Suppose you’ve never been on a cruise before; some questions may pop into your mind about what to wear on a cruise ship during the day or night. There are many different types of cruises, so it’s essential to know precisely which cruise you’re going on if you want to look your best while enjoying yourself.
For a cruise ship, it is recommended to pack a mix of casual and formal attire, as most cruise lines blend relaxed daytime activities and elegant evening events. Some specific clothing items to consider bringing include:
- Light, comfortable clothing for warm weather, such as shorts, t-shirts, and sundresses.
- Swimwear and cover-ups for pool and beach activities.
- Smart casual attire for daytime excursions and lunch.
- Formal wear, such as dresses or suits, for formal dinners and events.
- Comfortable walking shoes for exploring port cities and participating in onboard activities.
- A jacket or sweater for cooler evenings.
It’s also important to note that some cruise ships have specific dress codes for certain evenings, such as “Captain’s Dinner” or “Gala Night,” so checking the cruise line’s dress code policy before packing is advisable.
The basics of cruise line dress codes
There are two basic categories for cruise lines – luxury and mainstream. Luxury cruise lines offer a more upscale experience than their mainstream counterparts.
Many people who take these cruises will spend most of their time onboard at the spa, relaxing by the pool, or dining in one of the specialty restaurants. These passengers often travel in groups and expect to receive high service levels throughout their entire trip.
Mainstream cruise lines cater to families, couples, business travelers, and other large groups. These passengers typically stay in one of the main areas of the ship where guests can relax and interact with others.
When cruising on a mainstream cruise line, you must adhere to specific rules regarding presenting yourself. Most mainstream cruise lines don’t require much formal attire, but some passengers occasionally wear suits and ties.
Pack dinner outfits
When packing for your cruise, consider all the activities you plan to participate in while onboard. Many people like to bring their favorite pair of jeans and comfortable tops for lounging around the pool.
However, showing up at dinner in your bathing suit is probably not a good idea because you won’t get any attention. Instead, pack a few cocktail dresses, evening gowns, or even something fancy for those special formal nights.
You’ll also want to pack several dress shoes for formal nights. These should be appropriate for both daytime and nighttime events. Casual wear would work fine for an afternoon stroll around the deck, but you’ll want to change into something more formal for dinner.
It’s beneficial to review the cruise itinerary beforehand, so you know exactly what kind of things you’ll be doing each day. This way, you can pick out the right outfit for each activity. For example, you wouldn’t want to wear shorts to lunch on the Lido Deck unless you plan to hit the beach later in the day.
Overview of the cruise dress codes
Most mainstream cruise lines allow passengers to choose between two types of dress — casual and formal. It’s really up to you whether you dress casually or formally. However, some cruise lines do not have a specific dress code.
Some cruise lines refer to their casual dress code as resort-casual clothing. This means you can wear anything you’d typically wear to the beach or tropical island. You shouldn’t feel obligated to dress up every single day, but you should always try to look neat and clean whenever you leave the cabin.
Many cruise lines refer to their formal nights as “cruise elegant” nights. These are usually reserved for adults, and passengers must follow a strict dress code. Men generally wear dark pants and shirts with jackets and ties, although women are allowed to wear whatever they want.
Female passengers commonly wear evening gowns and tuxedos. Men sometimes opt for dark slacks and sports coats instead.
Wear water shoes
Even though you may not be walking around the decks or beaches in the evenings, it’s a good idea to wear water shoes just in case. You may end up dancing late into the night, and you could slip on the floor without realizing it. Water shoes help protect your feet from falling and injuring yourself.
How Do I Dress For A Day At Sea?
On your first day of the cruise, you’ll likely wake up early and head downstairs to breakfast. Afterward, you’ll probably walk around the deck and visit some shops. Then you’ll return to your room to freshen up and prepare for the rest of the day. Depending on the type of cruise you’re taking, you might spend the rest of your day relaxing by the pool or exploring the surrounding area.
Once you return to the ship after a day at sea, you’ll probably sit down for dinner. Afterward, you’ll attend social events like happy hours, cocktail parties, and karaoke sessions. You’ll want to stick to the cruise line’s dress code during these events.
What Should I Wear On My First Day Of Cruise?
Your first day on a cruise can be pretty exciting! You’ll probably want to explore the ship since you haven’t seen it yet, but you’ll also want to get accustomed to its layout. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with all the amenities available. Check out our guide to learning the basics of cruise ship life.
How Do I Dress For A Night On The Town?
You’ll want to dress appropriately if you spend a night away from the ship. Since you’ll be visiting an unfamiliar city, you’ll want to avoid dressing too casually. However, you’ll also want to remember that some towns might have stricter dress codes than others.
What Is The Dress Code On A Cruise Ship?
As mentioned above, most mainstream cruise lines allow passengers to dress. However, they please. However, some cruise lines enforce a strict dress code. There are no hard-and-fast rules about what you should wear on a cruise, but you should always check the cruise line’s website or brochure to determine precisely what is required.
How Can I Get Ready In Advance Of A Cruise?
If you’re traveling on a luxury cruise line, you’ll probably spend most of your time onboard getting pampered at the spa or lounging by the pool. Therefore, you won’t need to worry about changing clothes. However, if you’re looking forward to experiencing a more active vacation, you’ll probably want to start preparing for your cruise now.
First, make sure you book your flight in plenty of time so you can arrange for any necessary travel arrangements. Next, contact your local post office and request a package delivery confirmation number. Make sure you give them enough advance notice so they can schedule their driver accordingly. Finally, purchase any items you might need at the port.
What Are Some Cruises That Don’t Require Dressing Up?
There are a lot of cruise lines that don’t require passengers to dress up. One famous cruise line that doesn’t need its passengers to dress up is Carnival. Although Carnival has a formal dress code, it allows passengers to dress according to their preferences. Carnival also offers a variety of casual options for both men and women.
Another cruise line that doesn’t require its passengers to dress up is Princess Cruises. Princess Cruises does have a formal dress code, but it allows passengers to dress comfortably. Princess Cruises also offers casual and resort-casual options for both men and women.
Finally, Royal Caribbean Cruises allows passengers to dress according to their preferences. Even though Royal Caribbean Cruises has a formal dress code, passengers aren’t forced to wear black ties. Instead, they can wear whatever makes them feel comfortable.
What’s The Best Way To Pack?
One thing you’ll want to remember is that you should always bring extra towels with you on your cruise. You may not use them daily but you never know when you might run out. Also, make sure you bring plenty of sunscreens and insect repellent. And finally, don’t forget to bring a bathing suit and sunblock.