When it comes to dress code, our forums are packed with everything from tips and advice to gripes and grumbles. But what do you do when it comes to what not to wear — are you happy to bare all in your birthday suit, should you spare your blushes in a swimsuit or do a bit of creative origami with a towel?
It’s a valid question posed by Mandis on the Cruise Critic message boards, who asked: “My personal trainer said that it would be great to use the steam room and sauna for 10 minutes each per day followed by a cold shower. I have never done either. Is it OK to wear a bathing suit? I Googled what to wear and couldn’t find a real answer. I know to bring a towel to sit on but that was all I could find on what people wear. I wouldn’t be comfortable if I was sitting in there surrounded with other women wearing nothing.”
It seems that cruise ship sauna etiquette has plenty of embarrassment potential for all concerned. It’s not just down to how comfortable you feel, but how uncomfortable others might be if you decide not to preserve your modesty.
“One morning, another man opened the door while I was enjoying the sauna in my birthday suit, took one look at me and bolted,” recalled one respondent.
The consensus of opinion seems to be that “proper” protocol in Scandinavian countries where the sauna was invented is to wear nothing at all — even in mixed saunas and steam rooms.
Some members deemed swimsuits sticky and unhygienic and others said a strategically placed towel was the best option.
“Wear whatever you feel comfortable in”, said Bananaface. “Some will be in bathing suits, some towels, and some nude.”
Coeven added: “I saw a few crew who were nude, at least I thought they were crew, they were speaking Italian, of course I could not tell their rank!”
Curiosity got the better of one member who asked: “Nude? Which cruise were you on?”
So what do you wear in the sauna — a swimsuit, a towel or nothing but a smile? Let us know in the comments below.