Do Cruise Ships Provide Towels?

Packing for a cruise can bring up a lot of questions. Do cruise ships provide towels? Keep reading to learn what you need to pack.

When packing for your first cruise, you might be uncertain about what you can and can’t bring. What is included in your cabin? What is allowed onboard, and what is prohibited? What can you find in the cruise ship’s onboard shops?

One question many first-time cruise passengers have is, do cruise ships provide towels? Towels take up a lot of space in your limited luggage, so you don’t want to pack some just to find that there will be fresh towels in your cabin waiting for you when you embark.

If you’re wondering whether you should pack a towel or gain extra space, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, you’ll learn whether cruise ships provide towels and how you can ensure that you always have a way to dry off during your trip.

Do Cruise Ships Provide Towels?

In general, cruise ships provide all of the towels you need. This means that you don’t only get bath, hand, and face towels for your cabin, but you’ll also be provided with beach towels for both swimming in the pool and swimming on your beach day excursions offshore.

Towels on Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: vvoe / Shutterstock

Towels will be handed out to you when embarking on a port if requested. However, you are responsible for bringing the towel back onboard; if you don’t, you may be subject to a towel fee. For example, on a Royal Caribbean cruise, this unreturned towel fee is $25. For Carnival Cruise Line, it’s $24.95.

How Often Do You Get Fresh Towels?

Cruise ships provide you with fresh towels as often as you’d like. You can get fresh towels daily by placing your dirty ones in a pile. The housekeepers will replace them when they clean your room.

The same goes for a beach towel. You can hand in your wet or dirty towels for fresh ones as often as you’d like. However, suppose you want to be environmentally conscious and minimize the amount of laundry that needs to be done on the ship. In that case, you might consider using fewer towels and only seeking replacements when necessary.

Can You Purchase Towels On a Cruise Ship?

Sometimes, it’s nice just to have your own towel. So if you don’t want to grab a new towel every day, the question may not be “do cruise ships provide towels,” but whether or not you can buy a towel on your cruise ship.

For the most part, many cruise ships do sell towels in their shops. Carnival Cruise Line, for example, sells towels for $24.95 USD. The only issue is that the towel you purchase on a cruise ship may not be up to your standard.

Carnival Towel
Photo: Carnival Cruise Line

If, by chance, your cruise ship does not sell towels, you have other options. One fun idea is to purchase souvenir towels at the different ports your ship stops at, starting with the port of call.

There are several benefits to doing this: You don’t have to worry about packing towels, you get your own towel to use, and you get a fun souvenir to keep!

Other Towel Tips to Know

As mentioned, you must return your beach towels if you bring them ashore on your excursions, or else you may be subject to a towel fee. However, there are a few other essential towel tips to know.

If you do want to save your towel to use again, you’ll want to hang it to dry. However, it is prohibited to hang your towel off of your balcony. Not only will it likely just blow away, but it can also become a fire hazard. Make sure to hang them in your bathroom or cabin.

Chances are you’ll want to hang your towel off your chair while you lounge at the pool. If this is the case, you’ll want to secure it somehow. You can do so with towel clips that will prevent your towel from blowing away.

These clips are a great way to identify your towel, as cruise ship towels are often only one color for everyone, making it easy to lose track of yours.

Towels on Cruise Balcony
Towels on Cruise Balcony (Photo Credit: tose / Shutterstock)

While towel clips are a great tool to have, they’re mainly used to identify your towel on your lounge chair, not to keep your lounge chair. You don’t want to get too comfortable with towel clips.

Read Also: Cruise Ship Laundry – What You Need to Know

This means that if you plan on being away from your chair for a long time – say, to get lunch – you should remove your towel to allow others to sit. Limited lounge chairs are on the deck, and being a chair hog will not give you a good reputation on your ship.

Conclusion: You Can Leave Your Towel at Home

To conclude, do cruise ships provide towels? Yes, they do. On your cruise, you’ll have access to all the bath towels, washcloths, hand towels, and beach towels you need. You can even bring a beach towel with you on your beach day shore excursion!

So pack light for your cruise vacation, and make sure to use this extra room for souvenirs from the ports you’ll be stopping at!

Emrys Thakkar
Emrys Thakkar
The founder of Cruise Hive which was established in 2008 as one of the earliest cruise blogs in the industry. Emrys has been reporting on the latest cruise industry news since the site first launched. Expert insights and tips featured on a number of publications including The Express, Business Insider, and more. Worked for Carnival Cruise Line for 8 years and is well and truly dedicated to cruising! Has also been on a number of cruises so can offer an insight into the industry that many will not be able to do. What's even more impressive is that Emrys has traveled the world by visiting more than 34 countries, lived in China for 8 years, and cruised the Caribbean, Baltic, Mediterranean, Asia, and Europe. Find out more about us here.

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