This is one cruise line where you don’t have to leave your dog at home – Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 has some luxurious new kennels for Kujo or Lassie so they don’t have to “ruff it” again.
As part of the Queen Mary 2’s US$132 million refurbishment, the line decided to add extra kennels (now 24) and add a new play area and a dedicated owner’s lounge.
The dogs also have a New York City fire hydrant and a British lamp post on which to relieve themselves. Manhattan dogs may prefer the former, and English the latter. The refurbished kennels were revealed at a ceremony in Brooklyn, New York, last week. Three of Instagram’s most popular dogs – Chloe the mini French bulldog, Wally the Welsh corgi and Ella Bean the Dog (mongrel).
Kennel master Oliver Cruz from the Philippines walks, feeds and plays with the dogs. Mr Cruz who worked as an animal handler and zoo guide in the Philippines says he loves working with the animals on the Queen Mary 2.
“This is my passion,” he said. Mr Cruz says the first day at sea is the most challenging as he has to memorise the names of the dogs and owners, but saying goodbye on “the last day is the saddest part, because we’ve bonded.”
Cunard has a long history of accommodating pets on its ships including dogs belonging to Elizabeth Taylor and The Duke of Windsor. All doggie doo-doo is removed with a poop-scoop and disposed of in a special flush toilet. Dogs rarely become seasick but the area is deep-cleaned after each voyage.
To ensure kennel availability owners are advised to book well ahead. A Transatlantic crossing costs US$800-1000 per kennel, depending on the size of the pooch.