Bathrobes in the Buffet: Too Casual?

April 10, 2012 | By | 21 Comments

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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    21 Responses to “Bathrobes in the Buffet: Too Casual?”

    1. Harris Wilensky
      April 10th, 2012 @ 4:18 pm

      How about parents,acting like parents and dont let their children run wild all hours of the day and night.They are so busy reading or enjoying the sun they let the children run wild,And expect the workers on the ship be babysitters.I have seen on especially Freedom Of the Seas 2 or 3 am kids still running lose with friends.As a handicap person the rudeness of alot of the kids is out of control,Sad When i was their gae and acted like that.My dad would have had his belt out for sure and that would stop all the nonsense after that.

    2. Leah Ballew
      April 10th, 2012 @ 4:21 pm

      I think it’s funny.

    3. frances evans
      April 10th, 2012 @ 4:29 pm

      save your bathrobes for your cabin or out by the pool and for the specialty party that Carnival host s do not wear at my buffet table I do not want anyone thinking you are with me!!!!

    4. Brian
      April 10th, 2012 @ 4:34 pm

      When I cruised on Celebrity Infinity, the ship had a Spa cafe. Many passengers (myself included) would get breakfast after our workout, dressed in workout shorts or robes or sweats at that venue, and it seemed quite appropriate. But I would NOT have wandered into the lido buffet dressed that way, even though it would have been only a few steps away.

    5. Chuck
      April 10th, 2012 @ 5:23 pm

      We still haven’t gotten the guy who got on the elevator wearing a bathrobe at the 5-Star hotel in London. Where, oh where, is the decorum?

    6. Suzanne
      April 10th, 2012 @ 5:27 pm

      Silversea kindly requests the guests do not wear their bathrobes in public places, yet I have seen a few in the hallways or going up or down the stairs on occasion. I always assume they are on the way to or from the spa or pool. I have NEVER seen a bathrobe in any of the public spaces however on a Silversea cruise.

    7. Gail Holden
      April 11th, 2012 @ 1:40 pm

      Just returned from a cruise to Hawaii on Hollland Amreica’s Oosterdamn. Saw several people in the Lido in bathrobes. I was a bit surprised and not impressed. Bathrobes are for the room only as far as I am concerned.

    8. David
      April 11th, 2012 @ 2:18 pm

      I agree with everybody here. I personally was shocked to see some people wearing bathrobes at the Lido cafe. My mother would not allow anybody in our family to come to the breakfast table at home in PJ’s and even a bathrobe was discouraged. When hanging around the house, you had to be dressed reasonably. (I grew up in Kansas.) Consequently, in public places I expect to see everybody dressed appropriately.

    9. Eva Deegan
      April 12th, 2012 @ 9:27 am

      Bathrobes belong in the cabin, any other place is inappropiate and disrespectful to the other passengers and staff.
      Perhaps the robes should come with a note attached, stating ‘ this robe is only for cabin wear’, in several languages.
      Fortunately, it is relatively few passengers, who don the robes for ‘outside’ wear.

    10. Marianne
      April 13th, 2012 @ 2:10 pm

      It is a BATH ROBE. I think it’s OK at the pool, but not in the buffet. Take a few moments and cover up properly in the area where others dine

    11. dog
      April 13th, 2012 @ 3:46 pm

      One cruise the rock band was playing by the pool at night and almost everyone did wear there bathrobes.It not only did it look stupid, it was 80 degrees.So the robe came off.

    12. Barbara
      April 14th, 2012 @ 10:01 am

      I see pajamas all the time at hotel breakfast areas. Even in the hotel restaurants. These are probably the same folks who wear the robes to the buffet. On our cruise in January I saw several times folks and their kids in pajamas at the buffet. Some of those pajamas left little to the imagination so a bathrobe over would have been an improvement.

    13. Sandie Sing
      April 14th, 2012 @ 1:32 pm

      I would rather see the robes on as swim suit cover ups. Some folks run into the buffet dining area with skimpy swimwears that aren’t suitable to their bodies. You have to pretend that you are on the European beaches.

      In the states you would see preteens in pj’s at motels ‘ free breakfast counters. You would not expect to see that at business or nice hotels.

    14. D.Amadatsu
      April 14th, 2012 @ 7:51 pm

      On the Costa Magica we used to see people come to the what would be the Lido deck in their speedoes and bikini and if that was not gross to see their butts in your face. I asked the purser if that was appropriate wear and I saw them post a notice saying they had to wear cover-ups but wearing a bath-robe for breakfst is also being disrespectful to the guests just like wearing shorts in the public areas on formal nights.

    15. Larry Woodcock
      April 15th, 2012 @ 12:29 am

      You want to wear your bathrobe at breakfast or any mealtime dine in your room or on your balcony…The vast majority of cruise guests don’t want you parading around in a bathrobe while they are eating…Besides, it’s not sanitary…You know who you are, GET WITH IT…COVER UP & DRESS PROPERLY WHEN IN EATING AREAS…

    16. Cheryl
      April 16th, 2012 @ 10:00 am

      I’ve got to believe that buffet dining in one’s bathrobe is more sanitary than the blubber tubs and breast-and-butt wonders dining in their string bikinis and speedos. There were tons of that happening on our “family friendly” cruise ship this month. OMG! Gross. Maybe it was a ploy to save more food (with pubic hair) for themselves?!!!

    17. Cam
      April 19th, 2012 @ 3:19 pm

      What really sickened me was on a cruise on the Carnival Dream.

      Sickened perhaps a bit strong…but it annoyed me highly to see several young males wearing backwards baseball caps, basketball jerseys, droopy basketball shorts with underwear showing during dinner in the main dining room. And on formal nights to top it all off.

    18. Randall
      April 21st, 2012 @ 1:29 am

      I figure as long as they aren’t indecent exposure, let them wear them over swimwear. The whole point of cruising is to enjoy yourself. I could think of worse: fat gals in bikinis, for example. If I can’t hear it or smell it, it can’t hurt me.

    19. Lenore
      April 24th, 2012 @ 9:14 pm

      Hugh Hefner would disagree. Big whoop. How is it any different from a mumu or sundress? I think I will bring my Juicy velvet red robe to my next cruise. :)

    20. Lynn
      May 18th, 2012 @ 5:16 pm

      Just off Oosterdam Hawaiian circle cruise. Made a point (on the last formal night) of visiting the Lido for the “late night snack” menu at 11:00pm wearing our jim-jams and bathrobes. We did get a few curious looks and it felt a little naughty since there were a couple of men still in their tuxes.

    21. Michelle
      January 6th, 2014 @ 4:44 pm

      We usually wear bathrobes to the buffet…..I never thought there was anything with it because there was a picture on the Carnival website itself showing 3 guys posing at the buffet in their bathrobes, and it was part of their Carnival cruise fun ads. Plus, we wear the robes because they’re so warm and comfy….we have full clothes underneath the robes of course, we aren’t dressed in PJs, swimsuits, or undies, but in full clothes. We just wear the robes over our clothes for the warmth. Oh, did I mention that we always go cruising in January, 6 years in a row now. It’s bitterly cold at that time!

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