Cruise Clothing Guide: How To Choose What To Wear On A Cruise
First and foremost, when are you travelling? Is it a winter cruise? Or are you going in the summer? Just like with any vacation, you should always dress appropriately for the climate and temperature. If it’s a long trip that crosses seasons, or if you’re going to places with wildly different climates, you’ll want to have a healthy mix of both warm and cold-weather clothes.
Certain cruise lines may have a strict dress code, so do your research or call up in advance to confirm if there are restrictions on what you can wear. Dress codes may not apply to the whole trip, but it’s pretty common for cruises to have a more formal dress code for evenings or special nights.
One of the great thing about cruises is that you can experience multiple countries or destinations in succession. But unless the countries have a similar climate or ‘vibe’, this does make packing difficult. Always consider your stopovers so that you’re always dressed appropriately no matter where the cruise ship docks.
Number Of Days
Some cruises last for a few days, while others last a few months. On shorter trips, you can get away with one formal dress, a couple of cocktail ensembles, and a handful of casual resort wear. For longer trips, you’ll want to bring basic pieces that are versatile and can be mixed and matched for the most mileage per outfit.
Different cruise ships promise different kinds of activities. Will there be swimming and snorkelling? A murder mystery dinner? Or are you planning to just relax on deck? Knowing what’s in store will help you pack accordingly.
What To Pack: Essential Cruise Outfits & Clothes Checklist
Formal Night Dress/Attire
If you see the words ‘cruise elegant’ anywhere on the pamphlet, you will need some kind of formal wear. For women, that means gowns, dresses, or dressy separates. For men, that means a sport coat/jacket, dress shirt, and slacks.
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Most cruises will have sit-down dinners, bars, and ‘party nights’, so make sure you’re prepared to party the night away! Skirts, blouses, and short dresses are good choices for women, while men can wear something similar to ‘cruise elegant’ minus the coat and with dark jeans instead.
Whether you’re docking at a beach destination or there’s a pool/hot tub on board, having swimwear is a must. Bring a few options so you can still dip in the water while drying out another set.
For ‘cruise casual’, resort wear is the most acceptable form of dress. This means shirts, shorts, and casual dresses are permitted. Coverups, sarongs, kimonos, and other layers can dress up an otherwise basic casual outfit.
Pants Or Joggers
A nice pair of pants is always good to have on hand. You can wear these so that you’re more comfortable when you make a port stop and explore a new destination. Plus, joggers or more casual pants can help keep you warm on chilly nights on the open sea.
Other Cruise Travelling Tips
- Your cruise will come with basic food and drinks covered, but don’t be scared to splurge a little on the fancier specialty restaurants. You could even try a different dining experience every night if you want!
- Cruise ships are notorious for upselling their passengers on drink packages, spa services, tours/activities, and even merch. If you’re on a budget, watch out for these ‘deals’ and just say no.
- You don’t have to pack several outfits per day, especially for longer cruises. Most ships will have an onboard laundromat where you can get your clothes cleaned – saving you a ton of luggage space.
- Make the most out of your port time by researching the destination and planning out your itinerary in advance. You can also choose to skip getting off the ship entirely and just enjoy your time onboard.
Cruise With Me Baby
If you’re finding it difficult to pack for your cruise, you’re not alone. Most people, especially first-time cruisers, are just as confused as you are! We hope this guide shed some light on what you should bring so that you’re prepared for any occasion!