Carnival Phasing Out Self-Service Laundry

Carnival Is Phasing Out The Ability To Do Your Own Laundry On Board

I’m a strict minimalist traveler. I hate the feeling of having to constantly be aware of where my “stuff” is while I’m on vacation. As a result, I pack very light with the expectation that a self-service laundry room is never far away.

On Carnival, our platinum VIFP status means we get free laundry on all sailings. Before we were platinum, though, I always did my own laundry on board. On cruise lines where we don’t have free laundry as a perk, the self-service laundry room is one of the first things I look for on deck plans.

When we took the Queen Mary 2 to Southampton, England and back a few years ago, I was thrilled to find that the guest laundry rooms were huge and also free. Unfortunately, that is not the case with most cruise line laundry rooms. On Carnival, the cost is now up to $3.50 per load for washing and another $3.50 per load for drying. Laundry detergent and fabric softener are $2 each. I normally pack a few pods in my suitcase to save on the detergent fees. You can fit a lot of t-shirts and shorts in one load so I don’t normally mind the cost. When our kids were younger, the laundry rooms were a life saver when we had multiple clothes splattered with all that all-you-can-eat soft serve.

I first noticed the lack of self-service laundry rooms on the Mardi Gras earlier this year. I guess old habits die hard, and I went off searching for them. I was surprised to find there weren’t any, and when I asked, Guest Services cheerfully told me I could pay for valet laundry service.

I’ve since learned that none of the new ships will have self-service laundry rooms. Aside from the Mardi Gras, The Carnival Celebration which debuts this year will not have one, and the Carnival Jubilee due next year won’t either. All older ships on Carnival still have self-service laundry rooms. I’m not sure if Carnival is phasing them out to make additional revenue via laundry or if they were infrequently used and took up too much space.

If you find yourself on one of the newer ships and need some washing done, you can use their Wash & Fold service that is a flat fee of $15 per bag. If you use five bags, the price goes down to $10 per bag.

At first glance, the paper bags look like they will rip easily and seem small. You can work around this, though and fit a surprising amount in each one. You will have to fill out a form that indicates how many of each item you have, so make sure to sort everything and count the pieces before you start putting them in the bag.

I dump all the clothes out of our travel laundry bag and sort them into piles: t-shirts, shorts, swimsuits, etc. Then I count each item and account for them on the form. After that, I pass the whole thing off to my husband who is an excellent folder. He carefully folds each item and places them in the bags one by one. He is so good at this, we have sent out one bag and gotten back three with our folded clothes. He then tapes the bag shut with the roll of Gorilla Mini Duct Tape he takes on all of our trips. (It really is a life saver.) He also marks the front of the bag with our name and cabin number. He always has a Sharpie in with the tape. He may not pack light, but he is always prepared. I have to admit, that tape and marker have saved us a lot of headaches on multiple occasions.

Let me know in the comments section if you have any questions about laundry on Carnival ships. I’ve got lots of experience!

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