed to dock?  

I'm not sure which line you are cruising but we went to Turk in January and we did not do the paperwork and the ship docked no problem. These people that handle the service dogs have no clue. When we got on the ship the woman in charge of the dog stuff sent the paperwork to our cabin and asked us to fill it out. It was actually forms that the vet needed to fill out. We explained that and she said fill it out anyway. We didn't. 

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For all the potty box problems... Oaklands first cruise didn't go well. He refused to use the box for 28 hours. We did not pre-train him. We live in an apt building and he pottys on mulch. We figured he'd do fine. He finally went pee but no poop. Unfortunately on our way to customs to get him cleared, he decided to poop along the way. I scooped it up and we went on our way. No one the wiser. We were mortified. Just happy no one saw it. We docked in Bermuda for 3 days and he went potty off the ship. Still went pee in the box though. We had 2 days home and we made plans to stay in the cabin so we didn't have another accident. To our surprise I got him to poop the next morning. He was good for the 2 day trip home. 

 

On our November cruise with Roz, he went like a pro. Our January cruise he was awesome. Our next cruise isn't until next January and we're hoping he doesn't forget! 

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17 hours ago, rangeley said:

I'm not sure which line you are cruising but we went to Turk in January and we did not do the paperwork and the ship docked no problem. These people that handle the service dogs have no clue. When we got on the ship the woman in charge of the dog stuff sent the paperwork to our cabin and asked us to fill it out. It was actually forms that the vet needed to fill out. We explained that and she said fill it out anyway. We didn't. 

That's so typical.  If you were on your first cruise with your Service Dog this would be so confusing.

 

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Good morning everyone. 

 

Drum roll, please.  Rocky's brother, Jasper won the "Cutest pet in Arizona" !  He was on Channel 12 news yesterday.  Looks just like Rocky, so I guess that makes Rocky a really cute boy too!  I haven't figured out how to get my pictures on this new computer.  Will have to get grandson to help me.  Then I can post new pictures of the boy.  He is away at boarding school right now.  He is learning some basic commands and manners.  He has some of them, but they are used selectively by him!  We didn't realize how "old" we really are until we got this amazing lab puppy.  He is only 8 1/2 months old.  Pop was in the hospital for about 4 days, still not feeling good and Rocky is a handful.  The trainer came to the house and politely told us some of the things we were doing wrong to train this baby boy.  It is a learning process and I realized I wouldn't be receiving the Pup Mom of the year.  We have already made some changes and hopefully our boy will be even better when he comes home.  I can't wait, I miss him to the moon and back.  He loves his momma, too.

 

Hope everyone and all the furkids are doing fantabulous.  Have a great rest of the week and weekend coming up on us. 

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Hi everyone. I plan on going on my first cruise with my service dog and I was wondering what type of shore excursions have you done with your service dog.

 

cheers

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On 2/28/2020 at 2:43 PM, placentiagirl said:

Hi everyone. I plan on going on my first cruise with my service dog and I was wondering what type of shore excursions have you done with your service dog.

 

cheers

I have taken my service dog on all types of excursions: whale watching, White Pass & Yukon Railway, Tarcolas River cruise, etc. None of our excursions have been high adventure as they need to be wheelchair accessible. Make sure to tell the tour provider in advance that you are bringing a service dog.

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On 2/28/2020 at 5:43 PM, placentiagirl said:

Hi everyone. I plan on going on my first cruise with my service dog and I was wondering what type of shore excursions have you done with your service dog.

 

cheers


I did several on an Alaska cruise where I knew the ADA law would be recognized, and agree with Dianne -  it’s important to notify the excursions office or private tour operator in advance about the dog. Two were boat excursions (whale watch, scenery), one was a bus tour to Mendenhall Glacier, and one was a tour around Kodiak Island to a state park. All worked out very well - Alaska is one of the easiest of all cruises for traveling with a service dog.
 

The boats were large and easy to board - I believe they were also wheelchair accessible. The dog just sat at my feet in a row of seats. The glacier tour bus had the front seat reserved with a card showing my name, which was easier than leading the dog down the aisle of a big motor coach. 

 

There were also free shuttles (using school buses at Homer and motor coaches at Anchorage). We walked around a lot and visited shops & museums independently.
 

Everywhere we went (except for the boat rides, of course), there was plenty of space and grass for the dog to walk and get plenty of exercise. We hiked on trails at both the glacier and at the state park. 
 

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Hi Everyone, I've been unable to write from my computer, there's a problem from Cruise Critic's end which won't allow me in because of some sort of inscription on the screen......so, I'm using my phone.  Hope it works!

First, I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  We're having a multitude of weather changes here in L.A.  We go from cold to hot to windy to freezing....so weird.  It's now summertime with the air running!

I hope you're all staying well and washing your hands every chance you get. 😉

 

 

 

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