Can You Do Laundry on a Cruise?

Can You Do Laundry on a Cruise? Going on a cruise used to mean bringing a huge suitcase full of clothes. Cruise ships did not have many places to wash your dirty clothes. People would wear clothes only one time before throwing them away. Or they paid a lot of money to have the cruise staff wash clothes for them. Now, most big cruise ships have self-service laundry rooms. For a small fee, passengers can wash their own clothes. This post will look at the laundry rooms on different cruise ships. It will give tips for washing clothes yourself on a cruise. With some planning, you can enjoy your cruise without spending time and money washing clothes.

Can You Do Laundry on a Cruise?

Yes, you can do laundry on most cruise ships, but the options and cost will vary depending on the specific cruise line and ship. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Self-Service Laundry:

  • Availability: Most, but not all, cruise ships have self-service laundry facilities with washers, dryers, ironing boards, and sometimes detergent dispensers.
  • Location: These facilities are usually located on specific decks, often towards the aft (back) of the ship.
  • Cost: You’ll typically pay per load for both the washer and dryer, often using your room card or tokens purchased onboard. Detergent may be additional.
  • Pros: More affordable than valet service, convenient if you need to do laundry quickly.
  • Cons: Limited availability of machines, can be crowded, requires planning due to wash and dry cycles.

2. Valet Laundry Service:

  • Availability: All cruise ships offer valet laundry service, where you leave your clothes in a bag with your stateroom attendant.
  • Cost: More expensive than self-service, with prices varying based on the number and type of items.
  • Pros: Convenient, no waiting, includes dry cleaning and pressing.
  • Cons: Most expensive option, turnaround time can be longer.
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3. Handwashing:

  • Option: You can always handwash clothes in your stateroom sink.
  • Drying: Drying options are limited, so hanging clothes in the bathroom or on your balcony might not be very effective.
  • Pros: Free, good for small items.
  • Cons: Time-consuming, clothes may not dry fully.

Additional Tips:

  • Pack quick-drying clothes: This will help minimize your need for laundry.
  • Do laundry early in the cruise: This avoids last-minute scrambling and ensures your clothes are dry before disembarkation.
  • Check the cruise line’s website or app for specific information on laundry facilities and costs.

How Much Does It Cost To Do Laundry on a Cruise Ship?

The cost of doing laundry on a cruise ship varies depending on several factors, including:

Cruise Line: Different cruise lines have different pricing structures for laundry services.

Laundry Method: There are two main options: self-service laundry and valet service.

  • Self-service: Expect to pay $3-$4 per wash load and $3-$4 per dry load. Detergent and fabric softener may cost around $1-$2 per item.
  • Valet service: This is more expensive, with individual item prices ranging from $3-$9 for basic washing and pressing. Dry cleaning costs even more.

Number of items: The more items you need to launder, the higher the cost will be.

Express service: Some cruise lines offer express laundry service for an additional fee.

Here are some examples of costs from different cruise lines:

  • Carnival: Self-service wash and dry – $3.50 per load, detergent – $2 per box. Valet service – shirt/blouse wash and press – $6, dry cleaning – $5.
  • Royal Caribbean: Valet service – T-shirt/blouse wash and press – $3.49, pants – $5.49. No self-service laundry available.
  • Princess Cruises: Self-service wash and dry – $2 per load, detergent – $1.25. Valet service – similar pricing to Royal Caribbean.

    Can You Bring Your Own Laundry Detergent on a Cruise Ship?

    Yes, you can bring your own laundry detergent on most cruise ships! There are no restrictions on small liquids, so packing your preferred detergent shouldn’t be a problem. Here’s what you need to know:

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    Why bring your own:

    • Allergies or sensitivities: If you have allergies or sensitivities to specific ingredients in detergents, bringing your own ensures you can use a safe and familiar product.
    • Specific needs: If you need a particular type of detergent for delicate fabrics or specific stains, packing your own is the best way to ensure your clothes get the proper care.
    • Cost savings: Cruise ship laundry services can be expensive, especially for valet service. Bringing your own detergent, especially for handwashing, can save you money.

    Things to consider:

    • Amount: Pack only what you need for your trip. Cruise ships have limited storage space, and you don’t want to waste luggage space on excess detergent.
    • Type: Consider using travel-sized containers or laundry pods for convenience and space-saving.
    • Powder vs. liquid: While most cruise ships allow both, check the cruise line’s specific regulations. Some might have restrictions on powders due to potential dust concerns.
    • Self-service laundry: Be aware that not all self-service laundry facilities on cruise ships offer detergent dispensers. You might still need your own.
    • Handwashing: Bringing your own detergent is especially helpful if you plan to handwash clothes in your cabin.


    Doing laundry on a cruise ship is indeed possible, offering several options depending on the cruise line and ship you choose. Most cruise ships provide self-service laundry facilities, allowing passengers to wash and dry their clothes for a small fee. Additionally, valet laundry service is available for those who prefer to have their clothes professionally washed, dried, and pressed, albeit at a higher cost. Handwashing in your stateroom sink is another option, although it may be time-consuming and less effective in drying. Planning ahead, considering costs, and packing appropriate supplies like quick-drying clothes or your preferred detergent can enhance your laundry experience on a cruise. Ultimately, whether self-service or valet, passengers have the flexibility to ensure their clothes stay fresh throughout the voyage, contributing to a more enjoyable cruise experience without the hassle of packing excessive clothing or spending significant time and money on laundry services.

    Read more: Can You Do Laundry on a Cruise?


    Frequently Asked Questions

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    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.

    What is a laundry attendant on a cruise ship?

    A laundry attendant on a cruise ship is responsible for collecting laundry from guest rooms, washing, drying, pressing, and folding guest’s laundry along with other linen.

    How can you dry wet clothes on a cruise ship?

    Cruise lines do not allow hanging wet clothes off the balcony for safety reasons. You can hang them inside your stateroom, preferably in the bathroom or other designated areas.

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