Carnival Doubles Down: Service Dogs Sail On Amid Allergy Uproar!

In response to recent controversy surrounding the accommodation of service dogs aboard Carnival cruise ships, Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador John Heald has stepped forward to clarify the company’s stance and address concerns raised by passengers.

During a live broadcast on Facebook, Heald warmly acknowledged a group of 40 special travelers aboard the Carnival Celebration, all of whom are visually impaired and accompanied by their service guide dogs.

“I want to give a shout out straightaway if I can to a very important group of people who are sailing on Carnival Celebration,” Heald said. “I want to say hello to 40 very special people, and all 40 of them have four legs.”

He highlighted the measures taken by Carnival Cruise Line to ensure the comfort and needs of these passengers, including designated areas for the dogs and specific accommodations in cabins.

Seeing eye dog on a cruise

Not everyone was as happy about this:

“You said there would be 40 dogs on Celebration. I am on this cruise. I am disgusted,” one guest said. “I think this is terribly unfair to the people who like me are allergic to dogs – and 50% of people are. A ship is a confined area, and a person with allergies could easily be assigned to a table near them at dinner. Even if you do not allow them to bring the dogs to dinner the owners will still smell like dog.”

Notably, Heald responded to a passenger’s distress message regarding the presence of service dogs, expressing concerns about allergies and demanding compensation or alternative arrangements.

Heald emphasized Carnival’s adherence to ADA rules and the importance of supporting passengers dependent on these service animals, firmly stating that the cruise line would not offer refunds in this situation.

“We have 40 legally blind guests whose lives are dependent on these incredible animals,” Heald said. “We are of course adhering to ADA rules but also we are proud that we are able to provide these wonderful people some Carnival Fun.”

Contrary to the guest’s claim that 50% of people are allergic to dogs, statistics indicate a much lower prevalence, around 10-20%.

Heald reassured passengers that measures would be in place to accommodate those with allergies sensitivities, such as reseating in the dining room upon request and thorough cabin cleaning post-cruise.

Carnival Celebration

The guest also went on to state: “Personally, I think this service dog thing has gone way too far. Dogs don’t want to [be] on a ship, and most people don’t want dogs to be in those places. I am asking for a full refund or full credit to move to another cruise.”

Heald reiterated that service dogs are not considered pets but rather vital companions providing essential assistance to their owners. With only 40 service dogs onboard out of thousands of passengers, their presence represents less than 1% of the ship’s total occupancy.

The response from Carnival Cruise Line underscores its commitment to inclusivity and accessibility, aligning with previous clarifications regarding mobility scooter policies and the acceptance of service dogs in all public areas of its ships.

While Carnival will not offer refunds based on medical conditions related to allergies, passengers may seek coverage through private travel insurance policies.

Just to clarify, Carnival Cruise Line allows only fully trained, working service dogs on board its ships, not service-dogs-in-training. These service dogs are trained to perform medically necessary tasks and are not classified as pets. Emotional support animals, which are not considered service animals, are not allowed on board.

Overall, Carnival Cruise Line’s proactive approach to accommodating service dogs reflects its dedication to ensuring a memorable and inclusive experience for all passengers, regardless of their unique needs or circumstances.

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