Everything you need to know about cruise ship laundry services

Aug 6, 2020

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I hate wrinkly clothing. Growing up, my mom spent hours ironing my clothes. She even ironed my T-shirts, so I understand the need to have laundered clothes that look nice. She relaxed a little bit about it as I got older, but her obsession with crisp, clean clothing rubbed off on me. I love laundry services, even though it gets pricey.

If you stress about packing as I do, especially when you know stuffing your clothes in a suitcase undoubtedly means wrinkles, then you know being prepared is the best way to combat anxiety.

When it comes to wanting to look nice for your next cruise, especially where your clothes are concerned, it’s good to know what laundry services are available. We’re here to alleviate some of that stress with our guide to cruise ship laundry services.

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In This Post

Self-service laundry

Conveniently, some cruise lines offer facilities so that you can do your own laundry. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to save some money and watch over your clothes at the same time.

Two to three washers and two to three dryers are available in self-service launderettes located on stateroom decks on Carnival Cruise Line ships, for example. Each load in both the washer and dryer costs $3.25. There is also one iron and ironing board available in each launderette.

Bring some detergent to save a little bit of money, but each launderette provides detergent and water softener at $1.50 a box on Carnival. If you or someone you are traveling with has allergies to certain detergents, this is a great way to wash your clothes safely by bringing along your hypo-allergenic detergent brand.

On Disney Cruises, 24-hour laundry facilities are available for use. Your Key to the World card can be used to purchase wash and dry cycles, as well as detergent and dryer sheets. Ironing equipment is also available.

Some cruise lines, like Norwegian and Royal Caribbean, do not provide self-service laundry facilities, and Royal Caribbean also does not provide irons in staterooms, but they do offer paid laundry and dry cleaning services.

Related reading: Cruise line showdown: Comparing Carnival, Disney and Royal Caribbean for families

Paid laundry and dry cleaning

When it comes to paid services, laundry is usually handled through your stateroom steward, and prices vary by line. Cruise lines often provide a price chart — look for the list and bag hanging in your stateroom’s closet.

For a wash and press on Carnival cruises, a formal shirt or blouse is $5, while wet/dry cleaning a two-piece suit is $8. The wet/dry cleaning, which avoids traditional cleaning solvents, is only available on select ships.

On Norwegian cruises, ships offer laundry and dry cleaning services as well. Simply fill out the order form provided in your stateroom and ask your steward to pick up your laundry.

Disney Cruise Line also offers full-service laundry and dry cleaning, and items can be picked up from your stateroom in provided laundry bags to make things easy. Celebrity Cruises offers paid laundry and dry cleaning. Pricing examples: A dress costs $11 for cleaning and $16 for dry cleaning while pants cost $7 for cleaning and $8 for dry cleaning.

Royal Caribbean offers washing and dry cleaning services onboard their ships. The line lists its item prices here.

Related reading: What to pack for your first cruise — and what to leave home

Pressing

Many lines offer pressing as part of their laundry services, so if you have a nice outfit that needs a bit of help, send it in to get pressed. This is a quick fix to save any outfit from disaster. Carnival, Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean — and just about all of the luxury lines — offer pressing services. Prices vary from line to line.

Norwegian Breakaway Laundry
This is the crew-only pressing station aboard Norwegian Breakaway. (Photo by James R. Martin/Shutterstock.com)

Laundry turnaround times

The time it takes to get your laundry in and out depends on the line and which service you choose. Some lines finish laundry by the following day, but you can also choose the express option to get everything back the same day. This often comes with an added charge. Aboard Royal Caribbean, guests will incur a 50% additional fee for same-day service.

Some cruise lines, like Windstar Cruises, will turn it around in a day if you turn in items by 9 a.m.

Laundry packages

Some great offers can keep laundry costs down. For example, Royal Caribbean offers wash-and-fold specials during the voyage. You can fill a bag full of laundry and the line will wash, dry and fold it. Simply stuff everything that you can fit into the provided bag for a fixed fee of $34.99 per bag.

Windstar offers a flat-fee laundry package for the entirety of your voyage. For two occupants in a cabin, the price is $16 a day. For one traveler, it’s $8 a day. Cruisers also have the chance to select a la carte laundry and pressing services. No dry cleaning is available.

Additionally, Paul Gauguin Cruises offers a laundry package that must be purchased 24 hours in advance of departure. For a double-occupancy suite, prices range from $129 for a seven-night cruise to $299 for a 17-night cruise.

Related reading: Best cruise line private islands for families

Free laundry

If you are a member of a cruise loyalty program, scour the benefits list for laundry perk, because there just might be some. Norwegian Cruise Line’s Latitude loyalty program rewards members by offering discounts on laundry services. Platinum, Platinum Plus and Ambassador members all receive a free bag of laundry.

Carnival offers complimentary wash-and-fold services for its VIFP loyalty program Platinum-level members. This benefit ranges from two bags on three- to six-day cruises to three bags on seven- to 13-day cruises and five bags on a 14+-day cruise.

Related reading: An overview of cruise line loyalty programs

Bottom line

Don’t fret. Enjoy the ultimate stress-free vacay by sending your laundry out to get washed, pressed or dry cleaned. Since cruise lines offer many services, you can choose the best one to fit your needs so that your clothing stays in tip-top shape. Keep calm and cruise on.

Featured image by pisaphotography/Shutterstock

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