Royal Caribbean has just updated its policy on emotional support animals onboard.
Emotional support animals are defined as those whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support.
The cruise line are no longer allowing emotional support animals onboard its ships as they do not qualify as service animals under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).
“We are changing our policy, but the policy is being changed to better differentiate between emotional support animals and service animals because they are two very different things,” a Royal Caribbean spokesperson claimed.
Service animals are those which support people with both physical and mental disabilities and are still covered under Royal Caribbean’s policy.
They are permitted in all public areas, including dining venues providing they are on a leash or harness.
Disabilities that might require service animals include blindness, deafness and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Royal Caribbean also commented: “Service animals that are formally trained and certified to perform a function are still welcome onboard with the proper paperwork and certifications.
We just want to be able to give all our guests great vacations, and the reality is some emotional support animals aren’t properly trained.”
Royal Caribbean has added that its director of accessibility and disability were heavily involved with the process of determining how its policy should change.
The policy update comes at the same time as U.S air carriers such as JetBlue, Delta, Southwest, United and American have tightened their rules about passengers bringing support animals on flights.
What do you think of Royal Caribbean’s policy? Do you agree only service animals supporting those with disabilities such as blindness should be allowed onboard? Leave us your comments…
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