Every now and then a wildfire develops on the Cruise Critic boards, usually by someone asking a simple question or throwing out a divisive opinion. So, a while back, it wasn’t all that surprising to see a raging debate over the matter of bathrobes in the buffet, or at the pool, or in the casino. Member girlsjustwannacruise began it with this: “Please stop wearing your robes in all the public places, esp. in the buffet line … it grosses me out. Am I the only one who thinks it’s gross?” More than 350 comments later, the battle finally sputtered to an end.
Many of the responses reflected more or less sparky8‘s viewpoint, who opined that he’s “not grossed out, just not impressed.” Those who
have been grossed out recall seeing underwear under the robes … or nothing at all. There was plenty of talk of exposed skin and the germs they leave behind.
Then there was Cushing 985, who — like a good number of respondents — just sort of shrugged the whole thing off: “Personally speaking, wearing a robe to have breakfast on the Lido would be like wearing one to your local Denny’s. I don’t see the difference, but if you want to wear one around the ship, knock yourself out. I’ve seen worse things at the pool.”
Haven’t we all?
Keeping this debate in mind, I’ve been on the lookout for be-robed cruisers, most recently on a Disney Fantasy preview voyage a few weeks back. Not a robe in sight, but that was an anomaly. And while it doesn’t gross me out, I’ve been struck by the number of pax who wander around cruise ships clad in bathrobes. (Whether you have a bathrobe in your cabin at all depends on the line. Some, like Carnival and Holland America, have them in most cabins; others, like Royal Caribbean, only provide them in the upper grades.)
Would I wear a bathrobe in public? Nah — I don’t even feel comfortable doing it in a spa. But I’ve seen plenty of folks who do. On Carnival Magic, a couple walked through the casino at 10 p.m. covered in terrycloth, ostensibly to use the hot tub outside the door. I’ve had numerous pool sightings (the photo at right is from Magic as well), and I’ve seen early risers lined up for breakfast in robes at the buffet.
That said, I have to say I’m in agreement with ST PETE CRUISE GAL on this one, who posted: “Oh c’mon people! You would not wear a robe out to breakfast in your home town at a restaurant, why would you do it on a cruise ship? Please. Not that it would bother me really, but, hello!?” Good point. Throw on some clothes, will you? Even sweatpants trump bathrobes in a cruise ship eatery (or in a casino, come to think of it). Or order in room service and chow down on your verandah.
Or save the bathrobe for a special on-deck occasion, such as the one provided by one iceleven, who wisely intoned that “life’s too short to be worrying about what people are wearing. Live and let live.” (That gets into the whole formal night debate as well, but let’s leave that one for another day.) Here’s an oldie-but-goodie video iceleven included in one of his posts depicting a Bathrobe Party on Carnival Miracle in 2006:
So tell us: What are your robe rules?
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Read other Sea-Mail columns on elevator etiquette, camera hogs, credit card horror stories, kids in hot tubs, the death of cruise traditions and bad balcony behavior.
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