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Cat Smuggled onto Cruise Ship in Sweatshirt – Discovered by Authorities

On a recent sailing of Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas, crew members encountered an unexpected surprise in one of the guest’s cabins, they found a cat, later named Ovie.

Cats are not allowed on Royal Caribbean cruises under any circumstances.

The ship was on a 19-night cruise from Honolulu in Hawaii to Sydney in Australia. The cruise left Hawaii on October 15, 2023.

cat smuggled onto cruise ship

The Cat Was Smuggled Onboard

The cat was found hidden in a guest’s cabin.

Details of how Ovie was smuggled aboard remain unclear, but the leading theory is that the cat was brought onto the ship inside a guest’s sweatshirt.

When you board a cruise you do have to go through metal detectors and all bags are searched so it is assumed the cat was sedated.

Perhaps he looked something like this!

cat in coat
cat in coat

The cat is thought to have originated from Arizona.

The Cat Was Discovered in Wellington

When the ship arrived in Wellington, New Zealand biosecurity agents inspected the ship which is routine. They were looking for anything that wasn’t allowed to be bought into the country like plants or some foods.

The ship was only in Wellington because of bad weather.

It was during this inspection that Ovie was found in the guest’s cabin.

The captain of the ship took over official responsibility for the cat and had to make sure that he stayed safe. There are no kennels or supplies for cats onboard Royal Caribbean cruises!

I suppose they fed him human food, lucky Ovie.

Ovie was kept in a secure area to make sure that he wouldn’t escape.

When the Ovation of the Seas docked on the 18th of November, Ovie was placed into quarantine. They needed to make sure that he didn’t have any pests or diseases.

The Guest Wasn’t Prosecuted

I have no idea why but the guest who bought him onboard wasn’t prosecuted.

Perhaps they couldn’t prove which person bought him onboard?

My guess would be whoever was staying in the cabin, it would be hard to stay in a cruise ship cabin with a cat in it without knowing that the cat was there. But anyway, Ovie is safe and that’s the main thing,

Where is Ovie Now?

Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean provided us with an update on his Facebook page which said that Ovie had been adopted by a member of the guest services team and he now lives in Miami!

“When discovered the cat was not allowed off the ship in Australia or New Zealand by authorities and was supposed to be euthanized ! Our Guest service team stepped up to the plate and after several weeks and much back and forth safely brought Ovie halfway around the world to be adopted by one of the guest service team members in Miami. Ovie is now happily living in Miami”

Micheal Bayley

There is One Ship Cat’s ARE Allowed On

The only cruise ship that cats are allowed on is the Queen Mary 2. This ship is technically an ocean liner and onboard there are Kennels where you can pay to take your cat or dog across the Atlantic Ocean.

It isn’t cheap (a pet fare is usually around half that of a human fare) but it sure beats flying if you are relocating!

kennels on cunard

I recently took a cruise onboard the Queen Mary 2, to see where the dogs get their exercise (and where they go to the toilet) check out this video:

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