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What to Wear On a Cruise: A Complete Guide

Read on this guide for the perfect cruise clothing. Just ensure that you bring comfortable clothing, walking shoes, a daypack, sunglasses, sunscreens, and check the weather condition before you leave for the cruise.

By Cruise Booking Team

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Planning to get a quick escape from city life by going on a glamorous and luxurious cruise vacation? Soon you'll be soaking up the sun by lying on the sun deck, island hopping, and eating various varieties of dishes every single night. But if you are getting confused and scratching your head about what you can wear on a cruise, here is a brief guide about what to wear on a cruise. With this blog, you will feel relaxed!

Before packing for a cruise vacation

These questions will help you in packing your attire for a short or long cruise with any destination. So, grab your expresso, pen, and paper and write down these points. With the following questions, you will hardly go wrong with packing for a cruise vacation.

1. What kind of weather conditions will be there on the Cruise?

Before choosing the clothes, you need to know the weather. So, whether the weather is sunny, windy, or it's raining. Yeah, you don't have any magic, but you do have the weather forecasting services available in your smartphones, use that.

2. For how many days are you on a cruise?

You are the only one who knows that you are going, so pack accordingly for how many days you are going. Make sure you pack your daywear based on activities and some elegant and casual wear for evenings.

3. What types of activities and shore excursions will you be doing?

Planning is good, so research your cruise shore excursion programs and activities. Pack some clothes accordingly. Anyways, most of the time, you will be roaming in your swimsuits and flip-flops.

4. Is there any luggage limitation?

Some cruise lines do have a luggage limit. So, it's worthy of checking those limits and packing accordingly. Avoid getting stuck with over luggage. Moreover, many cruise lines allow only one luggage bag with one person.

5. How will you manage transportation to the Cruise and back?

Reconsider pack your bag if your cruise departure port involves dragging your luggage. Make sure you check the transportation beforehand to avoid an end-time rush.

6. Which electronics should you take?

Carrying your electronics is a good idea, but you need to limit them. You can take small things such as a digital camera, an e-reader, laptop, smartphone, and styling appliances.

Also, Read: Diffrence Between Big Cruise Ship and Small Cruise Ship

Tips on proper attire

Cruises are the crucial excursion of a lifetime, so it must be perfect. But thankfully, there is no need to stress about your packing. We've come up with the ultimate list of proper attires to bring on any cruise. Moreover, it is divided according to the categories for men, women, and kids/toddlers.

For men:

Clothes: Formal pants, jeans, button Shirts both short and long sleeves, t-shirts, shorts, swim trunks, jacket or blazer

Shoes: Sandals, sneakers, casual loafers, athletic shoes, dress shoes and flip-flops

Accessories: Socks, ties and cufflinks, money belt, belts, daysack, sunscreen

Must-have: Miscellaneous, carry-on items such as cash, chargers, important documents, cash, ATM/credit cards, and essential medicine

For Women:

Clothes: Long gown, sundresses, skirts, shorts, jeans, leggings, pajamas, cardigan, swimsuits with cover-ups and party or cocktail dresses, women's tuxedo or suit

Shoes: Sneakers, wedges, sandals, heels, dress shoes, reef shoes, flip-flops, and deck shoes

Accessories: Hats, sunglasses, tote bag, money belt, scarfs, artificial jewelry, sling bags or clutches, gloves, and small backpack

Must-have: Sanitary products, miscellaneous, carry-on items such as cash, chargers, important documents, cash, ATM/credit cards, and essential medicine

For kids/toddlers:

Clothes: jackets, T-shirts, tops, pants, shorts, bathing suits, cover-ups, half and full sleeve shirts, formal outfits, and rain jacket

Shoes: Sneakers, sandals, water shoes, flip-flops, and dress shoes

Accessories: Sunscreen, jewelry and makeup, hat, cap, socks, belt, gloves, sunglasses and fleece

Must-have: Name tags, essential documents, toddler bed, toys, medicines and sundries, rain gear, zip locks, current photos, sanitary items, and travel journal

For Seniors:

Clothes: Comfy casual pants, yoga pants, workout top, swimsuits, cover-ups, tunics and polo's, waterproof jacket, and elegant dinner wear

Footwear: Sneaker, running shoes, flats or low heels dress shoes, flip-flops, sandals, walking shoes

Accessories: Socks, sunscreens, small backpack, tote, evening bag, hat, cap, gloves and sunglasses

Must-have: Medicine and medical documents, I.D. proofs, emergency contact no., extra prescription, travel documents, and zipper bags

Tips on season dressing

Cruise is becoming a more popular holiday fix for adventure seekers to beach lovers. It gives you a chance to unwind and have fun with several onshore and onboard activities. So, to enjoy those activities, you need proper attire according to season. Go through this sub-point and enjoy cruise season dressing.

Warmer clothing

In case you are traveling during warmer days, make sure you carry below stuff:

For Men: Hooded jacket, active winter pants, cargo pants, thermal socks, woolen knit cap, and thermal pajama set

For Women: Leg warmer, skull cap, thermal socks, pullover cardigan, and water-resistant vest

For kids: Lightweight waterproof jacket, a warm hat, gloves, fleece pullovers, hand warmers, thermal pants, thermal socks, and sweater

For elder: Lightweight jacket, thermal pants, long pants, jeggings, blazer, woolen hats, blazer, hand warmers, body warmers, thermal socks, and knit cap

Summer clothing

In case you are itinerant during rainy days, make sure you carry below stuff:

For Men: Shorts, t-shirts, short-sleeve shirts, capris, Tuxedo, Hawaiian shirts, swim shorts, and lightweight jacket

For Women: Maxi dress, sundresses, shorts, linen pants, flowy pants, palazzo pants, cocktail dress, tunics, linen shorts, bikinis, swimsuits, cover-ups

For kids: T-shirts, shirts, sundresses for girls, short sleeves shirts for boys, jeans, party dresses, sweater, cardigans, leggings for girls, track pants, lightweight jackets, ponchos, swimsuits, and sleepwear

For elder: Sundresses, maxi dress, cocktail dress, line pants, palazzo pants and swimsuits with cover-ups

Tips on daily clothing

Playing dress-up starts at a very early age, but dressing for a cruise vacation is the most exciting task. Just to make you aware, cruise packing always involves more clothes than you would take on a typical break. Check out these easy to follow cruise packing tips to ensure you have everything on your cruise packing list.

Day-Time Dressing

Casual clothing is the key for most days when you are on a cruise vacation. Includes these items to your packing:

1. Proper swimsuit and decent covers-up

2. Jeans, slacks, or shorts according to your shore excursion

3. Comfortable sneakers to wear onboard

4. Comfortable tank tops, usual tops, t-shirts

5. Necessary garments like socks and lingerie

6. Casual accessories such as hats, caps, and sunglasses

Evening Dressing

The majority of cruise ships have a necessary dress code for their dining room in the evening. Clothes like cut-off shorts, capris, swimwear, and tank-tops are not allowed, but yes, you can wear "resort casual." Include this attire for the evening on Cruise.

1. They can wear anything like formal clothes, a suit, tuxedo, golf shirts, and short-sleeved shirts for men. Including ties and jacket or blazer

2. For women, they can wear evening gowns, casual long maxi, slacks, and formal blouse, skirts, or cocktail dress

Shore excursion

When you go on a coast expedition, you need to remain comfortable and should wear suitable attire. You can consider packing the following items listed below.

1. Linen pants or shorts with pockets

2. Comfortable shoes which are suitable for shore excursion

3. Appropriate outfit for regional places such as temples and churches

4. Functional swimwear for scuba diving, snorkeling, and other aquatic activities onshore excursion

Tips on Kids/toddlers Clothing

You are wondering what to pack for your kiddos while you go on a cruise? Kids packing for a cruise requires more stuff than if you're traveling solo or a couple. This cruise pack list will help you work out precisely what to take on a cruise with kids. If you're going on a cruise with kids, here are the detailed information about cruise do's and don'ts.

Everyday clothes

The most comfortable and suitable clothes for kids are casual wears. So, pack accordingly as they will spend their entire day in the kid's club, by the poolside, or in the arcade. Make sure you pack light clothes like tees and shorts for boys and sundresses for girls. For kids, cruises allow them to enter into the dining room with shorts.

For example, you are going on a 7-day cruise trip with your child. Here is the packing list & suggest what to wear on a cruise.

1. 8-10 t-shirts

2. 4-5 shorts

3. Short-sleeve shirt for boys and sundresses for girls

4. Jeans for formal nights

5. Party dresses for formal nights for girls

6. Leggings and track pants

7. Lightweight waterproof jacket or poncho

8. Crocs, sneakers, aqua shoes, and sandals

9. Swimsuits

10. Sleepwear

11. Undergarments

12. Accessories like hats, sunglasses, gloves, mufflers, and socks

P.S. Make sure you pack your kid's clothes & other Cruise Wear in one cube, so this makes things easier for parents!

Must have things for kids on Cruise

Few things must carry when you travel with your kids on a cruise. Here is the list of those stuffs.

1. I.D. Proofs/passport

2. First-aid kit

3. Bathing suits and cover-ups

4. Sunscreens

5. Toiletries

6. Reusable water bottle and few snacks

7. Walkie-talkie

8. Antibacterial wipes, sanitizers and diapers

9. Baby carrier

10. Inflatable infant pool

11. Soft blankets and pillows

12. Entertainment tools

13. Feeding items

14. Stain remover

15. Nightlight

What to wear on formal or gala nights

Whether they are kids, adults, or seniors, each and everyone loves to dress up that too for a cruise. It gives a feeling of a dream come true. Every night is a party night where people can dress their best. Sometimes, people get upset when they don't get the cruise line dress code according to their dressing style. So, here are examples of cruise lines listed by the dressing style of the travelers.

The formal set

If you want to attain the cruise elegant evening party, bring a fancier and more formal outfit. Here are some tips about what to wear on formal nights on your favorite Cruise.

1. Cunard Cruise line

Cunard is the classic line that remains top in the fashion class. There are three formal evenings in one week. Women can wear a cocktail dress, smart trousers, or an evening ball gown. And they recommend men to wear a sports jacket, dark suit or a tuxedo with appropriate tie or tux. Even they can wear a military uniform or any formal national dress.

2. P&O cruises

P&O upholds the British black-tie tradition for men on their four Gala-evenings on a two-week cruise. Mans can also opt for a tuxedo, dark suit, or formal national dress. Not only that, they encourage women to get into their favorite ball gowns, cocktail dress, or even smart trousers that they wish to wear. Moreover, people can get into resort wear on other formal nights by avoiding football shirts and tracksuits.

3. Seabourn Cruises

Seabourn organizes two formal evenings on a two-week cruise vacation. They allow men to wear dark business suits and traditional jackets for the formal nights and ask women to dress-up into cocktail dresses with the showiest jewelry and the sequined top. The guests on Seabourn dresses very well throughout the day. Even the cruises of Seabourn is considered as elegant casual were dressier. Here elegance means women wear a skirt or slacks with a blouse and men in their jacket with or without a tie.

4. Silversea Cruises

Silversea is famous as the most dressy cruise line. It allows less formality for those formal evenings, but still, jackets are required. For example, if you go for a short trip like nine days or less, there is only one-formal night, while longer trips have at least three formal nights. Women wear their cocktail or ball gowns. Men wear a dinner jacket, tuxedos, or dark suits with ties as a compulsory accessory.

5. Princess Cruises

The princess cruises recommends you to dress like you are in a resort. There is only one formal evening per week. They guide you to wearing a cocktail dress, evening gown, elegant pantsuit, jackets, suits, or slacks for gentlemen. For a casual evening, you can dress-up like you are in a restaurant while you're at home. Just make sure you avoid going into shorts or swimwear while you visit the onboard restaurant.

Freedom to get dressy

Some cruise lines ask you to dress according to them, while here it gives you the freedom to get dressed the way you want.

1. Celebrity Cruises

The celebrity cruise line's slogan for its formal nights is "Goodbye formals and hello to evening chic." So, they make sure that their guests feel comfortable in what they wear. They allow women to get into their most comfortable wear, skirt pants, designer jeans with an elegant top or cocktail dress. In contrast, gentlemen can opt for something button-down shirt or sweater with designer jeans or pants.

2. Costa Cruises

Although the rooms are luxurious, the atmosphere is relaxed, and you need the right clothing during your Costa cruise vacation. For an elegant evening, a cocktail dress or evening gown is best for women. Even men are encouraged to wear dark suits with ties or tuxedos. Moreover, for other evening nights, wear something like resort casual.

3. Disney Cruises

Disney cruises feature a range of varied dining experiences, from casual to chic. To preserve their restaurants' eclectic, elegant ambiance, you must adhere to a dress code. Women are encouraged to wear a dress or pantsuit. In contrast, gentlemen are encouraged to wear a jacket or tuxedo with a tie. Moreover, guests can wear some casual cruise wear on the rest of the nights by avoiding swimsuits and tank tops.

4. Holland America Line

The dress code on Holland America Line is mostly the "smart casual" evening. For the main dining room, gentlemen will wear a collared shirt or jacket and pants and elegant dress for the ladies such as dresses, skirts, or slacks with blouses in the Gala evenings. The only thing to avoid is beachwear, shorts, or tank tops.

5. MSC Cruises

MSC cruises generally organize two gala nights on cruises, in which men are requested to wear a jacket or suit with a tie and women in a cocktail dress. The standard dress code for the rest of the evening is casual resort wear. Sometimes they throw theme parties where you have to gear up your 60s and 70s floral dresses or white clothing for a white party. Moreover, Shorts are not allowed on deck after 6 pm.

6. Royal Caribbean Cruises

Royal Caribbean eased its dress code restriction in the year 2017. And guests were allowed to enter the main dining room when they are in shorts on casual evenings. So, they have one slogan for dressing up is "Wear your best." The cruise line replaced the formal attire with something casual and started believing in "Get Glamorous" for their guests.

Royal Caribbean allows their guest in smart casuals on other nights like they can wear collared-shirts with pantsuits. Women can wear their cocktail dresses or skirts and blouses. They only ask to avoid swimwear and shorts and tank tops during dinner time; else, you can wear shorts and tank tops during breakfast and lunch.

7. Azamara Cruises

Azamara believed in no set of formal nights. Still, to keep the cruise environment friendly and sophisticated, they encourage their guests to opt for a Resort Casual dress code. In case their guest wants to dress-up formally, they allow them and respect their choice.

8. Carnival Cruises

Two nights on Carnival cruises are known as Cruise Elegant night. People can dress according to their taste in an elegant evening. Even some people wear tuxedos and gowns for the portrait photo shoot. For fun, there is a theme party like a Rock-N-Glow party or Mega Deck party.

9. Hurtigruten Cruises

The dress code on Hurtigruten cruises is relaxed and casual. You are not expected to dress formally at the time of meals. Even you can go to the main dining in your sweaters and sportswear in the evening.

10. Norwegian Cruises

The Norwegian cruise line is a freestyle cruise line. It allows you to wear casual all the time, even in the elegant evenings. It has no specific dress code for its passengers. They also accept swimwear at the buffet, but they need to wear a cover-up shirt and footwear.

11. Oceania Cruises

Oceania cruises recommend their guests to wear country club or resort casual day clothes. And for a formal evening, they give freedom to wear elegant, relaxed resort wear. Instead of wearing shorts, jeans and tennis shoes in the evening, opt for something dressy after 6 in the evening.

12. Paul Gauguin Cruises

Paul Gauguin cruises encourage the country club casual or elegant resort wear. They allow you to avoid ties and opt for jackets with collared shirts and pants for gentlemen, and for women blouses with pants or skirts or else dresses.

13. Regent Seven Seas Cruises

On Regent Seven Seas cruises, there is only one dress code, and that is Elegant casual. When you go for a long cruise vacation, you will enjoy two formal evenings. Men wear collared shirts with jackets, and women are in their skirts or slacks with blouses or sweaters and dresses.

14. Star Clippers Cruises

When you plan your escape with the Star Clippers cruise line, it offers casual dressing all the time. Generally, they prefer that their guest comes in full pants and collared shirts for men and women should be in sweaters or blouses during evening time. Moreover, they ask to avoid shorts or t-shirt because their dining room is fully air-conditioned.

15. Sea Dream Yacht Cruises

The primary dress code of Sea Dream Yacht is casual. After they ask their passengers to avoid wear shorts and t-shirts, men can come in pants, with a formal shirt and a sports jacket. Moreover, women can come in a dress or skirt with a sweater, blouse or, casually elegant top.

Additional clothing tips for Cruise

Whether you are sailing on a cruise or planning what to wear on a cruise, these tips will help you style the most out of your clothing.

1. Pair up your clothes by mix-matching them and saving space in your luggage.

2. Add different type of eye-catching accessories such as ties, tux, jewelry, belts, shoes, scarfs, and other small items.

3. Try to use the laundry facility wherever you get. It will help you to reuse the clothes and will save space in the bag.

4. Pack only comfortable clothes and shoes and ensure they are in good condition.

5. Save some space in your luggage to pack the stuff that you purchase from Cruise's boutique.

6. Make sure you carry an extra bag for keeping your belongings while you travel on ports for a shore excursion.

Are you still doubting what you can wear on a cruise? In that case, you can contact the cruise line for the proper guidelines because some of the luxury cruises have strict guidelines for attire while gives you freedom of your choice.

Also, Read: Which is best cruise lines for foodies?

Other essential things to pack

Packing for a cruise is depend on the time of year you are traveling and the facilities your cruise line gives to you. Here are some additional clothing items and other essential things that may be useful and can include.

Clothes and accessories

1. Lightweight and waterproof jackets

2. Formal shawls

3. Wetsuits

4. Rain gear

5. Snorkeling gear

6. Workout outfit

Essential items

1. Id Proofs

2. Cash, credit card and ATM card

3. Purse, wallet or money belt

4. Medicines

Health and hygiene

1. Sanitary product

2. Mini first-aid kit

3. Important medicines

4. Medical prescriptions

5. Toothbrushes

6. Sample pack of soap, shampoo, oil, conditioners, and body lotions

7. Brush and comb

8. Feminine hygiene products

9. Insect repellant

Other items

1. Coffee mug

2. Zip bags

3. Waterproof smartphone cases

4. Shower hooks

5. Small and medium-size backpack

6. Protein bars

7. Multi-pin USB charger

8. Portable power

9. Sticky notes

10. Compass

11. Watch

12. Binoculars

13. A lanyard

14. Towel clip

15. Name tags

16. Mini sewing kit

17. Laundry bag

18. Anti-wrinkle spray and stain remover


1. Smartphones

2. Camera

3. Tablet/laptop

4. Universal charger

5. Power banks

6. Binocular

7. Headphones

8. Walkie-talkie

Carry-on items

These items will help you until you didn't receive your luggage.

1. Earbuds

2. Important documents

3. Medicines

4. Travel blanket and pillow

5. Eye mask

6. Clothes

7. Power strip

8. Books and food

9. Dry bag or tote bag

10. Antibacterial wipes

11. Wire hangers

12. Luggage tags

13. Packing cubes

14. Toiletry bag

15. Extra memory cards

16. Toys for kids (in case you have kids)

17. Lanyard

18. Nightlights

19. wristwatch

Final Words

It's time to think about What to wear on a Cruise and start your packing !!

Ensure that you remain fully prepare and look great when you are on your cruise vacation. Also, feel open to check out our other inspirational articles related to a cruise vacation.

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