Don’t Forget to Washy Washy on Your Next Cruise

January 10, 2013 | By | 10 Comments

The president of a well-known cruise line once told me the highest paid crew member on any ship is not the ship’s captain, but instead the dessert chef. I’ve never been able to confirm that but what I can tell you is that the most popular crew member on my recent Norwegian Jewel sailing was not the captain. Nor the dessert chef. Not by a long shot. Not even the cruise director garnered that superlative.
Instead the title of most popular crew member went to two unassuming restaurant workers: Pelagia Tagud and Rowen Condicion, most commonly known as the Washy Washy gal and guy, or just Washy Washy for short.

Washy Washy (either he or she) could always be found outside the Garden CafĂ© buffet on deck 12 at lunchtime, with a spray bottle of disinfectant in hand, reminding everyone to “washy washy.” But they didn’t just say “washy washy,” they sang it — with feeling.
Sung roughly to the tune of “London Bridge,” the song goes like this: “Washy washy, good for you, good for me, good for us. Washy washy, good for you, make you happy.”
At first it was really, really annoying. But it didn’t take long before most passengers, including me, came to love the song. I wasn’t the lone adult looking forward to seeing Washy Washy and singing along. And I most certainly wasn’t the only one with a big smile on my face when I saw them.
In fact, on the second to last night when an assortment of crew are brought on stage for a bow, the loudest and longest cheers went to the Washy Washy guy and gal.
But perhaps most importantly, I wasn’t the only one making sure to stop by and get my squirt of disinfectant before moving on. And ultimately, that’s what Washy Washy is all about.
I’ve since discovered there are multiple versions of Washy Washy on Norwegian ships. I don’t know if the song variations came from corporate and spread downward, but I suspect they started on the ships and spread laterally across the fleet as crew moved around. It’s a fun way to remind people of the importance of keeping their hands clean.
Three days after returning from my cruise I can still hear the Washy Washy song in my head, and it reminds me to go wash my hands.
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    Comments

    10 Responses to “Don’t Forget to Washy Washy on Your Next Cruise”

    1. Marc L
      January 10th, 2013 @ 11:16 am

      First, it’s annoying. If you want to make sure you find a way to annoy the people giving you money, congrats, it’s working.

      Secondly, sanitizer does not work that way. The only time sanitizer will kill 99% of germs is if you use it immediately after washing your hands. Otherwise, you’re only killing about 40% of germs.

      This “campaign” is completely pointless and does nothing other than annoy half the guests and re-inforce the incorrect assumption that you don’t need to wash your hands.

    2. Tina C
      January 10th, 2013 @ 11:17 am

      Personally, I found it annoying on our 2011 family Thanksgiving cruise, but my mother loved it.

    3. Lucie Jackson
      January 10th, 2013 @ 1:03 pm

      I too am a nurse and agree with the above. I have been on 2 cruises and the non NCL cruise did not have the washy washy happy happy staff, just the squirt stations and I observed many passengers not use them or if one was empty, not bothering to try another dispenser. It’s no wonder a couple months later the same ship had Norwalk. I absolutely love them on NCL and love NCL!!!

    4. Brian
      January 10th, 2013 @ 1:08 pm

      Wow, you gotta appreciate the tireless effort of the worker in the video. Whatever they’re paying him, it’s not enough.

    5. Michael K.
      January 10th, 2013 @ 1:14 pm

      We had one lady on the Norwegian Sun back in Oct. 2011 and she would greet you saying “HAPPY HAPPY WASHY WASHY” I loved it, its better than someone just standing there without a smile or saying nothing to you.

    6. Vicky C
      January 10th, 2013 @ 5:40 pm

      We loved Rowen on our cruise!! We always looked foward to seeing him and put a smile on our face.

    7. Archie
      January 10th, 2013 @ 5:40 pm

      Listening to “Washy Washy” might put me off booking with NCL, but I am all for staff stationed at all buffet and dining room areas to offer this service. HAL has friendly, smiling staff doing this without the singing and I was disappointed on my last Princess Cruise were there was a lack of attention paid to hand sanitation in main eating areas. As usual, when hand sanitation personnel or stations are available, the male passengers avoid them as they do the taps and soap in the washrooms.

    8. alicia stetzer
      February 26th, 2013 @ 4:47 pm

      i was on the jewel on dec 2 and the washy washy folks were singing their pretty little heads off then too! at first it was a little weird, then a little annoying, then it become a running joke among all the passengers and crew that made me laugh every time i heard them. also on ours, they received a standing ovation at the farewall crew show. necessary or not, it certainly called attention to the need to wash your hands before eating at the buffet, and something clearly worked as we were noro-free on that particular sailing! keep up the good work washy washy! :)

    9. Michael S.
      August 25th, 2013 @ 5:06 pm

      We just completed the Alaska cruise on NCL Jewell.
      Washy Washy was always smiling and he made us smile.
      Germ prevention on a cruise ship is a good thing so we give him and the entire NCL crew a thumbs up.

    10. Marilou
      September 21st, 2013 @ 5:20 pm

      washy-washy brought me here :-) we just came home from our 7-day Alaska cruise and I totally agree with you, the most popular crew was Rowen/ Pel team. I actually had my picture taken with them like they were celebrities! their washy-washy song was like a disease that infected me… last song syndrome!!! haha!!! For The Win, washy-washy!!!

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