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Royal Caribbean cruise staff saved the life of a cat named Ovie after a passenger smuggled the feline on board, CEO says

Erin Snodgrass   

Royal Caribbean cruise staff saved the life of a cat named Ovie after a passenger smuggled the feline on board, CEO says
  • Royal Caribbean crew members discovered a feline stowaway on board a ship earlier this year.
  • The cruise line's CEO said the cat was slated for euthanasia before crew members intervened.

Cruise staff on board a Royal Caribbean ship earlier this year got the shock of the season after discovering an unexpected stowaway in a passenger's cabin.

A long-haired cat is alive and thriving following the threat of euthanasia after a cruise passenger smuggled the animal on board a nearly three week cruise ship from Hawaii to Australia, according to the cruise line's top official.

Michael Bayley, CEO of Royal Caribbean International, shared heartwarming details about the feline episode in a Friday Facebook post ahead of the holidays.

"Meet Ovie ! The cat smuggled onboard Ovation of the Seas by a guest!" Bayley wrote alongside a photo of the green-eyed cat.

The cat found itself aboard the Ovation of the Seas, a 4,180-capacity vessel, after the ship departed the US for Oceania in October.

But it wasn't until the ship and its thousands of passengers arrived halfway around the world that Ovie was discovered in a cabin during a routine cruise inspection, New Zealand outlet The Post reported in November.

Cruise ships are required to undergo mandatory inspections when entering foreign countries to stave off the arrival of contraband such as plants, fruits, and disease-riddled animals.

Bayley suggested the cat may have been smuggled on board in a passenger's sweatshirt.

"We assume he must have been sedated or something and he wouldn't beep, since Ovie isn't metal," Bayley wrote, offering an idea for how the cat was able to be snuck through security measures.

After being discovered, Ovie wasn't allowed off the ship in Australia or New Zealand because of customs rules.

The cruise line's policy allows only emotional support or service animals to accompany their humans on board, and only after a quarantine period before departure.

Bayley said the cat was "supposed to be euthanized."

A representative for Royal Caribbean did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for more details about why Ovie was facing death.

The cat was "bonded" to the ship's captain who was tasked with looking over the animal and making sure it stayed on the ship while in port, The Post reported.

Guest service crew members "stepped up to the plate" over the course of several weeks to ensure Ovie's safety, Bayley wrote last week, and were eventually able to get the cat back to the US.

Ovie — who is believed to originally be from Arizona, according to The Post — has since been adopted by one of the ship's guest service members, the CEO said.

"Ovie is now happily living in Miami," Bayley wrote.



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