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Pictures: 11 of the Best Cruise Ship Towel Animals

Dan Askin

Last updated
Jul 27, 2023

Read time
2 min read

What's secretly handcrafted each night in your cabin by a skilled artisan and looks like a monkey wearing your sunglasses one day, a manta ray holding the TV remote another and an angry spider eating pillow chocolates the next?

If you guessed "towel animals," you've been on a cruise before -- or have at least spent a lot of time here on Cruise Critic.

Towel animals, left behind by room stewards during turndown service, are one of cruise travel's longest-standing traditions. (The towel dodo bird reportedly made an appearance on Titanic.) And it's clear that cruisers have a profound love affair with these creatures.

Take a peek at 11 of the best cruise ship towel animals submitted by our readers, and post your favorites on Cruise Critic's Facebook page.

--By Dan Askin, Cruise Critic contributor; updated by Ashley Kosciolek, Editor

Photo by Hilary Mason/Flickr

"Piggie Wearing Beach Hat from Curves"

Truth in towels: We do feel like a pig on the beach by the last day of our cruise.

Ship: Unknown

Photo by Nicole Eger DelBuono


"I vant to suck your bloody Mary," says towel bat on vacation.

Ship: Rhapsody of the Seas

Photo by Jorge L. Orchilles

"Apology from the Cabin Steward and His Assistant Who Failed to Introduce Themselves Until the 3rd Day of the Cruise"

I wonder who has to clean up all those rose petals. We're pretty sure it's not the towel swans.

Ship: Norwegian Jewel

Photo by Diane Strickland

"Our Collection"

Every time you shower, a towel animal dies.

Ship: Carnival Glory

Photo by Derek Hackbardt

"Struttin' Like a...."

Go ahead. Take a chocolate. I dare ya!

Ship: Disney Magic

Photo by Carolyn Spencer Brown

"Venetian Towel Animals"

Lone ranger towel dog does not approve.

Ship: Carnival Dream

Photo by Carrie Donaldson Keller

"Fat Tuesday"

Why we don't let our towels party too hard on theme nights.

Ship: Carnival Fantasy *(no longer in service)*

Photo by Cyndi Hollan, AKA Cruise Critic member marcyn


Jeepers creepers. We don't wanna know where the cabin steward got those peepers.

Ship: Ryndam (no longer sailing for P&O)

Photo by Susan Wheeler

"Towel Animals on Display"

Welcome to the spa. Our products are not tested on towel animals.

Ship: Celebrity Millennium

Photo by Cheryl Corwin

"Didn't Expect Anyone to Be in Our Cabin"

And the number one way to give your cabinmate a heart attack is ...

Ship: Voyager of the Seas

Photo by Rick Howell

"Elephant Keeping Guard Over HAL Goodies"

If we throw the towel elephant some peanuts, will he relinquish the pillow chocolates?

Ship: Volendam

Photo by Wendy London

Publish date January 08, 2020
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