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Tips for Cruising Outfits

Updated: Mar 30

One of the most frequently asked questions that I receive(d) as a (former onboard) cruise consultant is "what should I pack/wear"?

When it comes to packing, please make sure not to over pack, and remember that "in case of emergency", all cruise lines are offering laundry services, some with a fee (which can be high), and some by offering self-use laundry rooms on board.

When it comes to what should I wear, well, Cruising often involves a mix of activities, from casual strolls on the deck to formal dinners, but most importantly is to remember to check the weather forecast for your destination and plan accordingly, as choosing the right outfits can make your flight/cruise/journey more comfortable, enjoyable and with no surprises or disappointments.

Here are some tips for selecting cruise-appropriate clothing:

Casual Day Wear:

  • Pack comfortable and breathable clothing for daytime activities, such as shorts, lightweight tops, sundresses, and swimwear.

  • Don't forget a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen for sun protection.


  • Bring a couple of swimsuits, as you may want to alternate between them.

  • Consider a cover-up or beach dress for transitioning from the pool to other areas of the ship.

Evening Wear:

  • Check the cruise line's dress code for formal nights. Bring elegant attire for these occasions, such as cocktail dresses or suits.

  • Smart-casual outfits are suitable for most evenings. This could include sundresses, slacks, blouses, or collared shirts.


  • Comfortable sandals or flip-flops are essential for poolside and casual outings.

  • Bring a pair of dressier shoes for formal nights or upscale dining venues.


  • Evenings on the ship may get cooler, so bring a light sweater or jacket for added warmth.

  • Consider a shawl or scarf for a stylish layering option.

Theme Nights:

  • Some cruises have theme nights (e.g., tropical, 80s, or nautical). Pack accordingly if your cruise includes such events.

Activity-Specific Clothing:

  • If you plan to engage in specific activities like hiking, bring appropriate attire and footwear.

  • Consider workout gear if you intend to use the ship's fitness facilities.


  • Bring versatile accessories like statement jewelry or a stylish clutch for formal nights.

  • A wide-brimmed hat and a good pair of sunglasses can add flair to your daytime look.

Comfortable Walking Shoes:

  • Cruises often involve exploring ports of call. Comfortable walking shoes are crucial for shore excursions.

Consider the Destination:

  • Pack clothing appropriate for the climate of your destination.

  • Research any cultural dress codes that may influence your outfit choices.

Check Cruise Line Policies:

  • Some cruise lines have specific dress codes or recommendations. Check their guidelines to ensure you're well-prepared.

Remember to consider the duration of your cruise, the destinations you'll be visiting, and any specific activities you plan to partake in when selecting your outfits. Additionally, check for any dress code requirements provided by the cruise line to make sure you're appropriately dressed for each occasion.


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