Tips: Doing Laundry On Board

Posted August 25th, 2016

Travelling on a lengthy cruise can mean more time spent discovering new and exciting destinations, revelling in thrilling and meaningful shore excursions, forging deep connections with fellow guests and making the most of amazing service from staff. For many passengers, however, it can also present a dilemma: how do you keep your clothes clean and ready to wear?

Packing a different outfit for each day is often not feasible, while shopping along the way may not be in the budget for everyone. We’ve done the research on cruises and laundry, and bring you the tips that will hopefully make your trip that much easier.

Be Prepared

Knowing what to expect from your particular cruise line will not only eliminate any unpleasant surprises, but will hold you in good stead when it comes to being prepared. Many cruise lines offer a laundry service in which your clothes are picked up, washed and delivered back to your cabin. Others have DIY launderettes which you can visit at your discretion. Some cruiselines offer both options!

The cost of these services varies between cruise lines; for example, if you’re travelling with Carnival, it will cost you $3.25 per washer load and dryer load, while vending machines offer boxes of detergent and water softener for $1.50 each. Passengers who are a part of a loyalty programme or travelling in a particular class may be able to enjoy laundry services for free.

Dreading wrinkles? While you won’t find an iron in your cabin (these constitute a fire hazard), many cruise lines also offer irons, so you can look neat and sharp around the clock. If you can’t find an iron in the laundry room, make an enquiry with housekeeping.


No matter where you’re going or who you’re sailing with, here are some tips to consider before you go:

  • Think about how many loads of laundry you’ll need and whether some items will have to be professionally dry cleaned. Then do the maths and set aside some funds for cleaning. This will help you avoid the sting of unexpected costs.

  • Hand wash smaller items such as socks and delicates. Ensure you pack powder/detergent and a travel clothesline. The latter can be hung over your bath tub or shower.

  • Can’t stand a mess? Buy a cheap pop-up hamper and your used clothes will have a special place to go and stay out of sight.

  • Passengers who suffer from allergies may be better off packing their own cleaning products.

  • Check in advance whether your cruise line offers any laundry packages – for example, Paul Gaugin offers passengers an unlimited wash and press service for $119 on a 7-night cruise. This must be booked at least 24 hours before departing, however.

  • Bear in mind turnaround times when using ship services. If you have your heart set on wearing a particular outfit for a port excursion or theme night, make sure it’s clean and available! Most cruise lines offer next-day delivery, but you may be able to get same-day delivery for an extra fee.

  • Keep checking to discover the optimal times for using the launderette and avoid queues.

  • Take care of all those must-iron pieces such as dress shirts on the first day to beat the crowds.

  • Pack a small magnet to place on the washer or dryer, so you can easily identify your belongings.

For more tips or information on a specific cruise line, get in touch with our expert consultants on 1300 954 661 now!

Set sail on a dream holiday with Cruiseabout


Cruise Specialist

  Absolutely nobody in Australia knows more about cruising than Cruiseabout. With close to 30,000 nights on ships all across the globe, our consultants’ extensive experience and passion for cruising is unequaled. We're here to share the joys of cruising holidays with more Australians and invite them into our world - because we love cruising!

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