Tourists looking to take their emotional support peacock on their next cruise adventure may be out of luck.
Royal Caribbean International RCL, +2.44% the world’s second largest cruise line by passenger market share, will no longer allow passengers to bring emotional support animals with them aboard its ships, effective immediately, a cruise industry blog reported Tuesday. If passengers made reservations to sail with emotional support animals before July 30, they will still be allowed on board, but subsequent reservations won’t accommodate them.
The company did not immediately respond to questions regarding why the change was made, or whether the policy would apply to other cruise lines owned by parent company Royal Caribbean Cruises, such as Celebrity Cruises. The cruise line noted in its blog post that emotional support animals are not protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act, unlike service animals such as seeing-eye dogs.
A spokesperson for Norwegian Cruise Line NCLH, +1.68% said that it also does not accept emotional support animals onboard its ships. “Norwegian Cruise Line accepts service animals that are trained to perform a specific task,” the spokesperson said. Carnival Corp. CCL, +0.56% doesn’t allow emotional support animals onboard either. Like Norwegian, trained and certified service animals as defined by the U.S. Department of Justice can accompany passengers on Carnival ships.
See also: There’s been a spike in university ‘enrollments’ of emotional support animals
Emotional support animals have become a hot-button issue, particularly in the travel industry.
A number of airlines, including Delta DAL, +1.00% United UAL, +0.28% American AAL, +0.82% and Alaska ALK, +1.39% have tightened their rules surrounding these animals, which have been known to bite passengers and relieve themselves on planes. Despite the crackdown on four-legged friends, airlines continue are seeing more emotional support animals on their flights.
Along with the uptick in emotional support animals onboard planes has come an increase in the number of incidents involving them. A young girl was injured on a Southwest Airlines LUV, +0.42% flight in February after an altercation with an emotional support dog.
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