Laundry dilemma

Laundry dilemma

Planning on using the self-service laundry during your cruise? Well, as I’ve discovered on Ruby Princess, you’d better have some American quarters with you.

The logic behind getting coins to use the passenger laundry room is bizarre. We’ve trekked up Vesuvius, slogged around Pompeii, sweltered on a public bus in Livorno, hiked up and down the zig-zag cliff path on Santorini and got sand in everything on the beach in Mykonos. So it’s not unreasonable to expect I might need to do a batch of washing by now.

The washing machines only take American 25c coins, as does the machine that dispenses powder. So I asked at reception if I could change a couple of Euros to dollars as I’m not in the habit of taking American coins on a cruise around the Med. The answer is no. They will convert dollar notes to dollar coins, but not Euros. So can I change some Euros for dollars to get my dollar coins? No, they don’t offer currency exchange at all, as there is a machine on board that does that.

I need $4 for powder, one wash and one dry. So the smallest Euro note, a five, should do. But no; the machine charges $3.50 commission, regardless of the amount of the transaction. So I need a 10 Euro note and in any case, the machine is broken. At which point I get annoyed and go back to reception. The kind assistant purser patiently explains that even if the machine is broken and they do have to change money for the laundry, they still have to charge $3.50 commission.

So essentially, if you don’t have US dollars on you, notes or coins, you will pay $7.50 for one batch of laundry instead of $4. I know it’s petty of me to raise the issue, and Princess Cruises is by no means the only line to offer washing machines operated by US coins, and there is more to life than this, but still.

Eventually, I got my 25c coins and noticed that one was a Princess token, the kind you get in the casino. It struck me then how stupid I’d been; I should have nipped in there and played the fruit machines for a bit. I could have won my laundry money!




Filed under Cruise Lines, Mediterranean Cruise, Opinion

4 responses to “Laundry dilemma

  1. It’s disappointing to see how many lines these days — particularly family-friendly ones like Royal Caribbean — don’t have washer-dryers. In some cases, though, cruise lines are smart about it — on Holland America’s Westerdam, a regular offering is a “fill the bag” for $20. Pricey? Yeah. But not outrageous….

  2. Of course, on P&O ships (and Ventura & Azura are essentially identical to Ruby Princess) the washers & driers are free. You do need to buy, or take, powder. We always take a couple of washing powder tablets with us.

  3. dingoes4 cruising

    Yes we are Australians living in UK – we don’t have $US coins and minimum dollars. Of course if we had the foresight to go on many cruises we could have the washing done for free.
    However it is good that Princess does provide washers and driers, we were on NCL at Christmas and not one available……..

  4. Stella perry

    We have just returned from a cruise on Ruby Princess and had the same problem trying to get coins for the laundry. Cost us £5 and 5 euros to be able to change to quarters. Back on P & O for us next cruise.

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