When you take a cruise, you don’t always need to pack enough clothes to last for your whole trip.
If you’re taking a long cruise or travelling with kids, you’ll definitely want to check out the laundry options on your ship and make a plan before you pack.
I’ve found that kids can get through at least four outfits per day with day clothes, swimwear, evening clothes and nightwear. And it’s rare that anything is clean enough to be worn twice!
So, rather than packing 56 changes of clothes per person for a two-week cruise, it’s definitely a good idea to find out how to do laundry on a cruise ship.
Read on for everything you need to know, including one amazing free laundry hack that I’ve recently discovered!
- Do cruise ships have laundry facilities?
- How much does it cost to do laundry on a cruise ship?
- 3 Ways to Do Laundry on a Cruise Ship
- The best way to handwash clothes on a cruise ship
- How do you dry clothes on a cruise?
- How do you iron clothes on a cruise?
- Find what laundry services are available on your ship…
- How do cruise laundry prices compare?
- FAQs about doing laundry on a cruise ship
Do cruise ships have laundry facilities?
Almost all cruise ships offer laundry services with washing, pressing and dry cleaning available for a fee. In addition, many cruise ships also have self-service launderettes with washing machines, dryers, irons and ironing boards. These may be complimentary or have a small charge. Another option is to wash clothes in the sink in your room.
How much does it cost to do laundry on a cruise ship?
Self-service laundry on a cruise ship is often free, but there may be a charge of up to $3.50 to use the machines and $2 for detergent, depending on the ship.
If you send your clothes away to be professionally cleaned, the fees range from $1 for small items to be washed and pressed up to $20 or more for a three-piece suit to be dry cleaned.
Further down in this guide, there’s a table with the prices for washing and pressing, washing and folding, pressing only, dry cleaning and self-service laundry on every cruise ship.
3 Ways to Do Laundry on a Cruise Ship
The best way to do laundry on a cruise ship depends on what items you have to be cleaned, how much laundry you have, and your budget. Here’s an overview of your options…
(It’s important to note that not all options will be available on every cruise ship, but if you scroll down towards the end of this guide, you’ll see a list of what there is on each cruise line.)
1. Laundry services on cruise ships
When it comes to getting clothes professionally cleaned on a cruise you usually have three options – washing and pressing, pressing only or dry cleaning.
Sometimes, wet cleaning is used as a safe and environmentally-friendly alternative to dry cleaning. And sometimes, washing and folding may also be an option.
If professional laundry services are available on your cruise (and they are on pretty much every ship), you should find a price list in your room and there may also be a laundry bag ready for you to use.
On a cruise, laundry can take up to two days to be delivered back to you. It’s usually collected before 9 am and returned to you the following evening. However, if you’re in a hurry, you’ll often be able to request an express service for an extra fee of around 50%.
If you need your clothes to be cleaned but don’t want to waste time doing laundry during your holiday, then professional laundry services can be a great idea.
Some people only use the laundry service for certain items, such as if they spill soup on a tie. However, others like to get all of their clothes cleaned before the end of a cruise so that they can be transferred straight to the closet at home, avoiding the dreaded post-cruise laundry pile!
Some cruise ships offer laundry packages where you can get unlimited laundry done for the duration of your cruise. This perk is also sometimes given for free to guests staying in the best suites or who have achieved a high loyalty status.
2. Self-service laundry rooms on cruise ships
Self-service laundry rooms on cruise ships can be really handy as they offer a cheap (or sometimes free) way to wash, dry and iron your clothes. But, they’re only found on around half of all cruise ships.
Some smaller cruise ships have just one laundry room for everyone, whereas others will have one on almost every deck. Check out the deck plan to find where they are on your ship.
The laundry rooms on cruise ships can get very busy, especially on sea days and the day of a formal evening. As you aren’t allowed to bring your own iron on a cruise ship, you’ll probably find that there’s quite a queue to use the communal ironing equipment in the hours before formal night.
To avoid the queues, I’d recommend putting your laundry in the machine before breakfast and then returning straight after breakfast to put it in the dryer.
Take care not to leave your laundry unattended in the machine for too long, as if someone else is waiting to use the washer, they’ll probably take your wet washing out and dump it on the side.
If you plan to use the self-service launderette on your cruise, it’s a good idea to take your own 2-in-1 detergent and fabric conditioner tablets. While you can buy these on board, you can save a few dollars and possibly a trip to the onboard shop or guest services if you pack your own.
3. Handwashing clothes on a cruise
Handwashing clothes on a cruise can be tricky as the only option is to use the shower or sink in your room. Cruise ship bathrooms are usually pretty compact, with no bath and only very small sinks and shower cubicles.
The easiest way to wash your swimsuit at the end of each day is to get in the shower with it as you would do in a hotel. However, if you want to wash anything larger or have clothes with stains that need scrubbing out, this isn’t ideal.
The best way to handwash clothes on a cruise ship
I’ve recently discovered a fantastic solution to cruise laundry called the Scrubba Washbag. This genius handwashing bag makes it so quick and easy to wash clothes on a cruise ship!
Here’s what my Scrubba washbag looks like…
I’ve only heard of this clever device recently and I wish that I’d bought one sooner. That said, my kids still manage to cover themselves in ice cream every single day on a cruise so I’m sure I’ll get a LOT of use out of it in the years to come.
The Scrubba washbag is basically a pocket-size portable washing machine. It allows you to wash your clothes in under five minutes – which is about how long it would take to walk to the ship’s laundry room (if there is one on your ship).
Here’s what the bag looks like when it’s unfolded…
I think that using the Scrubba bag is the easiest way to wash clothes on a cruise ship.
Here’s how to use it:
- Put the clothes in the bag
- Add a little water and travel wash
- Roll down and clip the top
- Turn the valve to let out the air
- Rub the clothes for a couple of minutes
- Tip out the water
- Rinse with clean water inside the bag
- Remove the clothes and hang up to dry
Here’s what the bag looks like with clothes inside…
The Scrubba Washbag has some really clever features – like the internal washboard with nobbly bits that help to rub the dirt out of your garments.
I like how the valve makes it easy to expel all of the air and the top clip makes the bag watertight so there’s no need to worry about water going everywhere.
If your clothes have bad stains (as let’s face it most kids clothes will do), then you can hang the bag in your bathroom with water and use it to soak the clothes until you’re ready to wash them. This keeps your sink free for washing hands and whatnot.
This is also really handy for any clothes that you wouldn’t want to leave stinking out your suitcase, such as gym clothes or kids underwear if they’ve had an accident.
When I’m not using my Scrubba washbag for washing clothes, I’ll keep it in my day bag to put wet swimsuits in, so they don’t make everything else damp. The washbag only weighs as much as a small apple and it folds up really neatly so it takes up no space at all.
Because I love this bag so much, the lovely people at Scrubba have kindly given me a discount code to share with you. If you’d like your own Scrubba washbag, you can use code JENNI10 to get 10% off at thescrubba.com.
How do you dry clothes on a cruise?
Most cruise ships have retractable clotheslines in the shower where you can hang clothes to dry. Hanging clothes and towels on the balcony isn’t allowed, but you can drape items over the backs of chairs while the ship is in port.
After washing your clothes, wrap each item in a bath towel and squeeze it tightly to remove any excess water before hanging it up.
A clever solution to the problem of drying clothes on a cruise is to invest in a couple of strong magnetic hooks. The walls of cruise cabins are made of metal so it’s easy to rig up a clothesline across your room.
You can’t rig a washing line on your cruise ship balcony, but if you do it indoors just next to the sliding balcony doors you’ll get better airflow. Just remember to close the balcony doors when you leave the room.
For small items like socks and underwear, you may be able to dry them quickly using a hairdryer on a low setting. Just take care that they don’t overheat and set on fire!
Of course, if your cruise ship has a self-service launderette you’ll be able to put everything in a tumble dryer and get it dry quickly and easily.
How do you iron clothes on a cruise?
Irons aren’t provided in cruise ship cabins and it’s almost always forbidden to bring your own travel iron or clothes steamer. However, there are many ways you can get the creases out of clothes during your cruise:
- Send your clothes to be professionally pressed
- Use the iron in the self-service launderette
- Use hair straighteners
- Pack crease release spray
- Steam clothes in the bathroom while you take a hot shower
- Spray with water to dampen before drying with a hairdryer
Many cruisers swear by Crease Release spray that you can get on Amazon. You just spray your clothes and the wrinkles will disappear, as if by magic!
I purposefully choose dresses that don’t crease to take on a cruise. If something looks creased in the shop, I simply won’t buy it! When shopping for cruise dresses online, look out for man-made fabrics like polyester and nylon rather than cotton and linen which are naturally prone to creasing.
Find what laundry services are available on your ship…
If you’d like to know what laundry facilities to expect on your next cruise, you’ll find the info for every cruise line below…
Laundry services on Azamara cruises
Laundry, pressing and dry cleaning are available on Azamara cruise ships for an extra cost. Prices range from $1 for a pair of socks to $10 for a suit to be dry cleaned. Items are usually priced individually, but special offers are often available so you may be able to get a bag of laundry cleaned and pressed for around $30.
Guest staying in suites get one free bag of laundry per stateroom per week, as do Le Club Voyage members at Explorer level or above.
You can see a full Azamara laundry price list here.
Self-service laundry facilities on Azamara
Self-service laundry facilities are available on all Azamara cruise ships. You’ll find the launderette on Deck 7, midship. It’s open from 8 am until 9 pm and detergent is provided free of charge.
In the laundry room, you’ll find a number of washing machines and tumble dryers plus two irons and ironing boards.
This photo of the launderette on Azamara Journey is courtesy of Tripadvisor
Laundry services on Carnival cruises
Carnival cruise ships offer a valet laundry service with options for washing and pressing, pressing only or dry cleaning. Laundry typically takes 48 hours, although there is are next day and same day service for an extra fee.
Laundry prices on Carnival cruises begin at $2 for small items to be washed and pressed and cost up to $8 for a suit to be dry cleaned. Pressing only is 80% the price of washing and pressing. You can pay 50% more to get your items back the same day.
Carnival often has laundry specials where you can get a whole bag of laundry washed and folded for $15 or five bags for $50. You can also get 12 items pressed for $20 or 24 items for $30.
Dry cleaning is only available on these Carnival ships: Carnival Breeze, Carnival Celebration, Carnival Conquest, Carnival Dream, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Glory, Carnival Horizon, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Magic, Carnival Miracle, Carnival Panorama, Carnival Radiance, Carnival Spirit, Carnival Splendor, Carnival Sunrise, Carnival Sunshine, Carnival Valor, Carnival Vista and Mardi Gras.
You can see a full Carnival laundry price list here.
Self-service laundry facilities on Carnival cruises
Most Carnival cruise ships have self-service launderettes which have two or three washing machines and dryers plus an iron and ironing board. However, on Carnival Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration, no washing facilities are provided, only ironing rooms.
The cost for self-service laundry on Carnival cruises is $3.50 per washer load and $3.50 per dryer load. Detergent and softener cost $2.00 per box.
On most Carnival ships, the washing machines and dryers are paid for using your cruise card. However, on Carnival Ecstasy, Carnival Elation, Carnival Paradise and Carnival Sensation, the machines are coin-operated. You can get change at guest services if needed.
This photo of the launderette on Carnival Fantasy is courtesy of Tripadvisor
Laundry services on Celebrity Cruises
The fees for laundry services on Celebrity Cruises start at $3 for a pair of socks or underwear to be washed and pressed and go up to $19 for a suit to be dry-cleaned. You can get four items dry-cleaned for $28. During your Celebrity cruise, there may be special offers on laundry, such as $50 per bag.
On Celebrity Cruises, Captain’s Club members get free laundry, depending on how many points you have. Classic members get 10% off laundry services, Select, Elite and Elite Plus members get some free laundry, pressing and dry cleaning, whereas Zenith members get free laundry throughout the cruise.
You can see a full Celebrity Cruises laundry price list here.
Self-service laundy facilities on Celebrity cruises
Celebrity Cruises does not offer self-service laundry facilities on any of its ships. Instead, laundry, pressing and dry cleaning are available for a fee.
Laundry services on Costa Cruises
On Costa cruises, you can send off your laundry to be washed, pressed or dry cleaned. It costs from $1.50 for small items up to $16 for an evening dress, with a 50% surcharge if you require a same-day service and a 50c surcharge if you want your clothes folded rather than on hangers.
On some Costa cruises, you may be able to get a bag of laundry done for around $20, but this isn’t always available.
You can see a full Costa Cruise laundry price list here, although it’s from 2012 so the prices will be out of date but it should give you some idea.
Self-service laundry facilities on Costa Cruises
There are no self-service laundry facilities on any Costa cruise ships. Instead, guests are invited to use the laundry, pressing and dry cleaning service for an extra fee.
Laundry services on Cunard
On Cunard cruises, you can arrange for your clothes to be professionally washed, pressed or wet cleaned (an environmentally-friendly alternative to dry cleaning for delicate and non-washable garments).
Cunard laundry prices start at $2 for underwear and socks to be washed and go up to $13 for a specialist clean for a two-piece suit.
Laundry generally takes two days, although you can request a same-day service for a 50% surcharge.
You can see a full Cunard laundry price list here.
Self-service laundry facilities on Cunard
Cunard cruise ships have self-service launderettes on board with washing machines, tumble dryers, irons and ironing boards. Washing powder is provided free of charge, although you may bring your own if you prefer. The launderettes are open from 7.30 am until 9 pm.
You’ll find launderettes on the following decks:
- Queen Elizabeth – Decks 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
- Queen Victoria – Decks 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
- Queen Mary 2 – Decks 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11
This photo of the laundry room on the Queen Mary 2 is courtesy of Tripadvisor
Disney Cruise Line
Laundry services on Disney cruises
A laundry and dry cleaning service is available on all Disney Cruise Line ships. Laundry is priced per item, ranging from $1.20 for a handkerchief to $4.80 for a blouse. Dry cleaning starts at $3 for a tie to $13.20 for a three-piece suit.
Laundry is returned the next day. However, you can request a same-day service for a 50% surcharge or get your laundry back in just three hours for a 100% surcharge. Pressing only is 50% of the dry cleaning price.
You can see DCL’s laundry price list in photo below.
Self-service laundry facilities on Disney cruise ships
Each Disney cruise ship has self-service laundry room with washers, dryers, irons and ironing boards. Use of the washers and dryers is $2 each while detergent and use of the ironing equipment are free of charge. Payment is made using your cruise card.
The laundry rooms on Disney cruise ships are open 24 hours per day. You’ll find them on the Disney Wonder and Disney Magic on decks 2, 6 and 7, and on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy on decks 2, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9.
Laundry services on Fred. Olsen cruises
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines offers laundry, pressing and dry cleaning services which are charged per item. Prices start at £1 per item and go up to around £3 for a shirt and £5.50 for a jacket. Dry cleaning ranges from £2 to £10 for a three-piece suit.
Items sent to the laundry before noon are returned the next day. Alternatively, you can request a same-day service for a 25% surcharge.
You can see a full Fred. Olsen laundry price list here. However, this list is from 2010 so prices have probably increased since.
Self-service laundry facilities on Fred. Olsen cruises
Each Fred. Olsen cruise ship (except for Borealis) has at least one laundry room on board where you’ll find self-service washing machines, tumble driers, irons and ironing boards. Laundry costs £2 (inclusive of detergent and softener). You’ll need to buy a token at guest services.
Holland America Line
Laundry services on Holland America Line cruises
Each ship in the Holland America Line fleet offers a full laundry, pressing and eco-friendly dry cleaning service. You can pay by the item (from $2), by the bag (from $20) or buy an unlimited laundry package for the duration of your cruise (from $7 per day).
Laundry is charged at $20 per bag in North America and $30 per bag in Europe. The unlimited laundry and pressing package costs $7 per stateroom per day in North America and $9 in Europe. If you book ahead of time, you can get the $7 rate in Europe too.
Laundry typically takes up to 48 hours, although for a 50% surcharge you can request the express same-day service.
You can see a full HAL laundry price list here.
Self-service laundry facilities on Holland America Line cruises
Self-service launderettes are only available on board two ships in the Holland Americal Line fleet – Amsterdam and Maasdam ships. There is a charge to use the washing machines and dryers and these are coin-operated. Irons and ironing boards are provided at no cost on these two ships.
This photo of the laundry room on Maasdam is courtesy of Tripadvisor
Laundry services on Marella Cruises
Guests cruising with Marella can get clothes professionally cleaned and pressed on board. The price is £14.95 for a bag of laundry or you can pay per item. Prices range from 85p for underwear to £4 for a dress to be washed and folded, with an additional charge for pressing.
Guests staying in suites with ‘Premier Service’ get free pressing of up to three items per person in the first 24 hours on board.
There is no dry cleaning available on Marella cruise ships.
You can see a full Marella laundry price list below.
Self-service laundry facilities on Marella Cruises
Marella cruise ships do not have any self-service laundry facilities on board. This is because the ships were originally built for Royal Caribbean – a cruise line that doesn’t offer self-service laundry.
Marella Cruises is one of the few cruise lines that allows guests to bring a travel iron on board. However, the website states that if the divide is determined to post a hazard it will be removed.
Laundry services on MSC cruises
MSC Cruises offer a washing, ironing and dry cleaning service. You can request your laundry to be returned folded or on a hanger, with a next-day or same-day service.
On MSC Cruises, laundry is priced by item and costs from €2 for small items to be washed and ironed up to €15 for a suit to be dry cleaned. There’s a 50% surcharge for express delivery.
The image below shows the laundry price list from my most recent MSC cruise on board MSC Virtuosa.
MSC Cruises ships do not offer any self-service laundry rooms. Instead, guests are invited to send their clothes to be professionally cleaned for a fee.
Norwegian Cruise Line
Laundry services on Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line offers a valet laundry service on board its fleet of ships. The price per item ranges from $1.95 for underwear to be cleaned to $19.95 for an evening dress to be dry cleaned. Pressing only is around half the price of laundry.
Your items will be returned the next day, or you can request an express same-day service for a 50% surcharge,
Midway through the cruise, NCL usually has a special offer where you can fill a paper bag of clothes and it will be laundered for around $25.
Members of the Latitudes Rewards loyalty programme may get free or discounted laundry. Gold members get 50% off one bag, whereas Platinum, Platinum Plus and Ambassador members each get one free bag of laundry per person each cruise.
You can see a full NCL laundry price list here.
Self-service laundry facilities on Norwegian Cruise Line
There are no self-service laundry facilities on Norwegian Cruise Line ships. Instead, guests are invited to send their dirty laundry to be professionally cleaned on board. You can, however, request to borrow an iron and ironing board by telephoning guest services. This will be delivered to your stateroom and you can use it for an hour.
Laundry services on P&O Cruises
A washing, pressing and specialist wet cleaning service is available on all P&O cruises. The price is per item and begins at 50p for socks and handkerchiefs to be washed and pressed, going up to £16.50 for an evening dress to be specially cleaned. Trousers cost £4.40 to be washed and pressed, £5.50 to be especially wet cleaned or £3.30 for pressing only.
Laundry is returned within two days and there’s no option to request an express service. You can use any onboard spending money you may have to pay for laundry and specialist cleaning.
You can see a full P&O Cruises laundry price list below…
Self-service laundry facilities on P&O cruises
Each P&O Cruises ship has several self-service launderettes where you’ll find washing machines, dryers and ironing stations that are open from around 8 am until around 10 pm. You will need to provide your own detergent or you can buy Bold 3-in1 for £1 per tablet from the onboard shop.
On P&O Cruises the launderettes are in the following locations:
- Arcadia – Decks C, D & E
- Aurora – Decks A, C & F
- Azura – Decks Riviera, A, B, C, D, E & P
- Britannia – Decks A, B, C, D, E, F & G
- Ventura – Decks Riviera, A, B, C, D, E & P
- Iona – Decks 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14 & 15
These photos of the laundry room on board Iona were kindly provided by Sanna from VeganCruiser.co.uk
Laundry services on Princess cruises
Princess Cruises offers a professional laundry service with clothes washing, pressing and dry cleaning. The price is per item and varies from $1 for a handkerchief to be washed to $11.50 for an evening dress to be dry cleaned. Laundry is returned the next day, or you can request a ‘Presto’ same day service for a 50% surcharge.
You can see a full Princess Cruises laundry price list below.
Self-service laundry facilities on Princess cruises
Princess Cruises’ ships each have self-service launderettes with washing machines, dryers, irons and ironing boards. It costs $3 to use each machine, while soap, bleach and fabric softeners cost $1.50 each. You use your Ocean Medallion to purchase tokens for the machines. There is no charge to use the ironing equipment
These photos of the laundry room on board Royal Princess were kindly provided by Sanna from VeganCruiser.co.uk
Laundry services on Royal Caribbean cruises
Royal Caribbean International offers washing, pressing, steaming and dry cleaning services. This is charged per item with prices ranging from $1.99 for underwear and socks to be washed and pressed through to $14.99 for a suit to be dry cleaned.
Most cruises also have ‘wash and fold’ special offers mid-way through the voyage. With this deal, you can send a bag of laundry to be cleaned for $34.99.
On Royal Caribbean cruises, laundry is returned the next day, although you can request an express same-day service for a 50% supplement.
You can see the full Royal Caribbean laundry price list here.
There are no self-service laundry facilities on board Royal Caribbean cruise ships and irons are neither provided nor allowed on board. Instead, guests have the option to use the professional laundry and pressing service for a fee.
Laundry services on Virgin Voyages
Virgin Voyages offers a full laundry service with options for wash and fold, wash and press, press only or eco cleaning (which is similar to dry cleaning).
Laundry prices on Virgin Voyages are $4 per item for pressing only, $5 for wash and fold, $6 for wash and press or $7 for eco cleaning. Alternatively, you can have a full bag of laundry washed and folded for $30.
The set pricing per item means that you pay the same whatever the item is – so you’ll pay $5 to have an evening dress washed but also $5 for a pair of socks. If you have lots of small items, the ‘by the bag’ option definitely works out to be cheaper.
Clothing send to the laundry on Virgin Voyages ships will be returned by 5.30 pm the next day. However, you can request a same-day service for an extra $20.
You can see a full Virgin Voyages laundry price list here.
Virgin Voyages does not offer any self-service laundry facilities. If you need clothes washing or ironing, there is a laundry service available for a fee.
How do cruise laundry prices compare?
Here’s a table that compares the laundry prices for each cruise line. The cheapest cruise lines for laundry are Princess Cruises, Disney Cruise Line and Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines. The most expensive are Norwegian Cruise Line and Celebrity Cruises.
|Cruise Line||Wash & Press (per item)||Pressing only (per item)||Wet/Dry Cleaning (per item)||Wash & fold (per bag)||Self-service machines||Detergent|
|Azamara||$1 to $7||$2 to $5||$2 to $10||not available||Free||Free|
|Carnival||$2 to $8||£1.25 to $6||$3 to $11||$15||$3.50||$2|
|Celebrity Cruises||$3 to $17.50||$4 to 14||$5 to $19||not available||not available||not available|
|Costa Cruises||$1.50 to $16||$1 to $9||$1.50 to $14||$20||not available||not available|
|Cunard||$2 to $8||$1.50 to $11||$2.50 to $15||not available||Free||Free|
|Disney Cruise Line||$1.20 to $4.80||$1.50 to $6.60||$3 to $13.20||not available||$2||Free|
|Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines||£1 to £5.50||£1 to £5||£2 to £10||not available||£2||Free|
|Holland America Line||$2 to $6.50||$2 to $6.50||$3 to $10.50||$20 to $30||Only on two ships||Free|
|Marella Cruises||£3.60 to £7.60||£1.20 to £3.60||not available||£14.95||not available||not available|
|MSC Cruises||£1.90 to £10.90||50p to £7.50||£2.90 to £13.90||€15 to €40||not available||not available|
|Norwegian Cruise Line||$1.95 to $11.95||$2.95 to $6.95||$4.95 to $19.95||$19.95||not available||not available|
|P&O Cruises||50p to £4.40||£1.65 to £8.80||£3.30 to £16.50||not available||Free||£1|
|Princess Cruises||$1.25 to $4.50||$2.20 to $9.20||$2.75 to $11.50||not available||$3||$1.50|
|Royal Caribbean||$1.99 to $8.99||$1.99 to $14.99||$3.99 to $14.99||$34.99||not available||not available|
|Virgin Voyages||$6||$4||$7||$30||not available||not available|
FAQs about doing laundry on a cruise ship
Doing laundry on a cruise ship is easy. Almost all cruise ships offer a professional laundry and dry cleaning service and many also have self-service laundry rooms. Alternatively, you may prefer to wash small items in the sink in your cabin.
Cruise ships do not have irons in the cabins as this is seen as a fire risk. Many cruise ships have laundry rooms where there are communal irons that you can use. Alternatively, there will be a pressing service that you can use to get your clothes crease-free.
Most cruise ships have banned guests from bringing clothing irons on board as they pose a fire risk. The exception is Marella Cruises which does allow guests to bring a travel iron. Cruise ships will allow guests to bring a flat iron for hair, so you could use this to iron your clothes in a pinch.
Just like irons, clothes steamers are banned from cruise ships as they pose a fire hazard. If you want your clothes to be steamed, you will have to send them to the ship’s laundry and pay a fee. Some ships do have self-service laundry rooms where you can use an iron and ironing board.
You can prevent wrinkled clothing on a cruise by choosing crease-resistant fabrics, rolling rather than folding, using a hard shell suitcase and unpacking as soon as you arrive. If your clothes are still creased, options include using an iron in the launderette, sending them to be pressed, using a hair iron or wrinkle release spray.
You’re allowed to bring laundry detergent on a cruise ship, whether that be washing powder, liquid, tablets or gel pods. You can use this to hand wash your clothes in the sink in your room or to add to a washing machine in the self-service launderette.
If there’s no self-service launderette on your cruise ship you have two options – Send clothes to be professionally cleaned in the ships’ laundry or handwash them yourself using the sink in your room.
The bottom line
Doing laundry on a cruise ship is sometimes a necessity, especially if you’re cruising for two weeks or more, taking back-to-back cruises or have young children.
If money is no object, the easiest way to get your clothes clean on a cruise ship is to send everything off to be professionally cleaned. However, laundry fees can be incredibly expensive, so unless this is thrown in a free perk, you’ll want to be mindful of the cost of this.
If you plan to use the self-service laundry on board, you’ll want to time your trip for when you can least expect a queue. Laundry rooms close in the evening and reopen again in the morning so as not to disturb those sleeping in cabins nearby. A good time to visit is as soon as it opens.
I do most of my laundry by handwashing it in the cabin. This task is made so much easier by the use of a Scrubba washbag. These nifty portable washing machines also come in handy for camping, caravan holidays or anywhere else where you may need to wash clothes quickly and easily.
If you’d like to buy a Scrubba washbag, remember to use code JENNI10 to get yourself a discount at thescrubba.com.