Norwegian Cruise Line Is Getting Rid of Towel Animals in Their Turn-Down Service
The cruise line has announced that they will be eliminating the artfully folded towels that many guests have come to expect on some ships, USA Today reports. The move is an attempt to conserve resources as the swans, elephants and other exotic animals had to be washed every day, whether the guest used the towel or not.
“We are committed to being a responsible corporate citizen by fostering a culture of awareness and respect for our world’s resources. Our mission is to continually improve our sustainability culture through fresh innovation, progressive education and open collaboration,” a spokesperson for Norwegian tells PEOPLE. “As such, from time to time we explore opportunities to expand our efforts. In this instance, we are assessing the impact of reducing the number of towel animals we showcase aboard a few of our ships.”
The spokesperson added that those who truly love being greeted by the terry cloth fauna on their bed can make a special request to have them added every day at no extra cost.
“We understand that many of our guests enjoy them as part of the experience of cruising with us, so towel animals remain available upon request,” the statement continued. “This is simply a test, and we are providing them if guests request them.”
USA Today reports that currently, Norwegian is only testing this policy on select ships: the Dawn, Getaway, Star and Sun.
Some passengers have already taken to social media to express that they’re sad to see towel animals go extinct.
“No! Not the towel animals! I get sustainability, but there has to be another way,” one Twitter user wrote.
Another responded, “Cutting towel animals is not ok. Not ok.”
One cruiser responded that he loved the cute creations and felt too awkward about asking for one from the crew, as Norwegian suggests. He also offered an alternative: asking guests to check a box for their towel preferences upon check-in.
In response to the eco-friendly reasoning for the shift, a Twitter user pointed out that she actually uses the towels used to create her animal. “What’s the big deal?” she wrote, noting “It’s those little things that matter to guests.”
Another traveler posted a seemingly faux-outraged response, writing, “How could you do this @CruiseNorwegian. We the customers have come to expect a certain standard of cruising… Now you expect us to settle for no #towelanimals.” He added “#howdoyoulivewithyourself.”
This isn’t the first time the cruise line has taken steps to reduce its environmental footprint.
In 2018, Norwegian announced they were eliminating plastic straws from all of their ships and their private ports, and according to Cruise Critic, the line uses a Safety, Security, Health and Environmental Protection policy that guides its actions in terms of disposing or reusing waste as well as preventing accidental pollution.