With only a few weeks until Icon of the Seas’ maiden voyage, Royal Caribbean announced the vessel’s first and only four-legged crew member. Rover is a golden retriever that has been given the lofty title of Chief Dog Officer.
The video uploaded to the company’s Instagram account explained her duties by saying, “As a crew member on Icon, Rover’s job is to bring joy and happiness to her fellow crew and guests onboard. From daily walks to hanging out on the bridge with the captain, Rover has already made herself at home.”
She will be accompanied by her Chief of Staff, Allison, an Australian crew member who has worked with Royal Caribbean for five years.
Royal Caribbean has described their furriest crew member as the “family dog on board.” She will be the only permanent resident of the cruise ship.
The news was warmly received online as the post quickly earned the likes of several thousand people.
Royal’s newest recruit has also made her mark on the Icon’s Royal Promenade. Instead of the usual classic car, the company installed a dog statue.
Rover boarded Icon of the Seas in Puerto Rico as it picked up supplies and made other preparations for its inaugural voyage on January 27, 2024.
Will Royal Caribbean welcome pets onboard soon?
The cruise operator hasn’t made any announcements about allowing pets onboard. Royal Caribbean’s policy clearly states, “We do not accept pets,” although it welcomes service dogs across its fleet.
In 2018, they updated their guidelines and definition of service dogs to exclude emotional support animals that offer comfort and therapy. It has since been limited to dogs trained to perform specific tasks for individuals with disabilities.
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While adding Rover to Icon of the Seas demonstrates a more relaxed attitude to hosting canine passengers, it doesn’t foreshadow the introduction of a radically modified pet policy.