This Retired Army Dog Has Been on 55 Cruises — and Now He Has Diamond Status on Carnival

Sarge has cruised to Alaska, Mexico, and beyond.

Sarge, the service dog and his owner

Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line

Completing more than 50 cruises and more than 200 nights at sea is an impressive feat for any sailor, and that’s especially true for Sarge, who happens to be a dog.

Sarge, a retired U.S. Army service dog, reached Diamond status earlier this year as part of Carnival Cruise Line’s Very Important Fun Person Club (or pup club, in his case), according to the cruise line. The 14-year-old Belgian Malinois was celebrated during a Platinum and Diamond loyalty event on the Carnival Celebration after completing his 55th cruise.

“What could be more fun than celebrating a beloved four-legged friend as a Diamond cruiser?” Christine Duffy, the president of Carnival Cruise Line, said in a statement. “We’re proud to celebrate and support veterans at Carnival, as the cruise line that carries the most service members, and I’m delighted to count Sarge among them.”

Since retiring from the military, Sarge now lives and travels with his owner, who also happens to be a Diamond member with Carnival. 

They’ve had adventures all over, from a cruise to Alaska where Sarge ran around in streams and chased fish, to hanging out at a beach club in Mexico, USA Today reported.

“But believe it or not, when we get to the ship, he's excited, he's pulling, he wants to get on it,” owner Justin Marcum, Sr. told the paper. “And then when we stop and dock somewhere, and we have to clear customs, as soon as we're done clearing customs, he goes crazy. He's like, ‘Alright, it's time to get off the ship. I need to go find some grass; roll around.’ He knows it's a vacation, and he treats it that way.”

Carnival Cruise Line does not allow pets to board its ships, but it does welcome service and working dogs, according to the company.

The Carnival Sunshine cruise ship sailing in Grand Cayman during sunset

Danny Lehman/Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line

Sarge isn’t the only service dog who has boarded their fair share of cruises: Last year, 10-year-old black Labrador retriever Joska was awarded Holland America Line’s highest past-guest award after sailing on more than 50 Holland America cruises.

Travelers who want to cruise with their pets should consider a trip with Cunard, which welcomes pets to stay in one of the ship’s kennels during transatlantic crossings where owners are allowed to visit them.

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