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Cruise Cabin Towel Animals
Ultimate Bed-time Pals

by Linda Coffman

Close encounter on Mardi Gras

It wasn't that many years ago... well, okay it was 1990 when I had my first encounter with a cabin critter. I entered our stateroom on Carnival Cruise Lines' Mardi Gras and immediately shot back into the passageway shouting, "There's someone in my bed!" Turns out it was only my jammies—artfully laid out with a towel "face" and sunglasses staring at me.

I was better prepared on the Jubilee the following spring when the cabin steward used my nightshirt to mark the day ashore in Mazatlan, Mexico by crafting a clever Señor Frog.

Señor Frog stows away

It seemed that no matter where I hid my Victoria's Secret, the stewards would find it... and it got to be a game of hide-and-seek. In a way it was sort of sad to dismantle their creations and apparently I wasn't the only passenger hiding my lingerie.

Today's stewards don't hunt down nighties—instead, they use towels to make fanciful creatures to greet us after turn-down. Bunnies, stingrays, kittens, and doggies—even monkeys hanging from the ceiling greet passengers whose only expectation is a chocolate on their pillow.

I'm certain many of my fellow passengers have snapped photos of their towel animals to share with friends at home. They add a whimsical touch to our cruise experiences—one we've only been able to capture in pictures. Unfortunately, towel animals tend to fall apart unless moved with care and we don't suggest liberating towels from your cruise ship.

How'd they do that?
Alas, the presence of towel animals isn't a given and not every cruise line considers them a cabin amenity. However, they have grown so popular with Carnival Cruise Lines' passengers that stewards spend hours training to make the numerous species that inhabit the 'Carnival Towel Animal Farm.' Carnival estimates their passengers are delighted by over ten million towel animals every year and have even awarded them a featured role in the cruise line's advertising campaigns.

Short of stealing the towels, now you can have your own at-home towel animal zoo—at least until you need to dry your hands. So many passengers requested directions that Carnival published "Towel Creations"—a beautifully illustrated book with easy step-by-step instructions, which is available in the shops on board Carnival ships. That's the second edition pictured here, but they are now up to a fourth edition with some new animals as well as old favorites.

Easy? Let's just say it took me a few tries before getting the hang of it (but I'm not all that good with crafts). My floppy-eared puppy turned out kinda cute, if I do say so myself, and I'm off to tackle some of the other dozens of critters in the book. Believe me, my next cabin steward will get a much bigger tip!

Photos ©
Special thanks to Carnival Cruise Lines

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