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The Towel Animal Phenomenon

Cruise lines are well known for their fun loving and unique ways of entertaining their passengers. Between masquerade parties, poker tournaments, miniature golf and movies by the poolside; it’s enough to keep the days and nights full. And to boot, there are new destinations to visit nearly every day. When heading back to the cabin to retire for the evening, as the key unlocks the door, you are entertained one last time for the day.

One of the simplest and yet ingenious ways of late night entertainment is the creation of numerous types of animals made out of towels.  This ritual happened each and every night to surprise the passenger when they return to their cabins and all of a sudden it becomes something that is looked forward to.

The first cruise line to have these towel art creatures make their entrance in the cabin room was Carnival Cruise Lines. It was introduced more than 20 years ago as part of their “Fun Ship” experience.

Towel animal carnival cruises

The news spread and soon after, most major lines including Disney Cruise Line, Holland America, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean followed suit. They have added the towel animals each evening as a part of their repertoire.

The dedication that goes into making these animals is commendable as stewards go through an amazing 10 hours of training in the art of folding and over 7 million of these animals are created each and every year. This is one trend that was bound to head towards the mainstream.

It was only a matter of time that guests wanted to know how to replicate these whimsical creatures for their loved ones back home.

Both Carnival and Holland America came up with a resolution to appease their passengers and began to offer demonstrations in towel folding as part of the shipboard activities program.

The towel animals’ phenomenon became even more in demand to knowing how that it was only natural that a step-by-step book be published. Both Carnival and Holland America Line released their versions that are filled with directions for taking a plain and ordinary bath towel and turning it instantly to an animal at home.

Holland America Towel Animal

The “Carnival Towel Creations” instruction manual contains nearly every type of creature that one can imagine from their cabin stewards’ repertoire.  From domestic animals like dogs and cats to prehistoric wonders such as dinosaurs can now be created at home.

Over 40 designs in total are detailed in the book and one can make more possibilities of animals with items lying around the house, in a manner similar to how the cruise liner will occasionally use sunglasses for comedic effect.  Over 40,000 books per year have been sold. The ship’s gift shop is bound to have them in stock.  Carnival also sells “Carnival Towel Creations” on-line with part of the proceeds donated to charitable organizations.

Carnival Towel animal

The release of this book is certainly no surprise as the little creatures have been insanely popular with guests to the extent that they are being used in Carnival’s commercials and are considered to be a staple of the brand. The best part is that making the towel animal is a no fuss project and can easily be disassembled for its original use as a towel.

As the ships are always looking for new experiences for their passengers, it is nice to know that the simplest of courtesies is most appreciated by their guests. Why not throw in the towel and tack a cruise holiday to see for yourself?

Written by Veronica Shine

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