Contributor Level: Admiral

What no bar of soap in the stateroom?

Just read a posting where the reviewer stated that there was no soap in the stateroom on an NCL ship.  The steward had to sneak in a bar. He cautioned them not to say anything because the soap was only  for the suites.  So let me get this straight, you spend $1000 a night to take a cruise and now they no longer give you a small bar of soap even?  This has not happened to me, but I have been on cruises where there was no shampoo or conditioner.  My sister was in a stateroom right next to mine. We received the bath amenities but she did not.  We had the same cabin steward.  She thought that it was an oversight.  After two days she mentioned it to the steward and he told her that since this was her first cruise on RCCL, she had to request them.  What? 

On a short cruise, this is not so much a problem but say you are on a 115 day cruise.  Can you imagine having to tote on a airplane a big bottle of shampoo, conditioner and soap? This is getting ridiculous. 

I sometimes read postings by a Carnival staffer asking if we use the bath amenities.  If the answers were negative, I guess that he planned to suggest eliminating them to save the company money.  The answers were mainly positive however. On Carnival, these amenities are mainly donations for companies anyway.   

How do you feel about ships not supplying a bar of soap or shampoo/conditioner? When we read about the norovirus on ships, it is hard to believe that there would not be a bar of soap in every stateroom.     

Tags: StateroomBath Amenities

10 Answers

Contributor Level: Captain

Oh my gosh--I thought I had heard it all. Maybe they get five bucks for a bar, put it on the tab.

Reminds me of our last cruise on the Coral Princess, I had ordered bottles of wine for the room. One evening I got around to opening one, no cork screw though. So I called, they said they couldn't supply one. What? I explained there always has been one before. I got a supervisor, who went into a lengthy diatribe as to how they are dangerous and kids could get hurt, blaw, blaw. I said, well send one up, we have no kids here. I'll buy it from you even. They couldn't do that, against company policy. Geez, how in the hell do I get my wine open? Talk about frustration. Often times we carry one with us for the hotels but forgot that time.

So I decided to try the gift shop, but after listening to their danger lurking reasoning as to why we no-can-do I figured it to be a wasted effort. Actually, they had very nice ones there with the corporate name and all on them, reasonably priced too.

So, not long after, I get a call from an officer asking how things are going. I said, pretty good, but then brought up the cork screw debacle. I said, look, I have no problem with you not putting those in the cabins anymore. Guests probably rip you off and take them home anyway, folk who don't even drink your wine.  So why not respond honestly and just say that, instead of giving us the run around. I said let me help you here: "We are very sorry, we no longer provide cork screws in the rooms, however, our gift shop has an excellent selection of them."  



Contributor Level: Captain

Ships are cutting back in any way they can to keep the basic cruise cost down.  There are certain things that are basics and needed,   soap and shampoo are two of them.  Carnival still gives a small bar of soap on the sink and has body wash and shampoo in dispensers in the shower,  no conditioner (that was even on the cheap 3 night Baja cruise)

With the TSA breakdown on what we can and can not carry with us on a plane the ships should supply these basic items.  I have had to ask for conditioner on a few ships and my steward got it for me. The steward also brings me wine glasses to my room each day when I ask.

I always pack a cork screw in my checked bag.  Part of an emergency kit.

I admit when in a hotel or a ship I take home all of the extra sample size soap, shampoo and conditioner.  A local charity for the homeless gives those out to its clients along with shower facilities.

Contributor Level: Purser

I am planning a cruise to Alaska on Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Sea and if they are not going to provide the basics like soap and shampoo, I am going to have to rethink what I need to pack.  As for the cork screw, I'm surprise they would even let you bring one onboard since they won't allow scissors or even small pocket knives.  How in the world are you suppose to open a bottle of wine?

Contributor Level: Staff Captain

From what I've read, Carnival doesn't give you lotion. Why not? Celebrity has it in a wall dispenser. Even the little bottles would be appreciated. 

Contributor Level: Captain

Carnival gives,  Shampoo and body jell in shower dispenser and small bar of soap at the sink,  No conditioner or lotion.  Celebrity gives you more,  but they charge more.

Maybe no soap because the showers are so small that if you drop soap in the shower no room to pick it up.

Contributor Level: Second Mate

That is so ridiculous - I think most people would assume they would at least get soap!

Contributor Level: Third Mate

Oddly I would be of the 'never expected it' variety. I wouldn't assume that any hotel, or cruise ship would supply even the most generic of shampoo/shower gel etc. I can think of a myriad reasons why they wouldn't - such as a person uses it and then finds they are allergic to an ingredient in it and try to sue.....


I would always bring my own. Now I would share with the people travelling with - no need for two lots of shampoo/shower gel/toothpaste etc so 1 person would bring some of them and the other others.


Also after my cruise I plan to spend a week in Venice, and as I said would never assume hotels to provide these, so will need them for that week anyway.


Maybe that's just me though!

Contributor Level: Captain

On the Carnival Splendor last October we had a spa cabin. Not a suite, just a cabin. We had Elemis products waiting on the shelf for us.

I tell you about NCL in August.

Contributor Level: Captain

We have not experienced issues with no soap or shampoo yet. Although we sometimes bring a preferred brand if on a longer trip, we absolutely oppose the cruise ships cutting back by not providing the basic amenities. That is going too deep in terms of cuts to service.  

There are at least two issues that cruise lines are likely to face if they cut these... 1. Increased trash volume. People (like we did on the last cruise) will leave almost empty bottles of their shampoo and such.

2. Environmental impact. In providing amenities, at lease the lines have control over the environmental impact of the products used (e.g., suds produced). The "footprint" has been a significant marketing point for cruise lines for many years.  Otherwise, people can bring whatever they wish and it may not be as kind to their waste water systems.

Dropping the basic amenities is a big mistake.

Contributor Level: Admiral

Did you ask the steward to open the bottle for you.  Maybe he/she has access to a cork screw? We always bring a simple cheap one with us on cruises and it has never been confiscated. 



* is not a booking agent or travel agency, and does not charge any service fees to users of our site. Our partners (travel agencies and cruise lines) provide prices, which we list for our users' convenience. does not guarantee any specific rates or prices. While prices are updated daily, please check with the booking site for the exact amount. is not responsible for content on external web sites.

Back to Top