Saving the Earth requires sacrifices: Sorting your recyclables. Learning to swallow vegan burgers. Accepting that we can’t dump our used motor oil into the storm sewer.
Now this: Norwegian Cruise Line says it’s cutting back on its room stewards’ practice of automatically making animal shapes out of bath towels and positioning them on guests’ beds every day. Guests who want them will have to ask for them.
It’s all about conserving resources by cutting back on the volume of laundry loads, the cruise line says. Many guests never use the towels after they get turned into cute, cuddly cotton creatures, but they must be washed daily anyway.
In a statement, Norwegian said it was “assessing the impact of reducing the number of towel animals we showcase aboard a few of our ships.”
“We are committed to being a responsible corporate citizen by fostering a culture of awareness and respect for our world’s resources,” the statement said. “Our mission is to continually improve our sustainability culture through fresh innovation, progressive education and open collaboration. As such, from time to time we explore opportunities to expand our efforts.”
The cutback will undoubtedly save money for the cruise line as well, not only by reducing laundry volume but also by increasing the number of rooms that its stewards will be able to freshen during their shifts.
The towel animals will still be created “upon request,” the statement said. Cruise line officials did not immediately respond to a follow-up question seeking names of the “few ships” upon which towel animals have been reduced.
As social media sites can attest, towel animals have long been a tradition on family-focused cruise lines.
Popular creations include seals resting against pillows wearing sunglasses, elephants with ears and trunks, scorpions bearing mints, koala bears, alligators and primates hanging from closet rods.
Some cruise lines even have workshops to teach passengers how to fold them.
Room stewards create the animals when cleaning guests’ staterooms, often positioning them in provocative but G-rated ways on beds.
Competitor Carnival Cruise Line has no plan to cut back on towel animals, spokesman Vance Gulliksen said by email. “Towel animals are a signature element of a Carnival cruise and our stewards create dozens of different creatures for guests enjoyment each night (equating to millions of towel animals a year),” he said.
Officials from Disney Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International did not immediately respond to emails seeking information about their towel animal policies.
By Ron Hurtibise, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com - Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more
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