Carnival Cruise Line clarifies Service Dog Policy

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Jan 15, 2012
Sounds like Carnival has its act together on this matter. It should be up to the service provider to do the due-diligence, and other customers need not, and indeed should not, take it upon themselves to interrupt other patrons to ascertain whether their animals are service animals or not.

Now, if only I could get our local grocery stores to obey the law prohibiting pets in the store--the nearest grocery to me is particularly bad on this. There are generally four or five pooches, often not even leashed, in the store at any given time, with no attempt to enforce the rules, even to the point that some of the checkout staff will fondle and play with them at the checkout! The final straw for me was a couple that had two unleashed dogs roaming the store, sniffing and licking food displays. I know it was wrong, but I simply abandoned my cart mid-shopping and left for another store where the food is hopefully less likely to have been pre-tasted by somebody's pets.

Amtrak seems to me to be pretty correct in how they handle pets as well as service animals. Our last trip end to end on the Empire Builder, a woman had a service dog onboard, and the staff were very proactive in letting her and the dog out first at 'fresh air' stops so the dog could relieve itself, and they saved a table at the end of the car for her in the diner so that the dog had room to accompany her.
Carnival is trying to clear up what constitutes a "service dog".
"In response to guest comments, Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador John Heald has offered some guidance on service dogs onboard, including where the dogs are permitted and what types of service dogs can set sail on the Fun Ships."
This was the last part of the Carnival Cruise Line service dog criteria. “OR PERFORMING OTHER SPECIAL TASKS” Heck, my Dog fits that part, he performs lots of tasks including keeping me company and providing physical therapy by forcing me to walk twice a day. I may have to book a cruise.
I just skimmed the storied above, but it seems like Carnival was just addressing passengers that accused valid, licensed service dogs of not being legitimate because they were performing a function other than assisting with sight. In general, the airlines have really cleaned up the service dog vs emotional animal (alligator, anyone?) scene. You can still buy "support animal" tags on Ebay but they won't get you very far without paperwork from a recognized organization.