Royal Caribbean bans support animals from cruises

Royal Caribbean International will no longer accept emotional support animals onboard its ships. Cruise passengers who have existing reservations that include support animals will be allowed to bring them aboard but no new reservations will be accepted.

The cruise line Wednesday confirmed the change in policy, noting that the new rules don’t affect service animals.

“We are updating the policy to differentiate emotional support animals from service animals that are trained to perform a function for a person with a disability,” an email statement said Wednesday. “It is important to us that all our guests enjoy their vacation, which is why we put into practice this new policy.”

As of Wednesday, passengers will not be able to add emotional support animals to an existing or new reservation.

The cruise line statement also said rules allowing service animals that help people with physical and non-physical disabilities will remain unchanged.


The move comes at a time when U.S. air carriers such as United, American, Delta, Alaska, JetBlue and, most recently, Southwest have tightened their rules about allowing passengers to bring support animals on flights.