So many of us have heard the horror stories of pets in the baggage section of planes. Often, for larger dogs, unless there are service pets, a place in the passenger section of a plane is not an option. So what does one do when they are moving overseas and they have a senior pet? Here is how one loving couple brought their French Bassett Hound, Molly, across the pond, as heard from Molly’s perspective.
Hello my name is Molly. I am a French Bassett Hound, which is apropos, given that my mom and dad decided to move from Brooklyn, New York to Nice, France. Their biggest concern was me. They did not want to put me in the baggage section of any flight and looked into every possible way to bring me with them. They researched and were so excited when they found out that I could sail aboard the Queen Mary 2 with them. So they booked our transatlantic cruise.
Given the amount of luggage mom and dad needed to take, they upgraded to a lovely stateroom with a balcony. Although, I was not allowed in that part of the ship, they showed me pictures. It was spacious and stunning.
Uncle Fred and Aunt Susan drove us to Red Hook in Brooklyn, New York where the Queen Mary 2 was at port. What a magnificent ship! There was a bit of extra security on this day. As it turns out, there was a special event for the National Museum of the Royal Navy based in Portsmouth, England and Her Royal Highness, Princess Anne, was on board for the event. This made the day even more exciting for us.
Since mom and dad were traveling with me, they were directed to priority boarding where we visited with several other pet parents. There were 10 of us in total, 9 dogs and 1 cat named “Ralphie”. I liked everyone including Ralphie. There was a Miniature Poodle named “Frankie”, a Sheep Dog named Pickles, whom mom said was quite the humper (whatever that means). Milo, the Labrador Mix and Corso, the Australian Shepard were both very friendly with lots of energy. There were two cute Bijon Mixes, Bijou and Gigi, a Shih Tzu, Bertie and a King Charles named Rollo.
I was a little apprehensive at first, even though I loved to go on boat rides with my family but this was one big boat! Once on aboard, I felt very comfortable.
We were taken through a special terminal gate and directed to our special pet stateroom that was spacious and very clean. The Kennel Master, Robert, introduced himself to us. He was nice, warm and friendly. Immediately, he gave us all a delicious treat. We knew he was a huge pet lover.
He took each pet parent to their pet’s very own bedroom, equipped with wonderful bedding and everything we needed to feel comfortable. We were lured into them every evening with a delicious fresh chicken morsel.
During the day, we dined on freshly made beef or chicken and homemade biscuits for our treats. They gave Ralphie his own special food. I am not sure what it was, but it smelled a bit fishy. They had special toys for us to play and some of the pet parents brought their own toys from home. We all got a long famously!
There was a special deck area for us to hang around outside and do our “duty”. It was a wonderful place for us to enjoy the ocean and the fresh air. This is where mom and dad liked to hang out with me the most. I really enjoyed the ride. Perhaps part of the reason was that throughout the trip, we were given lots and lots of treats.
Mom and dad were allowed to visit me four times a day. They had several visiting hours throughout the day and evening. I missed them in between, but it was great to see them so many times a day (sometimes more than when we were home in Brooklyn)! When they would come to see me, Robert always offered them coffee or tea and homemade biscuits, too.
On each visit, mom and dad would fill me in on their itinerary. Every day sounded amazing, and I was so happy they were having as much fun as I was. They would always bring me sausages from their breakfast. I ate so well on this trip!. They also bought me a Queen Mary 2 jacket that I wore with my pearls. I felt so elegant.
Like me, mom and dad are quite the foodies and loved all the different restaurants. In addition to the dining room, they would go to the Golden Lion Pub or the King’s Court Pub for lunch. For dinner, in addition to the main dining room, there were two Indian, Italian and Asian Restaurants. All were included in their fare except for the Todd English Restaurant that cost a few dollars extra. They went there once.
When they first arrived in their stateroom, there was a bottle of Champagne waiting and an invite to a party on the deck. Every evening they enjoyed cocktails at the Commodore’s Club and then they would head to dinner. They enjoyed the Casino a few nights and every night there was a different band in the Queen’s Ballroom. Mom loves to dance so she dragged dad to the Disco a few nights, too.
Mom loved The Canyon Ranch Spa and went there for a massage. They both enjoyed the Quiet Room for meditation. They swam in the four swimming pools and visited the art gallery.
Everyone aboard was so nice. Many of the pet parents we met came from England and a few from the US. One woman said it was her 24th trip on the Queen Mary 2. Living now in California, she loves traveling and being able to take her little Bijou and Gigi with her when she visits Europe.
Every pet parent and my new pet friends all agreed, that traveling on the Queen Mary 2 was amazing! Mom and dad have traveled a lot but they said it was the best trip they ever took, especially because I was with them. What a lucky dog I am!
*Molly Clark (2001-2016 ) had a wonderful life and great adventures and now playing at the Rainbow Bridge.