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The given (partyline) reason is it a green decision, reducing the waste of chemical laden water being used on robes that were not worn but must be perceived as used after each cruise. Actual reasons it's an increasing used industry wide standard, and not having to wash 2000-4000 robes each turn around day saves both time and money.
One of the reasons hotels don’t embroider their logotypes on them anymore is to make them more mundane.
I believe you are correct with that saving money by not having to clean them all logic. However, there is another, if not the number one reason for doing this which immediately came to my mind the first time we encountered it.
Like corkscrews in the cabin, even though guests are told they must pay extra for the robe if they take it home, they do so anyway without paying. It is quite an administrative burden to keep track of this, i.e. billing those who took them off the ship, fighting with those who deny they did or claiming they never got any to start with and so on.
Requiring guests to formally ask for these provides a paper trail but more importantly since so many guests don’t want them in the first place it eliminates the hassle and expense of placing them in every cabin at the start of every voyage.