Hi-- I'll be sailing on the Star Princess on 12/22/08. In 14 days of cruise, plus extra time in Rio before sailing, I imagine I'll need to do some laundry (or have it done).
Are the prices for laundry service on board too outrageous? I also noticed that Princess has self service launderettes (although I'd rather not spend my vacation time doing laundry Should I bring a roll of quarters for this, or do they use tokens of some kind you can buy? Are they generally very crowded? Can you put your clothes in and leave, or do you feel like you need to stay close by?
On some land-based tours I've been on, I've been able to find laundry service business in tourist areas (usually priced by the kilo) where you could drop things off, and then pick them up in a few hours washed and folded, for what seemed like an incredibly low price (at least by US standards). Do you know if there are any businesses like this in the port areas of BA, Stanley, Ushuaia or Punta Arenas?
You can purchase quarters from the Pursers desk. On Carnival, a box of laundry detergent, to do one load, is $1. The washer is $2 and the dryer is $2. Basically a load of clothes is $5. Actually not a bad deal compared to sending it out, even with their "specials".
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Try posting a laundry question in the Princess section. You might not need to bring soap. I can not remember the specifics of the self laundry on Princess, but on Maasdam (Holland America) the soap was automatically added by the washer. I do remember that the laundry rooms tend to be busy the first day of the cruise as everyone washes their clothes from the previous week of land tours. It is also busy on sea days. I tend to do laundry on private island days or whenever we get back on the ship a bit early on port days.
On Westerdam (Holland America) the ships laundry had a flat rate of $18 to launder anything you could stuff into the bag. I packed the bag very thoroughly (it was hard as a rock) and got an amazing amount washed. Everything came back folded or on hangers and shirts & pants were ironed. For the $18 I would do it again versus the self serve coin laundry. It is vacation after all.
You'll need quarters and it really doesn't take much time to do a load or two during the cruise. I'd rather be on a ship where they have the self service laundry and pack less and come home with not everything dirty. I wish all the cruiselines would have them.
A lot of times the machines that dispense laundry detergent (can't remember the cost) and the change machines are empty.
I usually bring my own detergent and dryer sheets. Someone on one of these boards suggested buying the small boxes of detergent from a local laundromat. These can easily be tucked inside luggage. Change can easily be obtained from the Purser's desk.
Enjoy your cruise!
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