Ellie's Travel Tips

Your Ultimate Cruise Clothes Guide: Packing for Style and Comfort Aboard

Posted on Last updated: February 18, 2024

Ahoy, travelers! Setting sail on a luxurious cruise is an experience unlike any other. From the gentle sway of the ship to the endless horizons, there’s magic in every moment.

Whether you’re a first-time cruiser or a veteran of the seas, join us on this voyage as we chart out the essential cruise clothes for both men and women.

So make sure to print out one of our free cruise planners , and let’s ensure you’re dressed to impress with the best cruise clothes, no matter where the waves take you!

clothes for cruise

Daytime Cruise Clothes

Navigating the vast array of day activities on a cruise can be both exhilarating and, admittedly, a bit overwhelming.

Whether you’re lounging on the sundeck, trying out the various onboard activities, or stepping ashore to explore a new city, your daywear should embody three core principles: comfort, style, and versatility.

Here’s how to make sure you’re perfectly attired from sunrise to sunset with cruise clothes.

Blouse cruise clothes

Casual Attire for Exploring Onboard or Port Cities

Breathable T-shirts or Blouses: A staple for any cruise wardrobe, these offer effortless style combined with utmost comfort. Opt for lighter colors or patterns that can easily be paired with shorts, skirts, or even jeans.

Comfortable Shorts or Skirts: Given the tropical or temperate climates you’re likely to encounter, shorts or skirts are indispensable. Look for breathable fabrics like cotton or linen. Consider packing a mix of lengths and styles to suit different occasions.

Light Dresses: A one-piece wonder, dresses are easy to throw on for a quick breakfast or a stroll in the port city. Sundresses or A-line dresses can be both chic and comfortable.

Stylish yet Comfortable Sandals or Walking Shoes: While flip-flops are great for the deck, a comfortable pair of sandals or closed-toed walking shoes are essential for those city tours or onboard activities.

casual cruise clothes

Polo Shirts or Casual T-shirts: A classic polo offers a neat look while t-shirts (plain or graphic) provide a laid-back vibe. Ensure they’re made of breathable materials to keep you cool.

Khaki Shorts or Lightweight Trousers: While shorts are ideal for hotter days, a pair of lightweight trousers can be a stylish choice for evening onboard activities.

Comfortable Sneakers or Sandals: Sneakers are versatile, perfect for both onboard activities and shore excursions. A comfortable pair of sandals can also be a good alternative for more relaxed days.

One-piece Swimsuits

Swimwear and Poolside Cruise Clothes

Let’s face it; a significant portion of your cruise will probably be spent by the pool. And why not? The glistening waters, the sun decks with their loungers, and, of course, the inviting pool bars! Here’s what to wear to make a splash.

One-piece Swimsuits or Bikinis: Depending on your style and comfort level, both are great choices. Consider bringing a couple of options to rotate during your trip.

Cover-ups or Kaftans: For those moments when you’re moving from the pool to the buffet or bar, a stylish cover-up or kaftan is essential. They offer a modest yet chic way to navigate the ship.

Slip-on Sandals or Flip-flops: Easy to wear and remove, these are poolside essentials.

Swim Trunks

Swim Trunks or Board Shorts: Available in various lengths and patterns, find one that suits your style and comfort.

Tank Tops or Tees for Cover: A quick throw-over for when you’re heading to the snack bar or just lounging on the deck.

Flip-flops or Slide Sandals: The ultimate in poolside footwear, these are easy to slip on and off.

Adventure Wear

Active and Adventure Wear (for excursions)

Cruise trips aren’t solely about sipping cocktails  having fun cruise experiences on the deck or basking in the sun. They’re often punctuated with heart-pounding adventures and excursions that whisk you away into the heart of new destinations.

Whether it’s hiking up a picturesque mountain, snorkeling in crystal-clear waters, or navigating through a bustling local market, you’ll need cruise clothes that matches the pace and spirit of these adventures.

athletic clothes for cruises

Quick-drying Tops: Materials like polyester or blends that wick away moisture are ideal. Whether you’re sweating from a hike or got a bit wet during a water-based activity, these tops will keep you dry and comfortable.

Athletic Shorts or Leggings: Depending on the nature of the activity and the expected weather, choose between shorts or full-length leggings. They should allow for maximum mobility without any discomfort.

Sturdy Walking Shoes or Hiking Boots: Depending on the terrain, a good pair of walking shoes with a grip or hiking boots might be necessary. Ensure they’re already broken in to avoid blisters.

walking from shore excursion

Moisture-wicking Shirts: Like the women’s tops, shirts for men should be able to handle sweat and perhaps a splash or two. They should be lightweight and comfortable.

Athletic Shorts or Trekking Pants: Shorts are great for warmer climates, but sometimes, long trekking pants can offer protection against plants, bugs, or the sun.

Sporty Shoes or Hiking Boots: Comfort is paramount. Like with women’s shoes, ensure they are broken in and suited for the type of excursion you’ll be undertaking.

When choosing active and adventure wear, always consider the specific nature of the excursions you’re planning. Some might require more specialized gear, while others might be a casual stroll through a town or beach.

Always remember, it’s not just about looking good, but also about ensuring safety and comfort during these activities.

Evening Attire

Evening Cruise Clothes

As the golden hues of the day give way to the twinkling stars of the night, the atmosphere on a cruise ship takes on a more refined and sophisticated vibe. Evenings onboard are a delightful blend of dining, dancing, shows, and making memories.

Whether it’s the soft melodies of a piano bar, the glamour of a captain’s dinner, or the excitement of a Broadway-style show, packing cruise clothes for dressing the part can make your evening even more special. Let’s help you shine under the cruise ship chandeliers!


Casual Dining

Many cruises offer a relaxed dining experience for those nights when you just want to kick back. While the ambiance is laid-back, it’s a tad more upscale than your daytime cruise clothes.

Sundresses or Maxi Dresses: Flowy and comfortable, these dresses are perfect for a relaxed dinner. They’re stylish without being overly formal.

Comfortable Sandals or Ballet Flats: After a long day of excursions, your feet deserve some comfort. Opt for embellished sandals or chic ballet flats that match your dress.

Button-up Shirt

Button-up Shirts: Whether it’s a classic white or a playful print, a button-up shirt is a versatile choice for casual dining.

Slacks or Chinos: A step up from shorts, these trousers strike the right balance between casual and classy.

Loafers or Dress Sandals: Keep it comfortable, but avoid athletic shoes. A nice pair of loafers or even dressy sandals would be apt.

Formal Nights

Certain nights on the cruise, often dubbed as “Captain’s Nights” or “Gala Nights”, require a touch of elegance. It’s an opportunity to pull out all the stops and dress to the nines (and maybe snap some great cruise photos !).

Cocktail Dress

Cocktail Dresses or Elegant Gowns: Depending on the level of formality of the cruise line, a cocktail dress or a full-length gown would be suitable. Think of sequins, satin, and all things glam!

Heels or Sophisticated Flats: While heels elevate the look, if you’re not comfortable in them, opt for jeweled or polished flats.

Evening Clutches: Ditch the daytime tote and carry a sleek clutch to hold your essentials and match your evening cruise clothes.


Suits or Tuxedos: While a well-fitted suit is a universal choice, some ultra-luxury cruises might require a tuxedo for their most formal nights.

Dress Shoes: Polished and pristine, pair them with your suit or tuxedo for that complete look.

Bowtie or Tie: Depending on the dress code and personal preference, finalize your look with either a classic tie or a dapper bowtie.

Dressing up in the evening isn’t just about adhering to the cruise’s dress code; it’s an experience in itself. It’s the thrill of preparing for a night of enchantment, the anticipation of gourmet meals, and the promise of unforgettable memories.

tropical night cruise

Themed Nights and Special Celebrations

Cruise ships are renowned for their penchant for throwing themed parties or special celebrations. These can range from the elegance of a ‘ White Night ‘ to the playful nostalgia of a ’70s Disco Evening’.

Participating in these themed events not only enhances your cruise experience but is also a fabulous way to interact and make new friends. Let’s dive into some popular themes and how to pack your cruise clothes for them!

Flowy White Dress

White Night or Tropical Evening

An all-white attire event or a tropical-themed soirée is common, especially in Caribbean or tropical cruises.

Flowy White Dress or Tropical Print Maxi: Embrace the theme with a breezy white dress or go bold with tropical prints.

Strappy Sandals: Match your outfit with white or metallic sandals.

Tropical Accessories: Think flower hairpins, bead necklaces, or even a colorful sarong.

Tropical Print Shirt

White Linen Shirt or Tropical Print Shirt: Stay cool and stylish in a linen shirt or embrace the tropical vibes with bold prints.

White Shorts or Chinos: Pair with your shirt for a seamless look.

Espadrilles or Sandals: Comfortable footwear that complements the theme.

'70s Disco outfit for cruise

’70s Disco or Retro Night

A chance to revisit the golden era of disco balls and groovy tunes.

Sequined Dress or Jumpsuit: The ’70s were all about glam and shimmer. Choose a glittery dress or a stylish jumpsuit.

Platform Shoes: Elevate your look (literally!) with these iconic shoes.

Hoop Earrings and Headbands: Perfect accessories to complete the retro look.

man in 70s attire

Shiny Satin Shirt: Opt for bold colors or patterns.

Bell-Bottom Pants: A must-have for the disco theme!

Platform Shoes or Loafers: To dance the night away.

nautical cruise theme night

Nautical Night

Celebrating the very essence of being at sea with themed cruise clothes.

Navy or Striped Dress: Stick to a maritime color palette – think navy, white, and red.

Espadrilles or Navy Flats: A perfect match for the nautical theme.

Anchor or Ship Wheel Accessories: Subtle jewelry or accessories can elevate your look.


Striped Polo or Navy Shirt: Embody the nautical vibe with appropriate colors.

White Shorts or Chinos: Provides a crisp contrast to your navy top.

Boat Shoes: The quintessential choice for this theme.

Remember, while dressing up for themed nights is a ton of fun, it’s not obligatory. The idea is to enjoy yourself and immerse in the spirit of the cruise.

If you’re not up for a full costume, even subtle nods to the theme through accessories or colors can work wonders.

top must have cruise accessories

Essential Cruise Clothes Accessories

Cruise accessories can be the unsung heroes of your cruise wardrobe. Not only do they elevate an outfit, but they can also be practical additions to ensure smooth sailing throughout your trip.

Let’s delve into the various accessories, both functional and fashionable, that you shouldn’t forget to pack.

Wide-brimmed Hats

Sun Protection Gear

Safeguarding yourself from the blazing sun is crucial, especially when you’re out on the open sea or exploring sunny port destinations.

For Women & Men

Wide-brimmed Hats or Caps: Protects your face from direct sunlight and adds a chic or sporty touch to your outfit.

Sunglasses: A stylish pair with UV protection is non-negotiable. Consider bringing a more casual pair and a dressier one.

UV Protective Clothing: Especially beneficial for excursions, these are pieces designed with fabric that blocks harmful rays.


Your choice of footwear can make all the difference in your comfort and overall cruise experience.

Wedges: An elegant alternative to stilettos, especially when walking on the deck.

Water Shoes: Perfect for beach excursions or water-based activities.

Dress Sandals: A more breathable choice for formal nights.

Water-resistant Slides: Great for quick trips around the ship or beach lounging.

Crossbody Bag

Bags and Pouches

Being organized and having essentials at hand can drastically improve your cruise experience.

Crossbody Bag: Keeps your hands free during excursions and provides security for your essentials.

Tote Bag: Ideal for poolside lounging, it can house your book, sunscreen, and other necessities.

Messenger Bag or Backpack: For keeping essentials handy during shore trips.

Duffle Bag: Useful for carrying gym gear or for extended shore excursions.

Water-resistant Watch

Jewelry and Timepieces

While jewelry adds a touch of glam, a trusty timepiece ensures you’re always on schedule.

Statement Necklaces or Earrings: Can instantly elevate a simple dress for formal nights.

Water-resistant Watch: Practical yet stylish, ensures you’re always punctual for onboard activities.

Cufflinks: A subtle touch of sophistication for those formal nights.

Dive Watch: Combines functionality with style, especially if you’re into water sports.

Travel Scarf


Travel Scarf or Shawl: Perfect for breezy evenings on the deck or when the indoor areas get too chilly.

Collapsible Water Bottle: Stay hydrated during shore excursions without adding bulk.

Travel Umbrella: For those unexpected drizzles during port visits.

Accessories are not just add-ons; they can define a cruise clothes outfit and enhance your cruise experience. Always remember to balance style with comfort and functionality.

As we wrap up our guide on cruise clothes, let’s touch upon a few general packing tips to make your cruise vacation as seamless and enjoyable as possible.

cruise packing tips

Packing Tips and Tricks for a Seamless Cruise Vacation

Now that we’ve navigated the vast sea of cruise clothes and accessories, let’s anchor down on some general packing tips .

Preparing for a cruise isn’t just about what to pack, but also how to pack. These considerations can be the difference between a stressful trip and a smooth-sailing voyage.

cruise essentials and cruise packing list pdf

Luggage Restrictions

Before you start packing, always check your cruise line’s luggage restrictions.

Weight and Size Limits: Most cruises are generous with luggage allowance, but it’s always wise to check. Remember, you’ll also have to consider any flight restrictions if you’re flying to the port.

Carry-on Bag: Ideal for your first day onboard. Pack essentials like medications, swimwear (in case you want to hit the pool immediately), and any other immediate necessities.

cruise packing tips (2)

Laundry Services

Most cruise ships offer laundry services, which can influence how much you pack.

Onboard Laundry: If you’re comfortable with the prices and services offered, you can pack lighter and get a laundry load or two done during the trip.

Quick Drying Clothes: If you prefer to hand wash a few items, bring quick-drying clothes that can easily be rinsed and hung in your cabin.

Disney Vacation Cruise Packing

Dress Code Adherence

Beyond the suggested attire we’ve covered, some cruises have specific dress code rules.

Formal Nights: Some luxury cruises might have more stringent dress codes for their gala or captain’s dinners.

Religious or Cultural Sensitivity: If your cruise stops at religious sites or conservative countries, ensure you have attire that respects local customs.

cruise accessories

Weather can be unpredictable at sea. Packing cruise clothes with layering in mind can save space and offer versatility.

Mix and Match: Choose neutral bottoms or skirts that can be paired with multiple tops.

Transitional Outfits: Clothes that can easily transition from day to night with the addition of a few accessories or a change of shoes… especially if you are headed up to Alaska !

packing list for a cruise

Space-saving Techniques

Maximizing your luggage space can make packing and unpacking more efficient.

Rolling vs. Folding: Rolling clothes can sometimes save more space and reduce wrinkles.

Packing Cubes: These can compartmentalize your luggage, making it easier to find items and repack.

Shoes Storage: Place socks or small items inside your shoes to utilize all available space.

essentials for our cruise

Travel Essentials

Beyond clothing, ensure you have all the essential documents and items for your trip.

Passport and Necessary Visas: Keep them in a waterproof pouch or a dedicated wallet.

Medications and Health Essentials: Always in your carry-on and in their original packaging.

Power Adapters or Converters: Especially if your cruise has international sockets or if you’re traveling to various countries.

Preparing for a cruise goes beyond just cruise clothes packing—it’s about anticipating needs, being prepared for various scenarios, and ensuring your trip is as hassle-free as possible.

With these considerations in mind, you’re not just geared up for a cruise; you’re set to embark on an unforgettable journey with style, grace, and confidence!

cruise clothes packing tips

Common Cruise Packing Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

Setting sail on a cruise is exciting, but ensuring you have everything you need can be a daunting task.

Overpacking cruise clothes, forgetting cruise essentials , or neglecting the dress code can throw a wrench in your vacation plans. Here’s a list of some frequent missteps made by travelers and tips to sidestep them.


The Mistake: Bringing half your wardrobe “just in case.” This not only makes it difficult to find what you need but can also lead to excess baggage fees.

How to Avoid It:

  • List Before Packing: Make a detailed list before you start packing and stick to it.
  • Capsule Wardrobe: Focus on mix and match items, so fewer pieces can create more outfits.

cruise clothes packing tips

Neglecting Cruise Line Dress Codes

The Mistake: Assuming all cruises have the same dress standards and finding yourself either overdressed or underdressed.

  • Check Cruise Line’s Guidelines: Every cruise line is different; always refer to your specific line’s dress code.
  • Pack Versatile Items: Pieces that can be dressed up or down based on the occasion.

Forgetting Essential Documents

The Mistake: Realizing at the last minute that you’ve forgotten your passport, booking confirmation, or travel insurance.

  • Document Checklist: Make a list of all essential documents and check them off as you pack.
  • Digital Backups: Store scanned copies of crucial documents in your email or a cloud storage.

cruise clothes packing tips

Neglecting Port Stops

The Mistake: Focusing only on onboard attire and forgetting about what you might need for shore excursions, especially in culturally conservative areas.

  • Research Port Stops: Familiarize yourself with the local culture and expected cruise clothes for your cruise ports .
  • Pack Accordingly: Bring suitable clothing for the destinations you’ll visit, such as conservative attire for religious sites.

Overlooking Footwear

The Mistake: Packing only one pair of shoes or not considering the various activities you’ll be partaking in.

  • Diverse Footwear: Include a good mix – comfortable walking shoes for excursions, formal shoes for evenings, and flip-flops for poolside lounging.
  • Wear Bulky Shoes: If space is a concern, wear your bulkiest pair during travel to save luggage space.

cruise clothes packing tips

Overdoing Toiletries

The Mistake: Lugging around full-sized shampoo bottles and lotions which consume space and add weight.

  • Travel-sized Items: Opt for miniature versions of your favorite products.
  • Check What’s Provided: Many all-inclusive cruises offer basic toiletries, so you might not need to pack them.

Ignoring the Weather

The Mistake: Assuming it will be sunny when packing cruise clothes because you’re heading to a tropical destination, only to be met with unexpected rain or cold fronts.

  • Weather Check: Look up the expected weather for your cruise dates and destinations.
  • Pack for All Scenarios: Include a lightweight rain jacket and a sweater, even if you expect warm weather.

Not Planning for Connectivity

The Mistake: Assuming you’ll have the same connectivity at sea as on land and not preparing for potential communication blackouts.

  • Download Offline Maps: Useful for port stops.
  • Portable Chargers: Keep your devices charged during long excursions.

Packing your cruise clothes and more doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By being aware of these common pitfalls and planning accordingly, you can ensure a hassle-free and enjoyable cruising experience. After all, the focus should be on the horizon ahead, not what’s missing in your suitcase!

cruise clothes packing tips

Navigating the Waves of Cruise Fashion with Ease

Embarking on a cruise is more than just a vacation – it’s an experience, an adventure into the blue yonder. Like any grand journey, a cruise is best enjoyed when you’re prepared, not just in terms of itinerary but also in what you wear and carry.

The right cruise clothes and accessories can accentuate your experience, making you comfortable during shore excursions, glamorous during formal evenings, and cozy during those tranquil moments on the deck.

While the vast expanse of the ocean might seem overwhelming, the key to cruise packing doesn’t have to be. As we’ve navigated through the intricacies of cruise fashion, we’ve underscored a balance – between elegance and comfort, between the essential and the extra.

Remember, the cruise itself is like a well-coordinated dance of experiences, from sunlit days to starry nights. With the right wardrobe choices, you can glide through this dance seamlessly, enjoying every beat, every moment.

So as you close your suitcase and set your sights on the horizon, know that you’re not just prepared for a journey, you’re ready for memories that will last a lifetime. Here’s to smooth seas, scenic ports, and stylish cruise clothes!

Bon voyage and may the winds be always at your back! 🚢✨

FAQs on Cruise Clothes

Navigating through the world of cruise fashion can stir up a tide of questions. Whether you’re a first-time cruiser or a seasoned sailor, there are always inquiries that pop up… and we got the top cruise tips and tricks for you!

Here’s a roundup of some frequently asked questions about cruise clothing to make sure you’re ship-shape for your voyage!

Q1: Do I need to pack formal attire for every cruise?

A: Not necessarily. While many cruises have formal nights, the number and dress code vary by cruise line. Always check with your specific cruise’s guidelines. However, it’s wise to pack at least one semi-formal outfit, just in case.

Q2: Are swimsuits acceptable everywhere onboard?

A: Generally, swimsuits are only appropriate around pool areas. If you’re walking through indoor sections or dining areas, it’s respectful (and often required) to wear a cover-up, shorts, or a dress over your swim attire.

Q3: How versatile should my shore excursion cruise clothes be?

A: It’s best to plan for a variety of activities. You might be exploring a historic city in the morning and hitting the beach in the afternoon. Quick-drying, breathable clothes that can be layered are ideal.

Q4: Do cruises provide laundry facilities?

A: Most cruise ships offer laundry services for an additional fee. Some even have self-service laundromats. It’s useful to check in advance if you plan to pack light and do laundry onboard.

Q5: Can I wear heels on the cruise?

A: Yes, but be cautious. The ship can sway, making it challenging to walk in high heels. For formal nights, consider wedges or block heels for women as they provide better stability.

Q6: Is there a limit to how much luggage I can bring?

A: While cruise ships tend to be more lenient than airlines, there might be restrictions based on cabin size and storage space. It’s always wise to check with your cruise line beforehand.

Q7: Do I need different outfits for indoor and outdoor activities on the ship?

A: While there’s no strict rule, comfort is key. Light, breathable outfits are best for sunbathing or outdoor sports. Indoors, where temperatures might be cooler due to air conditioning, consider layering with a light sweater or shawl.

Q8: Are there any clothes I should avoid packing?

A: It depends on the cruise. However, as a general rule, avoid overly casual wear (like gym shorts) in formal dining areas and ensure you have appropriate attire for religious or culturally conservative port stops.

Q9: How can I minimize wrinkles in my packed clothes?

A: Rolling clothes instead of folding, using tissue paper between layers, and packing garments in dry cleaning bags can help reduce wrinkles. Additionally, many cruise cabins come equipped with irons.

Q10: Is it better to underpack or overpack for a cruise?

A: Strive for a balance. Overpacking can lead to clutter and potential baggage fees, while underpacking might leave you unprepared. Focus on versatile items that can be mixed, matched, and layered.

Q11: Are themed nights common on cruises? Should I pack specifically for them?

A: Many cruises have themed nights like tropical luaus, 80s retro parties, or pirate evenings. It’s fun to participate, but participation is often optional. Check with your cruise line for any themed evenings and pack accordingly if you’re interested.

Q12: What’s the best way to pack accessories without losing or tangling them?

A: Use jewelry organizers or small pouches to keep items separate. Necklaces can be threaded through straws or rolled in tissue paper to prevent tangling. Earrings can be fastened onto buttons to keep pairs together.

Q13: If I buy clothes or accessories during my shore excursions, are there restrictions to bring them onboard?

A: Most cruise lines allow you to bring items purchased ashore. However, items like local alcohol or certain foods might have restrictions. Always check customs regulations and the cruise line’s policies.

Q14: How should I dress for onboard activities like spas, gyms, or entertainment shows?

A: For spas, bring swimwear if they have pools or jacuzzis. Gyms require proper sportswear and shoes. Entertainment shows can range from casual to semi-formal, depending on the cruise line and the type of show.

Q15: Do cruises have shops onboard to purchase clothing or accessories?

A: Yes, most cruise ships have boutiques onboard where you can buy clothing, accessories, and even formal wear. However, prices can be higher than onshore, so it’s primarily for emergency needs or splurging.

Q16: How should I dress for dinners on non-formal nights?

A: Most cruises expect “smart casual” attire for dinners on non-formal nights. For men, this might mean slacks and a polo or button-down shirt. For women, a nice blouse with trousers or a casual dress works.

Q17: Will I need specific clothing for adventure activities during shore excursions, like hiking or water sports?

A: Absolutely. If you’ve planned activities like hiking, pack suitable footwear and clothing. For water sports, besides swimwear, consider UV-protective shirts or rash guards.

Q18: Can I rent clothing or accessories onboard?

A: Some luxury cruise lines offer tuxedo rental for men on formal nights, but it’s less common to find general clothing rental. If you think you might need something, it’s safer to pack it.

Q19: What’s the protocol for tipping on cruises and does attire play a role?

A: Tipping policies vary by cruise line. Some include gratuities in the fare; others expect passengers to tip individually. While attire doesn’t usually influence tipping, dressing respectfully in dining areas is always a good gesture.

Q20: Is there a “faux pas” in cruise clothes I should be aware of?

A: Every cruise and its passengers can have different expectations. Generally, wearing swimwear away from the pool areas, being too casual in formal dining rooms, or not adhering to themed or formal night dress codes are considered faux pas.

Embarking on a cruise is a journey of discovery – of places, cultures, and seas. The right clothing choices can enhance your experience, ensuring you’re prepared for every adventure while looking your best.

The key is balance, blending style with comfort, and elegance with practicality. Safe voyaging!

Flashpacker Family is a family travel blog sharing adventures and tips on travel with kids.

12 Cruise Outfits You’ll Love to Wear

Taking a cruise is a once in a lifetime experience. Cruising gives you the chance to relax by the pool, sightsee & shop at various ports, go on thrilling excursions and dine on incredible meals. A cruise is the ultimate vacation! Plan your cruise outfits carefully and not only will you look good in your photos but you’ll also be able to travel relatively light. Read my complete cruise ship packing list with printable PDF checklist that you can download.

Wondering what to wear on a cruise? Cruise ship attire can be a little tricky to plan, especially if this is your first cruise. Cruise attire varies from a bathing suit & cover up to cocktail dresses and if you’re not careful you can end up way overpacking. With this post, I’ve put together 12 outfits for a cruise that will take you from excursions to evening easily, without stuffing your suitcase. You’ll see that all my cruise clothing can be mixed and matched to create multiple cruise ship outfits from just a few key pieces.

These Caribbean cruise outfits are by no means definitive but I just want to show you how easy cruise wear can be to put together when you know how. With seven basic pieces you can build so many different outfits for cruise activities and excursions, pack light and, most importantly, look fantastic.

Note that this is all Caribbean cruise attire but almost all these outfits would work for a Mediterranean cruise also. You can read my European Cruise Packing List post here.

If you’re looking for advice on what to wear on an Alaskan cruise, please see my Alaska Cruise Packing List for lots of ideas as your outfits for this will be much, much different than the ones listed below.

Cruise Wardrobe Essentials

For a full list of what to bring on a cruise, read my Ultimate Cruise Packing List here.  We also just on our first cruise with Carnival so I created a Carnival cruise packing list too .

My cruise wardrobe ideas are all built on a few key pieces. With these few items and a few well-chosen accessories you can create so many outfits to wear on a cruise! You’ll notice that all the accessories I’ve picked to go with this cruise dress attire have been repeated throughout the outfits. I’ve included plus-size alternatives to the key basic pieces and of course the accessories are all plus-size friendly. I have also tried to pick affordable pieces with many  items coming in under $35.

  • White bermuda shorts   – Add a pair of denim shorts too and double the amount of outfits you have. If you don’t do shorts, you can switch these out for capri pants.
  • Striped t-shirts   – A couple of striped t-shirts are perfect for a cruise and nicely nautical.
  • White jeans   – White jeans or pants are a great cruise outfit. If you don’t want to wear jeans, you can switch these out for linen pants or capri pants. See my list of the best travel pants for more ideas.
  • Sundress   – So simple and easy. I’ve gone for a royal blue here but this dress comes in lots of colors. Add a black one in for even more outfit options.
  • Maxi dress  – Easy and comfortable to wear on travel days, around the ship or when you feel your waist expanding from all the delicious food onboard! A solid is more versatile than a print but you could easily bring along a second dress in a print.
  • Black jumpsuit  – Stylish and versatile. You can build so many cruise outfits ideas with a black jumpsuit as a base. If you’re not comfortable trying out a jumpsuit a black maxi dress would work instead.
  • Kimono   – A super lightweight addition to any women’s wardrobe and one of the best cruise wardrobe items. It can be used as a pool cover up with a bathing suit and flip flops.

Here are my Ideas for Best Cruise Outfits!

Bright maxi dress for day.

A maxi dress is one of the best outfits for cruise ship passengers because it is lightweight, comfortable and works with many body types. Just remember to pack a suitable bra if you’re getting one like this with spaghetti straps.

  • White cat eye Ray Ban sunglasses
  • Floral print scarf
  • Brown beach tote
  • Tan sandals

Plus size option:

Bright Maxi Dress Dressed Up for Evening

  • Black & teal statement necklace & earrings
  • Peacock print sequinned purse
  • Gold wedge sandals

Colourful Tunic with Shorts for Day

This is perfect casual cruise attire for on or off the ship.

  • Colorful tunic
  • White vest top for underneath
  • White bermuda shorts

Plus size options:

  • White bermuda shorts or capri pants if you’re not comfortable in shorts
  • Pink tunic or blue print tunic or aqua tunic

Colorful Tunic with White Jeans for Evening

  • Gold statement necklace
  • Gold wristlet purse
  • White jeans

Black Jumpsuit for Sightseeing Excursion

A black jumpsuit is one of the best outfits for a cruise! It’s so versatile and stylish.

  • Black jumpsuit
  • Aviator sunglasses

Black Jumpsuit for Formal Dining

This jumpsuit goes easily from daywear to attire for Captain’s dinner on a cruise just by switching out the accessories for more glamorous options. If you don’t want to do a jumpsuit then a black dress would also make perfect cruise dinner attire.

  • Black sheer & beaded bolero
  • Black strappy heels
  • Sequin bolero

Striped T-Shirt for Easy Excursions

A nautical-inspired striped t-shirt is one of the nicest cruise wear ideas. Comfortable, practical and easy to wear. I like this one because it’s slightly longer length means it covers my butt but could also be knotted at the side or tucked in and flounced over jeans.

  • Striped t-shirt
  • Sketchers Go Walk sneakers

Striped T-Shirt for Smart Casual Dining

  • Blue statement necklace

Kimono with Sundress for Day

This is classic cruise casual attire and would work for a city sightseeing excursion or a day at the beach. The kimono provides good sun coverage for your back & shoulders and can be worn over a swimsuit as a beach coverup also.

  • Sundress (Same dress as picture, goes up to 3XL)

Kimono with Chiffon Vest & White Jeans for Evening

  • Chiffon tank top
  • Longer length vest top – the one pictured above does go up to 2XL though

Simple Sundress for Informal Evening

Dressed up sundress for formal dining.

Cruise ship dinner attire for formal dining evenings doesn’t have to be a cocktail dress or evening gown. You can dress up a simple sundress with the right accessories.

I hope you enjoyed my cruise wardrobe planner!

These cruise clothes ideas are based on my own experience on two Caribbean cruises. I way overpacked my Caribbean cruise wardrobe on my first cruise. I didn’t know what proper cruise attire was so packed much more than I needed, just in case. By my second cruise I had some practical experience on cruise attire ideas based on what other travelers wore on board and what I did and didn’t use from my first experience. On my second cruise our whole family of four managed to travel in just one carry on backpack!

On my first cruise with RCL I did note that Royal Caribbean cruise attire was slightly dressier in my experience than what we observed on our second cruise with Norwegian. As mentioned above, we just went on a Carnival cruise too so I have put together a packing list for that also.

Now you should have some really good ideas on proper cruise attire for women. Be sure to drop me a comment below to let me know if this blog post helped you pack for your cruise.

Join Our Facebook Group to Chat More About Cruise Packing Tips

If you want to ask a specific question, chat to other cruisers about what to pack for your cruise or share your own cruise packing advice then join our Facebook group on Cruise Packing Tips!  Whether you’re going on a honeymoon cruise , cruising with kids or just treating yourself to a much needed vacation, these outfits should cover it! We would love to help you work out exactly what to pack or hear your own ideas about what gear you use on your cruise. Join us for some fun and friendly discussions.

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Use Pinterest to keep track of all your travel and fashion ideas. You can follow my cruising board here and my packing tips board here .

12 Cruise Outfits You'll Love to Wear Using Just 7 Key Pieces!

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Love your wardrobe planners!

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Thank you Mary! 🙂

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Thanks a lot didn’t know what to wear

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This is some awesome information for my first cruise. I always seem to pack to much. This helps to know how to mix n match perfectly! Thanks

Thanks Kay! I’m glad it’s helpful!

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This is great! Has given me lots of ideas for my first cruise. Thanks

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Great idea’s! Going on my 2nd cruise on the 19th!

Awesome Karri! Where are you cruising to on this trip?

We’re going to Montego Bay, Georgetown and Cozumel on Carnival!

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I am going on my first cruise…a New England cruise on Carnival Sunshine in early September ….what are some suggestions to pack as I am not sure of the weather at that time of year..

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Great ideas for a cruise wardrobe and I really like all the outfits.

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Thank you for the great cruise wardrobe ideas! We are cruising the Mediterranean at the beginning of October. Do I pack for the Fall/seaon or ignore the season for cruise wear?

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Love, love, love this post! Thank you so much for breaking down the clothing into outfits. I am going on a ten day cruise to the Caribbean in February. I am following your packing suggestions. Our cruise will be on an Italian ship (MSC Divina) leaving from Miami. We will be visiting the US Virgin Islands, St. Kitts & Nevis, Martinique, Barbados, and Guadeloupe.

Have you tried the black jumpsuit that you reference on Amazon? I am considering buying it, but I was wondering what your experience has been with it.

As for sandals, I love the Abeo brand available from the Walking Company because of the arch support that they provide. I’ve had plantar fasciitis before, so now I always wear shoes with good arch support.

Awesome Karen! I have plantar fasciitis on and off too so definitely wear comfy sandals. How tall are you? The jumpsuit is long but I’m only 5’2″ so needed it taken up.

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This is a brilliant list and I’m even more grateful for the plus sized versions! This will make things so simple! ?

Thanks for the compliment Jennifer! Gotta represent for the plus size ladies! 🙂

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I like the combinations but do you really need a hand bag or clutch on a cruise? I never carry a bag so I don’t get it.

No, you don’t need it. Sometimes it’s just nice to have to complete the outfit though. You don’t need it for cash of course but for your cruise card and a bit of extra lipstick to touch up after dinner is always nice. Especially if you’re having photos on formal night.

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This was so helpful as I plan my first cruise in April. We are sailing on the Summit from San Juan on a 7 day trip. I am a planner and guilty of overpacking, overthinking scenarios. We are doing 2 excursions and have to consider that attire as well. Thank you

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Sail in style: the ultimate cruise outfits packing list for every adventure 2024.

Cruise outfits packing list

Have a cruise booked and have no idea what to pack?   You’ve come to the right place! In this post, I’m sharing everything you need to know to help you prepare for your upcoming cruise, including packing tips to stay organized, what to pack for a 7 day cruise (or any length), what to wear on a Caribbean cruise, where to buy cruise outfits for women, and so much more!

Table of Contents

Cruise outfits packing list for every adventure.

If you’re reading this post, that means you’re likely headed on a cruise (yay!). However, that also means it’s time to start navigating the seas of packing, which, as we know, can sometimes be a daunting task that might make you want to jump overboard. This is where I come in! 

I’ve been lucky enough to go on several cruises over the years with both family and friends, and I also live in Florida, where basically every day feels like the endless summer, so I’d say I’m pretty qualified when it comes to resort wear. 

In this post, I’m going to be sharing the ultimate packing list for cruise to Caribbean, including what to pack for a 5 day cruise, what to wear on a cruise to the Bahamas, cruise outfit ideas for every adventure, and everything in between. Plus, I’ve got you covered with a FREE cruise packing list printable  below. Bon Voyage!

Need some additional help packing? Check out these related reads!

  • The ultimate beach vacation packing list
  • Jetsetter’s guide: Must have carry on essentials for effortless travel
  • Pack like a pro: 20+ must-have travel essentials for every trip
  • How to use the best packing cubes for travel

DISCLOSURE : This post contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.

Cruise outfits packing tips & tricks

  • Research your cruise itinerary. Before you start packing, familiarize yourself with the ports of call and onboard activities scheduled for your cruise. Knowing the destinations you’re visiting and any planned events will help you pack accordingly for both. 
  • Bring any important documents onboard with you. This may be a no-brainer, but make sure you have your ID, passport, and any cruise documentation readily available when checking in for your cruise. Do not pack these items in your checked bag, or you will likely be unable to board your cruise. 
  • Dress for the occasion. Most cruise ships have a variety of dining options ranging from casual to formal, so be sure to pack appropriate outfits for each setting. I would also check to see if your cruise has a Captain’s dinner, which typically requires more formal attire, and if any themed events are going on that you would need special outfits for. 
  • Pack versatile clothing. Cruise cabins can be cozy, and storage space may be limited, so it’s essential to pack efficiently. I personally recommend packing mostly neutral colors that you can mix and match with a few accent colors that express your own personal style. Make sure to check out some of my outfit suggestions below!
  • Opt for lightweight clothing. Like any trip you go on, it’s always important to check the weather before you begin packing. Most cruises are usually headed somewhere tropical, so I recommend bringing lightweight clothing that’s breathable (like linen) and will dry quickly. Denim is definitely a no bueno!
  • Maximize your carry on bag. Your checked luggage may not be delivered right away, so be sure to pack a small carry-on bag with essentials like medications, sunscreen, a swimsuit, and any valuables. This will ensure that you can start enjoying your vacation as soon as you board the ship!
  • Don’t forget to put a luggage tag on your checked bag. If you want your checked bag to be delivered to the right cabin, make sure to print and properly fill out the luggage tags that your cruise line provides (here’s a clear holder for them, too). I would also include a regular luggage tag on your bag as a precautionary measure, and it wouldn’t hurt to include an  AirTag  so you can track the status!
  • There’s no such thing as too much sun protection. You’ll likely be spending most of your time outside, whether you’re lounging on deck or exploring the ports, so it’s important to have sunscreen on hand at all times. I also recommend packing a straw hat for additional protection and even some sun shirts if you have fair skin (like me). 
  • Bring seasickness remedies. If you tend to get seasick, I recommend packing Dramamine and motion sickness bands or patches . Most cruise ships have a small convenience store and will likely have these items available for purchase, but it’s always a good idea to bring your own, just in case. 
  • Pack power strips and chargers. As mentioned, most cruise ships can be quite cozy and have limited power outlets, so a power strip will definitely come in handy for charging all your devices. Click here to shop my favorite one from Amazon, which has both plugs and USB outlets. 
  • Utilize packing organization products. I recommend packing organization products for any trip ( packing cubes are my jam), but they are especially helpful on cruises due to limited storage and cabin space. Not only will packing cubes help you pack more efficiently and avoid overpacking, but they will also allow you to categorize your items, making it much easier to find what you’re looking for. 
  • Items you didn’t know you needed. Some other random items on cruises that are helpful to have include a refillable water bottle , a lanyard to hold your cruise ID, and magnets with hooks for additional storage in your cabin. Towel clips and a waterproof pouch are also great beach accessories to carry in your beach bag!

TIP:  Rent your cruise outfits instead of buying them! For ONLY $98/month, you can choose ANY six items from over 150+ brands on Nuuly AND this price includes shipping! Click  here   for $20 off your first month’s subscription! 

What to pack for a Caribbean cruise

cruise outfits packing list

one piece swimsuit | bikini top | bikini bottom | beach coverup | graphic tee | basic tanks | printed shorts | blouse | denim shorts | striped button down | striped shorts | linen pants | casual dress | cocktail dress | tennis dress | jumpsuit | romper | formal dress | heels | black sandals | tan sandals | crossbody bag | clutch | sneakers | straw hat | beach bag | black sunglasses | ray ban sunglasses | sunscreen

Key items to pack

  • 3-5 swimsuits and cover ups. Depending on the length of your cruise, I recommend packing a mix of one piece swimsuits and two piece swimsuits that can be worn both onboard and on any excursions planned. For coverups, I typically pack dresses that I can also wear for any daytime activities, and I usually bring a pair of linen pants and shorts to wear over my swimsuits, too. 
  • Casual outfits for daytime activities or excursions. During the day, I recommend keeping it pretty casual and wearing comfortable dresses that you can throw on over your swimsuit or wear with a cute pair of sneakers or sandals. I also love packing rompers or two piece sets on vacation that you can dress up or down, and you can never go wrong with a basic top and some linen shorts for the daytime. 
  • Formal outfits for dinner and evening events. Unless you’re planning on eating at the buffet every night, most specialty restaurants and the main dining room will probably enforce a more formal dress code for dinner. Women will likely be required to wear a dress, skirt, or a nice blouse with pants, and men will be informed to wear a collared shirt and pants. On formal nights, it’s even dressier, and cocktail dresses and sports coats will be permitted. 
  • Lightweight jacket or sweater for cooler evenings. It can get windy onboard and chilly at night, so I always recommend packing a light jacket or shawl in case you run into unexpected weather changes. If you’re someone who’s always cold, you’ll probably want an additional layer to wear inside, too!
  • Workout clothes if you plan to use the gym. I’m not typically one of those people who likes to workout on vacation (haha), but if you are, I recommend bringing a few workout outfits, as most cruises do have a fitness center and classes available. It also wouldn’t hurt to bring comfortable activewear ( tennis dresses are my fave) for any excursions planned that might require a lot of walking. 
  • Pajamas and loungewear. Of course, there will be those nights when you just want to hang in and order room service, so don’t forget to pack comfy clothes! I always like to bring some fun tropical pajamas on a cruise and typically pack a few lounge sets if I’m planning on laying low.  Make sure to check out my Amazon store for lots of travel outfit ideas!

Accessories & shoes

  • Sunglasses . My go-to sunglasses are always the Ray-Ban round metal sunglasses , and I also like to bring a pair or two of fun sunglasses. Revolve always has a great selection, and you can never go wrong with sunglasses from Amazon . 
  • Straw hat . My all-time favorite straw hat is from Brixton . It has a wide brim for extra coverage, and it fits amazing. PACKING TIP : If you plan on packing a straw hat in your suitcase, make sure to stuff the inside with clothes and layer clothes around it for extra support. You can also clip your hat onto your carry-on bag if you prefer not to pack it in your suitcase.
  • Beach bag . It’s always a good idea to pack a beach bag or some kind of tote that you can use on sea days to carry sunscreen and any other cruise essentials. I’m currently obsessed with this crocheted tote from Tory Burch , and I also love Mark & Graham’s personalized beach bags , too!
  • Backpack . For port days, I always like to carry a backpack with me for water, beach essentials, and any souvenirs I end up buying. My absolute favorite backpack is the Fjallraven Kanken mini backpack . It’s small but still fits a lot, is lightweight, and is easy to clean. 
  • Purse or clutch . In addition to a backpack, I’ll typically bring a cute crossbody bag for port days if I want to switch it up, and I’ll also bring some kind of clutch or small bag to match my dinner outfits for cruise. I always like to have my phone readily available for pictures!
  • Flip flops or sandals for sea days . When it comes to shoes for my summer cruise outfits, I keep it pretty basic. I’ll bring a pair of flip flops or jelly sandals for the pool and a pair of casual sandals for any daytime cruise vacation outfits. I especially love these ones from Schutz because they can be dressed up or down!
  • Comfortable walking shoes for excursions . If you have excursions planned, don’t forget to bring a pair of comfortable shoes! Some excursions (like zip lining) will also require closed-toe shoes, so it’s always a good idea to pack a pair, just in case. I personally love these platform sneakers from Adidas because they look really cute with all kinds of outfits, including dresses!
  • Formal shoes for dinner . Don’t forget to pack a dressier pair of shoes, like heels or wedges, for dinner or any formal night cruise outfits. I love these ones from Dolce Vita because they are comfortable and look cute with both casual and formal cruise ship outfits for ladies. 

Additional cruise essentials to pack

As mentioned, cruise cabins can be quite cozy and have limited closet space, so I recommend bringing magnetic hooks and over-the-door hooks for additional storage. These are great for hanging lightweight clothing, swimsuits, or accessories. 

As far as travel essentials, packing cubes are great for keeping your belongings organized, especially since there is not a lot of drawer space on cruises. I also recommend bringing a hanging toiletry bag if you can, as there is typically limited bathroom counter and storage space. 

Some of my other favorite travel accessories I always bring (no matter where I’m traveling) include a luggage scale , travel steamer , LED travel mirror , and travel laundry bag . You’re also allowed to bring one bottle of wine or champagne on board so don’t forget your wine opener !

Need some additional help packing?  Make sure to check out my  travel shop  filled with all the best travel essentials, from packing cubes and toiletry bags to travel bags and luggage accessories. 

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Cruise outfits packing list

What to wear on a cruise

Now that we’ve gone through everything you need to pack, I’m going to help you put together some cute outfits to wear on a cruise! In this section, we’re going to cover cruise ship outfits for sea days, what to wear on a cruise during the day, outfits for a cruise excursion, cruise dinner outfits (including what to wear for a formal night on a cruise), matching cruise ship outfits for couples, and so much more!

Cute cruise outfits for sea days

cruise outfits for sea days

Click image below to shop

Outfits to wear on a cruise during the day.

cruise outfits for daytime

Cruise outfits for ladies for dinner

cruise dinner outfits

Matching cruise outfits

If you want to be THOSE PEOPLE on the cruise who wear matching outfits (don’t worry, I’ve done it too, haha), whether it’s with your significant other, family, or friends, below are a couple of places to find them!

  • Etsy is always my go-to place for ANYTHING personalized! This is a great place to shop for matching bachelorette cruise shirts , family reunion shirts , or Mr and Mrs cruise shirts . Etsy also has a great selection of cruise accessories , whether you’re looking for matching cups, lanyards, hats, or anything in between. 
  • Kenny Flowers is another great place to look for couples cruise outfits (or vacation outfits) that are a little more trendy. They even have matching family outfits  with kids sizes starting at 3M and you can also shop by destination on their website if you’re looking for something specific! 

TIP:  Make sure to follow me in the @ shop.ltk  app under  TRAVELMEETSSTYLE  (or click  here ) for more outfit ideas for every season!

What not to wear on a cruise

Now that we’ve covered what to wear on a cruise ship, we obviously have to talk about cruise outfits I wouldn’t recommend wearing. For starters, speedos and thong bikinis are a no, especially if you’re on a cruise that’s family-friendly, and I honestly wouldn’t pack anything overly revealing in general.  Additionally, I would avoid wearing anything with offensive language or graphics for this same reason.  

I’ve already gone into a lot of detail about what to wear to dinner on a cruise, but as a reminder, I would stray away from wearing shorts, sandals, swimwear, gym clothes, baseball hats, or anything else you would wear during the day to the dining room. 

I’ve also read that it’s not a good idea to wear anything camouflage off the cruise ship, as it’s disrespectful and even illegal in certain countries. 

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cruise voyager outfit

What to wear on a cruise: Cruise attire and cruise line dress codes

Ashley Kosciolek

Have you ever had that nightmare where you're at work, in school or giving an important presentation, and you look down to discover you're wearing only your underwear (or worse, nothing at all)? If you're new to vacationing at sea, knowing how to dress for a cruise can be confusing — and just as potentially embarrassing if you're not prepared.

Packing acceptable attire for a cruise is simple if you remember a few general rules. Here, I'll break down some safe options if you're unsure, and I'll give an overview of the cruise dress codes for each of the "big eight" cruise lines.

For more cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG's new cruise newsletter .

What do people wear on a cruise?

cruise voyager outfit

You can't go wrong with resort-casual clothing for sea days when you'll remain on board your ship. Although some lines will be more or less casual than that, it's a good baseline. But what is "resort casual"?

Khaki pants or shorts with loose-fitting, short-sleeve, button-down shirts or even nice, plain T-shirts work well for men. Women might opt for khaki shorts or palazzo pants with a nice top or a sundress. In most cases, nice jeans (dark wash with no holes) will work well also.

On most ships, this clothing will also be acceptable at night in the main dining rooms. For extra-fee restaurants, you might choose to dress up a bit more -- perhaps collared shirts or long-sleeve button-downs for men and slacks with a blouse, or a dress, for women.

For formal nights, men will want to bring a collared, button-down shirt at the bare minimum. For something a little more snazzy, bring a jacket to wear over your shirt, with or without a tie. Some men opt for suits or tuxes. For women, pantsuits and dressy pants outfits are a great choice, as are party dresses or even ball gowns.

Jeans are not allowed in the main dining rooms on formal nights, and cut-off shorts, baseball caps and flip-flops are banned at all times during dinner in the main dining rooms.

Related: 7 cruise ship packing mistakes you want to avoid at all costs

Another key piece of clothing to bring is a bathing suit. Whether you're headed to a warm-weather destination and plan to laze by the pool or on the beach, or you're visiting somewhere chilly but want to take advantage of your vessel's hot tubs, it's an item you won't want to forget. Note that cover-ups are required for entry at all restaurants and dining rooms, with the exception of walk-up, poolside window-service venues.

For shore excursions — particularly those in more rugged or active destinations that require a lot of walking — comfortable, casual clothing and sturdy footwear are a must. Bring layers for cold climates and moisture-wicking fabrics for places where it's warm or where you expect to work up a sweat.

Finally, check to see if your cruise line has any special theme nights planned. If so, you might want to pack an outfit for the white party or '80s night.

Carnival cruise dress code

cruise voyager outfit

Carnival is one line where casual is the name of the game. Passengers will be just fine in jeans, T-shirts, tank tops, shorts and bathing suits for their days on board or ashore.

At night, nice jeans and nice tops are perfect for eating in the main dining rooms.

On Carnival cruise formal nights, known as "cruise elegant" nights, cruisers wear everything from slacks with nice shirts to tuxes and ball gowns. However, most passengers stick to clothes that fall somewhere in the middle.

Voyages of six nights or longer will have two "cruise elegant" nights, while those five nights or shorter will see only one.

Celebrity Cruises dress code

Celebrity Cruises maintains a dress code that's best described as chic-casual. The demographic on board tends to be a bit more upscale than what you'll find on Carnival, Royal Caribbean or Norwegian. That means khaki shorts with nice button-downs are more common than jean shorts and tank tops, although you won't be out of place in the latter.

For dinner, you'll want to dress it up even more, as the line has a smart-casual dress code at night in most restaurants, including the main dining room. Anything from unripped jeans to dress pants with nice blouses or button-downs is acceptable.

Related: 10 unexpected items I won't cruise without

Are there formal nights on Celebrity cruises? Yes, there's one on every sailing of six nights or fewer and two on voyages of a week or more, but they have a different name. "Evening chic" nights encourage passengers to go all out with tuxes and evening gowns. However, most men choose slacks with collared or button-down shirts and jackets, sans ties. Most women choose slacks and nice blouses, sundresses or party dresses.

Disney Cruise Line dress code

cruise voyager outfit

Disney Cruise Line is synonymous with children, and children like to be comfortable. With that in mind, just about anything goes in terms of dress on The Mouse's ships, which tend toward casual in spite of their stellar service and high price point.

It's not uncommon to see jeans, shorts, T-shirts or bathing suits during the day. Unlike most other lines, the same goes at dinnertime, with jeans and T-shirts just as common as dressier attire like slacks and button-downs.

Exceptions are the line's "dress-up" nights — two on sailings of a week or more and one on shorter voyages. For those, DCL suggests that men avoid jeans and wear jackets. Women should go with dresses, skirts and blouses, or pantsuits.

Related: The 5 best cruise lines for families

Some of Disney Cruise Line's added-fee restaurants, such as Remy — one of the most expensive alternative eateries at sea — require jackets for men and don't allow jeans.

Each Disney sailing features a Pirate Night; cruisers wishing to participate should pack their best swashbuckling gear. As is standard at Disney parks, you're also likely to see large numbers of costumes and mouse ears at all hours of the day.

Holland America Line dress code

Although the dress code on Holland America Line ships is technically "cruise casual," you'll rarely spot anyone looking disheveled or like they just rolled out of bed. Most passengers tend toward resort wear or, at the bare minimum, nice jeans with pressed T-shirts.

The casual dress code carries through to dinner, but HAL cruisers can often be found dressing up a bit more — collared shirts or button-downs (sometimes with jackets) and slacks for men and slacks with nice tops or dresses for women.

As for Holland America formal nights, on sailings shorter than a week, there will be one "gala night," where travelers don evening or ball gowns, suits or tuxedos. Voyages of eight to 13 nights will see two gala nights, while any cruises of two weeks or longer will have three chances to dress to the nines.

MSC Cruises dress code

cruise voyager outfit

What to wear on MSC cruises largely depends on the crowd with whom you're sailing. On Europe cruises, your fellow passengers are likely to dress up more often — even during the day — with skimpy resort wear and designer bathing suits gracing the pool deck as far as the eye can see. On those voyages, dinner is an even more fancy affair, with elegance as the norm. Expect to see glittering dresses and stylish pants and button-downs with dress shoes, even when it's not formal night.

On cruises that depart from the U.S., expect a more casual vibe, with jeans, T-shirts and bathing suits ruling the day. At night, you'll be fine with nice jeans and a collared shirt or a sundress, although you might want to dress up a bit more to match the ship's ambiance.

Related: A beginners guide to picking a cruise line

Are there formal nights on MSC cruises? Absolutely. They're called "gala dinners," and they appear at least once per voyage, but the number can vary by itinerary. The dress code is strict, with the buffet the only place that will allow T-shirts and shorts. You'll fit in best in a ball gown, cocktail dress, suit or tuxedo.

Norwegian Cruise Line dress code

Norwegian prides itself on allowing cruisers to dress as they please, providing a "come as you are" atmosphere during the day and at night. The most popular clothing is cruise casual, and passengers are free to wear whatever they'd like with an emphasis on comfort.

The only exception is at dinner, when a smart casual vibe encourages travelers to avoid torn clothes or outfits that are suggestive or skimpy.

In a nod to Norwegian's laid-back style, NCL formal nights — dubbed "Dress Up or Not" nights — provide a chance for you to doll up. However, it's not required, and you won't be turned away from the main dining rooms if you choose not to participate. Passengers have been spotted wearing everything from jeans and T-shirts to ball gowns and tuxes, and all coexist in perfect harmony.

Princess Cruises dress code

cruise voyager outfit

Princess ' casual daytime mindset means you can wear the same types of clothing on board as you would during a day ashore — activewear, beachwear and jeans or T-shirts are totally fine.

Princess cruise formal nights are special because the line is one of the few industry holdouts in that it still has an official formal night. Its passengers enjoy a more traditional cruise experience, and they relish the romantic vibe that a formal night can provide. With that in mind, the line doesn't mention super-fancy garb like ball gowns or tuxes; instead, it advises suits or slacks with jackets for men and cocktail dresses or pantsuits for the ladies.

On voyages of less than a week, passengers should plan for one formal night, while sailings of a week to 13 days will have two, and cruises two weeks or longer will have three.

All other nights are listed as "smart casual," which means sundresses or pants with flowy tops for women and nice jeans or slacks with collared shirts for men will suffice.

Royal Caribbean dress code

As is the case with Carnival and Norwegian, Royal Caribbean is a casual line during the day. And, like Disney Cruise Line, it caters to a lot of families. Translation: Wear what allows you to have the most fun in the most comfort. Expect to see shorts or jeans with T-shirts or tank tops and bathing suits or beachwear almost exclusively during the daytime.

At night, you might want to put on something a little less comfortable, but it's certainly not required, unless it's a formal night. (Like Princess, Royal still has those.) What is confusing is that the line has three different dress codes, all of which are loosely enforced: casual, smart casual and formal. The ones that show up on your voyage will depend on the length of the cruise.

The only difference between the first two is that smart casual recommends pantsuits for ladies and jackets for the guys, but skirts or trousers with blouses or collared shirts are fine in both cases. Smart casual also strongly discourages jeans -- even nice ones.

Royal Caribbean formal nights have the highest expectations for passengers, urging them to put on their finest cocktail dresses, evening gowns, suits or tuxes. As with the line's smart casual dress code, jeans are not allowed in the main dining rooms on formal nights.

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Packing Souvenirs from your Cruise Travels

What To Wear On A Cruise: Dressing For The Vacation Of Your Dreams

By Taylor Fuller | Published on January 24, 2024

So you've booked your dream vacation sailing on the open seas, but you're not sure what to wear on a cruise. Don't worry — cruise vacations take the stress out of travel, and your wardrobe should reflect the laid-back vibes you'll feel as you sail through paradise. The quintessential cruise style is easy to pull off; think vibrant colors, tropical prints and lightweight fabrics.

When you're planning a weekend away, it's important to pack smart. Whether your plan is to cruise through islands, posting up on stunning beaches and swimming in warm, crystal-clear waters, or to hike ancient ruins and wander through medeival cities, this guide will help you pick out the best cruise wear for your trip.

1. What To Wear On A Weekend Getaway Cruise

Packing outfits for vacation can be overwhelming, especially if you're one to overpack for a trip. If that's you, a weekend getaway  can be the perfect challenge for you to curb your bad habits and stick to packing for versatility. The best advice I can give is to pack for the vacation you want to have. Weekend cruises are a great way to unwind and explore another world in a short amount of time, so pack for busy days where you'll be going from the beach to a museum, out to lunch and then back to the beach. For example, pack a swimsuit and some chic sunglasses for the relaxing beach day you're craving, and bring along a breezy cover-up and sandals or comfortable shoes, so you can check out the cool town during lunchtime.

If you're new to cruising, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that there are activities and events that happen onboard the ship in the evenings and on sea days. Most cruise vacations include at least one formal night where everyone dresses their best for a special dinner. Cruise formal wear still embraces the relaxed energy of sailing, so outfits like a lightweight sport coat, chinos, a colorful dress or a jumpsuit will fit right in. You'll also want to include some smart casual looks, which means something that's a step up from sneakers and sweatpants for your other evening meals.

For sea days when traveling in a warmer climate, you'll definitely want a swimsuit if you plan to take advantage of the onboard water park. However, if you're cruising through a colder region like Canada, you'll want a jacket and some warm layers, so you can stay comfortable on deck.

2. Packing For Your Vacation Plans

Young Family with a Child Packing for Holiday

Planning ahead for your cruise vacation will help you pack for every moment. Most onshore excursions require reservations, so discuss with your family or travel buddies what kind of activities you cannot miss on your trip ahead of time. If you book an excursion that requires physical activity, opt for comfortable clothing you can move around in like leggings, shorts, sneakers, hiking boots if you're hitting trails, a light jacket (depending on the region you're exploring) and a sturdy backpack. Though hiking boots can take up precious suitcase space, they're essential for exploring a tropical jungle or mountainous terrain, and can double as comfortable shoes for long days spent sightseeing. If you have whale-watching on your agenda, pack a jacket in case it's cold or misty, a hat so you don't get sunburnt, and binoculars.

A quick weekend cruise can take you to some amazing places. I recommend using your time wisely and trying to see as much as you can. For example, a two-night Cyprus cruise  is all about beaches, history and incredible cuisine. Pack outfits that you'll be comfortable in even when the sun is scorching hot, so you don't have to worry about going back to the ship to get changed midday. Effortless flowy skirts and airy linen shirts make great cover-ups for swimwear that will protect your skin from the sun as you explore ancient sites. Comfortable shoes are a must for a trip like this, whether that's a flat sandal with straps or sneakers. Just make sure you're wearing something that won't get caught in the cobblestone streets of Cyprus. Add some fun accessories like a hat or sunglasses and a tote bag to carry all of your souvenirs, and voila  — you have an all-day outfit mapped out.

If cooler climes and rugged mountains call to you, consider a cruise to Canada . Of course, British Columbia requires a different packing strategy than a trip to The Bahamas or the Mediterranean. Even when cruising in the summer months, be sure to dress for the destination, not the season — layers are your friend here. Pack some thin thermals you can layer under your clothes if necessary, so you can spend the day comfortably strolling along the Inner Harbour and checking out Victoria's most notable landmarks. Don't forget a hat and gloves and some wool socks to keep your toes warm, too! When you're hanging out onboard, a thin, packable windbreaker or jacket will come in handy, so you can sit out on the deck with a cup of coffee, admiring the breathtaking scenery.

Still unsure about what to wear on a cruise? Whether you're packing cruisewear for women, men or non-binary people, I recommend getting creative. My favorite part of going on a vacation is that I get to wear things I wouldn't normally wear in my day-to-day. I love putting together patterns and colors that may feel a little funky and wearing sunglasses the size of my face. Take risks with your wardrobe! Your dream vacation will only be that much more memorable.

No matter what type of cruise you're looking for, you're sure to have a blast when you pack the perfect cruise wardrobe. Whether you're interested in history and want to explore ruins or would rather relax on the beach with a cold beverage in hand, there's a cruise getaway waiting for you. So what are you waiting for? Start searching for your next weekend adventure.

Get away this weekend on a cruise .

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What to wear on a cruise: daytime, formal nights & more.

Experts share their top recommendations for versatile cruise clothing.

What to Wear on a Cruise

Woman listening music while traveling with ferry boat on the sea

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Know what types of clothing, shoes and accessories are best to wear on a cruise.

When it comes to cruising in style, packing the right attire for every occasion is essential. Including a few key versatile items on your cruise packing list will prevent your suitcase (and the limited closet space in your stateroom) from becoming overcrowded – and keep you looking appropriate for all events.

Although most cruise lines outline their suggested dress codes in the FAQ sections of their websites, be sure to also review the specifics of your cruise itinerary. Not only will the destination and weather factor into what you should wear on your cruise, but you'll also want to know if formal nights require black-tie attire, themed dress parties need costumes or shore excursions necessitate unique clothing or footwear.

Whether you'll be lounging by the pool or attending a glamorous dinner, our list of must-have items and suggestions from industry experts will help you navigate dressing for your next cruise vacation.

cruise voyager outfit

For relaxing sea days, prioritize comfort above all else. Depending on your planned activities, any of the following casual options are considered acceptable attire:

  • Skirts or skorts
  • T-shirts and tank tops
  • Breezy lounge pants
  • Bathing suits
  • Cover-ups 
  • Sun hats or baseball caps

Travel writer Jill Schildhouse always packs her VOTEPRETTY sundress . "This is my go-to cruise workhorse," says Schildhouse. "It's light and breezy, and the pockets come in very handy." She adds that the sundress can be worn to casual dinners on the ship or on shore excursions, and it can even double as a swimsuit cover-up. "I've taken it all over the world and it always arrives wrinkle-free," she says. Schildhouse has received many compliments on this classic sundress, which is available in multiple colors.

Sheri Griffiths, host of YouTube series CruiseTipsTV , suggests wearing comfortable, broken-in shoes on a cruise. She recommends avoiding brand-new footwear during your voyage to prevent blisters and daily discomfort. A basic sneaker can be worn for just about any cruise itinerary, from Alaska to the Caribbean . Griffiths says, "We love these Adidas Stan Smiths because they wear in quickly and have a timeless style."

Read: The Top Walking Shoes for Travel

Mature African American couple, standing and leaning on railing on deck of a cruise ship, looking off into the distance.

In the evening, most cruise ships adopt a dress code in their main dining rooms and specialty restaurants that incorporate smart-casual or resort-wear attire. The following clothing choices will suffice:

  • Maxi dresses
  • Elegant tops
  • Long- or short-sleeved button-down shirts
  • Polo shirts
  • Blazers and ties (typically optional, unless otherwise stated)
  • Shawls or wraps
  • Closed-toe dress shoes
  • Sandals or heels

Colleen McDaniel, editor-in-chief at Cruise Critic, shares her best advice for cruise footwear. "I always pack my Rothy's shoes for any cruise because they're infinitely comfortable, work as both a formal and [an] informal shoe and can be tossed in the laundry if they get dirty." She notes that she has several pairs, but two of her go-to styles are The Point and The Ballet Flat . McDaniel adds that the shoes work in every occasion, from strolling along the ship decks to perusing cobblestone streets on shore. "I bought both [pairs] 5 years ago, and they look as new today as they did out of the box despite literally hundreds of hours of wear," she says.

Jason Leppert, founder of YouTube channel Popular Cruising , always packs his signature Hawaiian shirts to wear day or night. He says, "I love the RSVLTS collection because they can play casually with shorts or more dressy with slacks for dinner."

Formal Nights

cruise voyager outfit

While more casual these days, cruise formal nights still call for a bit more sophistication and style. Appropriate options include:

  • Cocktail dresses
  • Evening gowns
  • Dress shoes

Ashley Kosciolek, senior cruise writer for The Points Guy, always packs a gown or a fancy cocktail dress for a formal night. "I work from home and don't have a reason to dress up otherwise, so I look forward to it." Still, Kosciolek is a firm believer that travelers should wear what is most comfortable for them while on vacation. She adds, "My dinner won't taste any better or worse based on what others are wearing."

Mikkel Woodruff, editor of cruise site Sometimes Sailing , always brings her Omega Sailing Bracelet on cruises. She says, "I like to bring jewelry that reminds me of the ocean and being on the sea." Woodruff appreciates the bracelet's versatility, noting how easily it can go from shore excursions to formal evenings to everyday activities.

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Shore Excursions

cruise voyager outfit

When heading off the ship for a shore excursion, opt for comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing and sturdy footwear to make the most of your adventures on land. Consider packing the following items:

  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Mesh water shoes
  • T-shirts or tank tops
  • A waterproof jacket

Freelance travel writer David Swanson shares his favorite versatile cruise shoes. He discovered a comfortable pair of Danner multitasking shoes that worked for dinners, casual events and multiple days of cycling on a recent European cruise. "I didn't think I'd find something to do dual duty, but I love this comfy pair from Danner, an outdoor brand [that is] new to me but has been around since 1932," says Swanson.

Paul Thornton, host of The Joy of Cruising Podcast , always packs his Coofandy linen shirts and shorts for hot Caribbean days and breezy cruise ship evenings. "I love Coofandy because they enable this senior to look 'youthful' on the beach and excursions," says Thornton. He adds that the brand is also his go-to retailer for White Party-themed nights on board.

Read: Beach Packing List

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Cruise Line Dress Codes

Dress codes can vary significantly from one cruise company to the next, so it's a good idea to check with your specific line before filling up your suitcase. Once you're on board, be sure to read the daily program for reminders about the dress codes required at the events and dining venues during your voyage.

Azamara Dress Code

  • Daytime: Fairly casual attire is suitable throughout Azamara 's ships during the day. However, baseball caps, distressed denim, tank tops and bathing suits cannot be worn at Discoveries, Aqualina and Prime C restaurants (and shoes are required).
  • Evening: At night, women typically wear casual dresses, skirts, pants, capris, blouses and knit tops, while men are welcome to wear collared golf and polo shirts, shorts and pants. Sport coats are optional. Note: There are no official formal nights on Azamara's voyages.
  • Themed Nights: Be sure to pack an all-white outfit for Azamara's signature White Night dinner and deck party.

Carnival Cruise Line Dress Code

  • Daytime: Pack casual, comfortable attire to sail with Carnival Cruise Line , such as T-shirts, polo shirts or relaxed tops paired with shorts, capris, khakis or jeans. Athletic wear paired with a lightweight sweater or jacket are suitable for those looking to stay active. 
  • "Cruise casual" attire for men typically suggests longer dress shorts, pants or jeans and a collared polo shirt. Women usually wear sundresses, blouses, skirts, dress shorts and capri pants.
  • "Cruise elegant" typically translates to dress slacks, dress shirts and sports coats (suggested) for men, with some wearing suits, ties or tuxedos. Women choose dresses (party or cocktail), pantsuits and elegant skirts with blouses, while some may wear evening gowns. Kids should follow the adult dress code, opting for school dance- or party-appropriate attire. Note: Jeans, men's sleeveless shirts, shorts, T-shirts, sportswear, exercise clothes, baseball hats, flip-flops and bathing suits are not permitted. The number of "cruise elegant" evenings varies based on the length of the cruise.
  • Carnival Journeys cruises feature a "Throwback Sea Day," where guests can relive the '80s by day (outfits included) and dress up for a themed Captain's Cocktail Party by night. 
  • Cruises between early December and Christmas Day feature an "Ugly Sweater Contest."
  • Costumes are suggested for Halloween cruises between the end of September and October. However, when choosing a costume, keep in mind that full masks are prohibited (masks covering half of the face are allowed).

Celebrity Cruises Dress Code

  • Daytime: During the day, smart casual resort wear is suitable throughout Celebrity Cruises ' ships. (Think: sundresses, shorts, polos and button-down shirts paired with sandals, low heels and loafers.) Bathing suits with cover-ups, T-shirts, tank tops, hats and sunglasses are only appropriate poolside. Cruisers should avoid wearing these items in the dining areas.
  • Evening: Most evenings, guests are expected to wear comfortable yet tasteful attire. This entails dresses, skirts, long pants or jeans, stylish tops and button-down shirts. Shorts and flip-flops do not meet the evening dress code. Depending on your voyage, there will be one or two formal nights that require "evening chic" wear. Passengers can dress to impress in formal gowns, tuxedos, cocktail dresses, dressy jeans or blazers.

Costa Cruises Dress Code

  • Daytime: During the day, Costa Cruises ' passengers may wear casual clothing like T-shirts, shorts and sundresses. Beach clothing and flip-flops are not permitted in ship restaurants. Depending on the itinerary, some shore excursions may have specific dress codes.
  • Evening: Most nights require resort attire; however, Costa hosts one or two Elegant Evenings per cruise, when men may wear dark suits or tuxedos and women can wear evening gowns or cocktail dresses.
  • Themed Nights: Costa recommends that guests pack white clothing for its White Night events and white, red and green clothing and accessories for its Italy-themed evenings.

Cunard Line Dress Code

  • Daytime: Shorts, T-shirts and sundresses are appropriate daytime wardrobe options on sailings with Cunard Line . Swimwear is acceptable by the pool but should not be worn in indoor dining areas.
  • Evening: In the evenings, passengers are asked to wear smart attire, which includes dress shirts and trousers for men, and cocktail dresses or sophisticated tops and skirts for women – similar to what you'd choose for dinner at a trendy restaurant or a special occasion. Voyages lasting seven nights host at least two Gala Evenings, during which guests are requested to adhere to a more formal dress code. 
  • Themed Nights: Gala Evenings employ themes ranging from specific colors (such as black and white or red and gold outfits) to the roaring '20s to masquerade balls.

Disney Cruise Line Dress Code

  • Daytime: On Disney Cruise Line sailings, cruise casual attire is acceptable during the day; outfit options include sundresses and shorts and tees. Swimwear and tank tops are not permitted in dining venues.
  • Evening: After the sun sets, polished attire like collared shirts and jeans without rips are acceptable. Bathing suits, tees, tank tops and sports attire are not allowed. Adult-exclusive dining venues on Disney ships call for elegance; formal or semiformal wear is recommended.
  • Themed Nights: On three- and four-night sailings, there is typically a pirate-themed deck party and one optional dress-up night for guests of all ages. Sailings lasting seven nights or longer add one formal and one semiformal night, when women may wear a formal dress or pantsuit and men can opt for a suit or dress pants with a jacket.

Holland America Line Dress Code

  • Daytime: Plan on wearing casual attire aboard Holland America Line 's ships during the day. When indoors, guests must wear shirts, cover-ups and footwear.
  • Evening: On most nights, smart casual clothing is acceptable. However, in table service restaurants, shorts, bathing suits, distressed jeans and tank tops are prohibited. Grand Voyages cruises host formal nights, when suits and dresses are appropriate.
  • Themed Nights: Once per cruise, Holland America hosts an Orange Party in celebration of King's Day. Pack your favorite orange clothing and accessories for this event, which honors the cruise line's Dutch heritage.

MSC Cruises Dress Code

  • Daytime: Guests of MSC Cruises dress fairly casual during the day in T-shirts and shorts.
  • Evening: Collared shirts, dresses and tailored pants are expected at night in the main dining rooms, specialty restaurants and entertainment venues. There is one optional Gala Night, when varying levels of elegance are acceptable. Guests should wear what makes them feel comfortable, ranging from tuxedos or ball gowns to dressy jeans and polo shirts.
  • Themed Nights: MSC hosts a White Night Party (where guests wear all white) and a Sunshine Party, where guests don cheerful colors.

Norwegian Cruise Line Dress Code

  • Daytime: During the day, plan to wear cruise casual attire like summer dresses, jeans, khakis, shorts and casual shirts on Norwegian Cruise Line voyages. At the buffet and outdoor restaurants, swimwear can be worn with a cover-up and footwear. In dining rooms and specialty restaurants, Norwegian does not permit tank tops for men, jeans with rips or tears, flip-flops, baseball caps or visors.
  • Evening: In Norwegian's upscale specialty restaurants, smart casual attire is the norm. Women can wear slacks, jeans, dresses, skirts and tops, while men should opt for jeans or slacks, a collared shirt and closed-toed shoes. Children ages 12 and younger may wear shorts in all restaurants. On each cruise, there is one particular "Dress-Up or Not Night," when guests can wear fancier clothing (if they choose).
  • Themed Nights: Pack an all-white outfit for the White Hot Party and formal attire for Norwegian's Night Out.

Princess Cruises Dress Code

  • Daytime: In Princess Cruises ' restaurants and public spaces, casual resort wear is required. Shoes must be worn in the dining areas, and pool or beach attire, ball caps and frayed jeans are prohibited in restaurants.
  • Evening: On most nights, smart casual attire is acceptable in restaurants. However, on formal evenings, women may wear evening gowns, cocktail dresses or elegant pantsuits; while men may opt for tuxedos, dark suits or dinner jackets with slacks. The number of formal nights per cruise depends on the length of the sailing.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Dress Code

  • Daytime: Elevated resort wear, including jeans, shorts, T-shirts and tennis shoes, is appropriate before 6 p.m. on Regent Seven Seas Cruises ' ships.
  • Evening: At night, elegant casual attire is recommended. Women typically dresses, pantsuits or slacks paired with blouses or sweaters; a collared shirt and dress pants for men is the norm, with the option for sport jackets and ties. On cruises lasting 16 nights or longer, there are two evenings when guests can choose to wear formal or semiformal attire. Wardrobe choices include dark suits and cocktail dresses or tuxedos and gowns. Note: On the last night of every voyage, the dinner dress code is "relaxed casual" to accommodate guests packing for early morning flights.

Royal Caribbean International Dress Code

  • Daytime: A relaxed, casual style is acceptable during the day on cruises with Royal Caribbean International . However, swimwear should be limited to the pool deck. 
  • Evening: On most nights, guests wear smart casual attire, which includes collared or button-up shirts, dresses, skirts, blouses and pantsuits. Jackets, sports coats and blazers are encouraged but not required. On formal evenings and for the Chef's Table dining experience, cruisers are expected to wear black-tie attire, which includes tuxedos, suits with ties, cocktail dresses and evening gowns. The number of formal nights per cruise depends on the length of the sailing.
  • Themed Nights: Offered on cruises lasting four nights or longer, themed nights may include toga parties, masquerade balls, decade themes and black and white nights.

Silversea Cruises Dress Code

  • Daytime: Casual attire akin to what you'd wear at a five-star resort is suitable during the day aboard Silversea Cruises ' ships.
  • Evening: Evening attire is categorized into three groups: casual, informal and formal. On casual evenings, women wear pants, blouses, skirts, and casual dresses, while men wear open-neck shirts and slacks. On informal evenings, ladies often choose dresses or pantsuits, and gentlemen typically wear jackets (ties are optional). Formal night is always optional; if you choose to participate, outfits may include cocktail dresses, gowns, tuxedos and suits. The number of formal nights per cruise varies by voyage length.

Seabourn Cruise Line Dress Code

  • Daytime: Casual resort wear like jeans and shorts are welcome in all lounges and dining venues on Seabourn Cruise Lines ' ships. Athletic apparel and swimwear should only be worn in the pool area, on the deck or at the spa and fitness center.
  • Evening: After 6 p.m., the dress code is "elegant casual." Men are expected to wear slacks with collared shirts or sweaters (jackets are optional), while women can choose pants, skirts, pantsuits or dresses. Elegant jeans are allowed in all dining venues except The Restaurant. On formal evenings in The Restaurant, men may wear tuxedos, suits or slacks and jackets, while women can opt for evening gowns and cocktail dresses.

Viking Ocean Cruises Dress Code

  • Daytime: On Viking Ocean Cruises ' ships, casual daytime clothing such as shorts, pants, jeans and comfortable walking shoes are acceptable. Athletic wear including exercise clothing, swimsuits and cover-ups may only be worn in the fitness center, pool zones and sports deck.
  • Evening: While there are no dedicated formal nights, the dress code after 6 p.m. calls for elegant casual attire for all dining venues, lounges, bars and theaters. Jeans are not permitted (with the exception of the World Cafe, where the dress code remains casual in the evenings). For women, wardrobe options include dresses, jumpsuits, skirts or slacks paired with elegant tops. Jackets and ties are optional for men, but trousers and collared shirts should be worn in the evenings.

Virgin Voyages Dress Code

  • Day or night, cruisers on Virgin Voyages ' ships are encouraged to wear attire that expresses their personal style. Just note: In restaurants, bathing suits are not permitted, and shoes are necessary. There are no formal nights; guests can dress up or down, depending on what makes them feel their best.
  • Themed Nights: Pack something scarlet red for the Scarlet Night Party, which occurs once per voyage.

Why Trust U.S. News

Dana Freeman is a highly experienced cruise writer who embarked on her first cruise with her grandmother when she was just 12 years old, and she hasn't stopped since. Having sailed on more than 20 different cruise lines and completed over 30 voyages, Freeman's cruise expertise spans from small ships accommodating only eight passengers to massive ones accommodating over 5,000. To curate this article, she leveraged her extensive knowledge of the cruise ship industry, combined with her strong research skills.

You might also be interested in:

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Cruise Outfits to Wear on Your Next Cruise Vacation (2024)

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Cruise Outfits for Women

Having trouble figuring out what exactly to wear on a cruise? You’ve come to the right place. In this post, I’ll share cruise outfits for women that I’ve worn on my past cruises as a Millennial cruiser, and give you inspiration on your cruise wardrobe.

In the past few years, I’ve been on 8+ cruises, and each time I’ve perfected all the outfits you’d need to pack for your cruise.

Cruise Outfits

I’ve been on all kinds of itineraries from shorter Caribbean cruises to long Mediterranean cruises, and from my experience, the cruise outfits generally stay the same.

You’ll need to consider what you’ll wear on the ship during the day, what you’ll wear on port days, and evening attire- which I’ll cover in this post.

So whether this is your first cruise or if you are a seasoned cruiser, I hope you find some new inspiration for your upcoming cruise with these new cruise outfits.

Read More: – For a more comprehensive list of what to pack for a cruise, read my ultimate cruise packing list that covers everything you’d need to bring (plus things you wouldn’t even think about but make a HUGE difference)

Daytime Cruise Outfits

Embarkation day cruise outfits.

Cruise Outfits

The first day of your cruise is exciting! You’re getting accustomed to your new home at sea with lots of exploring and finding a delicious cocktail.

Now before the fun of exploring, keep in mind you’ll be doing a lot of waiting around to get on the ship, plus going through security, and perhaps waiting for your room to be ready.

For embarkation day I would plan on wearing a casual outfit with lighter materials with layers- or even your airplane outfit . Something lightweight, yet appropriate to wear wandering around the ship.

I wouldn’t worry too much about what to wear on Embarkation day, but having a swimsuit ready to go is a great idea.

Pro Tip: Wear a swimsuit underneath your clothing with a stylish coverup and take advantage of the resort deck pool while everyone gets settled or hits up the buffet. It will feel like you’ve added an extra day on to your cruise!

What to wear on a Cruise Sea Day

Cruise Outfits

Stick to casual clothing during the day on a cruise. A typical sea day on a cruise begins with breakfast, you can wear casual items like t-shirts, jean shorts, etc.

I like to wear cute sets, or shorts and a cute top that’s easy to throw on when heading to the breakfast buffet. This is the least formal part of your cruise, but I would avoid walking around in your pajamas .

what to wear on a cruise

After that, you’ll probably walk around the ship or head to the resort deck which you’ll need to bring a bathing suit and beach coverup .

I always like to bring a larger tote bag so I can stick in all my essentials that I would need for a full pool day like sunscreen, a book, a water bottle, and extra clothes if I decide to swim.

Just think about wearing classic resort casual wear for the daytime.

Not sure what resort casual wear is? I have a full post that explains it. Read What is resort casual wear & how to wear it .

Now in the early evening after lounging on the resort deck, I like to wear a nice sundress or something a little dressy to have a sunset cocktail in. Thankfully for us ladies, I can usually wear the same dress to dinner without a problem.

What to Wear on a Caribbean Cruise Excursion

Cruise Outifs

I find a lot of Caribbean shore excursions involve lots of water activities like swimming & snorkeling, or boat excursions.

For a Caribbean cruise excursion, I would wear a swimsuit plus a coverup , and additional dry clothes if you want to change into something more comfortable after your day in the water, especially for warm destinations.

If you are not headed on a water excursion, wear casual clothing like sundresses , shirts, and shorts in light breathable materials like linen, cotton, or jersey.

Plus a comfortable pair of shoes you can easily walk around in for different terrain.

I took a cooking class in St. Kitts on a cruise excursion. I wore a casual top and shorts and everyone else wore something similar. Keep in mind that Caribbean islands are hot and humid.

What to Wear on a Mediterranean Cruise Excursion

Here are some Cruise outfit ideas I wore on my Mediterranean cruise excursions in Italy, Greece, Croatia, and Montenegro.

Cruise Outfits Excursion

If you are going on a Mediterranean cruise, your ports of call and excursions tend to be a bit different than a Caribbean Cruise.

Instead of mostly swim & snorkel excursions you’d find on a Caribbean cruise, Mediterranean cruises have more city sightseeing excursions that involve a lot of walking , touring, and being in a city center.

For example, if you stop in Naples Itay, you could explore the Amalfi Coast, Capri, Naples, and even Pompei which all involve different kinds of daytime outfits.

I like to wear lightweight breathable dresses and comfortable walking shoes with a larger day bag to keep all my essentials inside.

birkenstock arizona big buckle sandal

Surprisingly my Birkenstock Arizona sandals were my go-to shoe on all my excursions. I even climbed a mountain in Kotor Montenegro in them and they were still comfortable afterward.

Evening Cruise Outfits

evening cruise outfits

To be honest, I think that the ladies have an easier time with evening cruise outfits because mostly anything goes as long as it’s dressy. Darker-colored sundresses , cocktail dresses , or even pants with a dressy top will work.

Men on the other hand have more rules like long pants and collared shirts.

Like I previously mentioned, after lounging at the pool deck, I like to get dressed up in a nice sundress to have a sunset cocktail before dinner. I usually head straight to dinner in the same dress and never had any problems.

Casual Dinner Outfits

I find that a lot more cruises are ditching formal dinners and instead have an “evening chic” dress code which can mean dressing elegant and sophisticated in your way.

Here are some examples of “casual” dinner cruise outfits. Keep in mind that I like to dress up no matter what the dress code is.

Cruise Outfits Evening

Here is a great example of a casual dinner outfit that doesn’t involve a dress. A pair of nice dark pants and a dressy top and flats will do the job for casual nights.

Formal Dinner Outfits

Here are some examples of formal dinner cruise outfits for the main dining room I’ve worn on recent cruises:

formal cruise outfits

Some cruise lines have “ formal ” nights, but even in recent years the strictness of the dress code has become more lax . Formal dress codes for ladies include cocktail dresses, elegant skirts, and evening-wear blouses.

But if you still want to wear a formal evening gown, it’s welcome. It’s a great excuse to dress up a little.

Double-check which cruise line you are cruising with to see the exact evening dress code.

What to wear on a cruise

No matter if you are going on a Caribbean Cruise or a Mediterranean cruise, here are things you should pack for your next cruise.

Pack sundresses to wear during the day, early evening, and perhaps dinner. These can be flowy maxi dresses or shorter styles. My favorite Amazon Maxi dress looks more expensive than it is and works great on a cruise.

Bonus tip: find dresses in non-wrinkle materials such as jersey material so you won’t have to worry about trying to get the wrinkles out.

Swimwear & Cover-ups:

what to wear on a cruise

You will be living in a swimsuit & coverup on your cruise, so be sure you bring your favorites. I love this one piece from Amazon . It’s flattering on any body type, comes in multiple colors, and looks expensive.

This beach coverup from Amazon is also one of my favorites. It’s in a nice cotton gauze-like material and looks so sophisticated.

Lightweight Jacket / Scarf

No matter when or where your cruise is, a lightweight jacket is a good idea for added warmth on cooler nights or heavy inside air conditioning. This could be a denim jacket, a lightweight sweater, or shall.

I’d recommend going for an extra-large scarf or sweater that still can be worn over your shoulders during the evening. It’s not too casual and looks dressy, while still keeping you warm.

Dark Pants / Jeans:

Be sure to bring a dark pair of pants or jeans if you don’t want to wear dresses to dinner. Dark pant goes with any dressy top, and it’s a basic you can wear more than once on your cruise.

Evening Dress

A nice evening dress is essential for any cruise. I find that a little black dress is a perfect item to bring because it’s dressy and easy to pack.

Some of my favorite evening dresses from Amazon .

cruise voyager outfit

A pair of sandals that you can easily slip on and off are a must. Ideally, bring a pair that you don’t mind getting wet – especially if you plan on going to the resort pool deck or any water excursion.

You can bring heels, but keep in mind that you’ll be doing plenty of walking on cruise ships, and most of the time they are carpeted. If your heels are uncomfortable on land, they will be uncomfortable at sea.

A great compromise is a shorter kitten heel, a wedge, or a dressy flat.

A pair of white sneakers go with everything and are comfortable to put on after wearing sandals for so many days. These are great to have for strenuous activities, adventurous excursions, and exploring ports of call.

Read next :  23 Best White Sneakers For Women You Can Wear All Day

Sun Hat & Pair of Sunglasses

Don’t forget your accessories like a sun hat and a pair of sunglasses. To avoid your hat getting blown away by the wind, find one with a chin strap.

canvas tote bag

You’d be surprised at how many things you need to bring with you when you leave your cruise cabin.

I love bringing a stylish tote bag to throw all my essentials for the day inside like sunscreen, book, phone or tablet, an extra change of clothes, towel, etc.

I recommend this stylish tote from Amazon that I wore on my recent cruise. Or I love a sturdy canvas tote that goes with any outfit.

Mens Cruise Outfits

I can’t leave the men hanging, so here are some men’s cruise outfit ideas:

Men’s Day Outfits

During the day, men can wear casual clothing like swim trunks and a neutral shirt that is acceptable for the breakfast buffet and the resort deck.

Men’s Evening Cruise Outfits

Cruise Outfits Men

Now unfortunately for the men, the evening cruise line dress code applies mostly to men.

Cruises suggest men wear in general long pants or nice jeans, a collared dress shirt, and dress shoes.

For Formal Nights : Men should wear dress slacks, a collared shirt, and a sports coat. A tux or suit is optional, but double-check the specifics from your cruise line.

@danaberez Some outfits i packed for my cruise vacation #cruiseoutfits #vacationoutfitinspo #cruiseoutfitideas ♬ BLING BLING – ALTÉGO

Cruise Outfits FAQ:

How many outfits to pack per day on a cruise.

I would pack two outfits per day on a cruise- something to wear during the day either on board or at a port of call, and something a bit dressier for the evening. Now you can wear a swimsuit & coverup more than once on your vacation, so keep that in mind when you’re packing.

Do you dress up for dinner on a cruise?

Generally yes, you do dress up for dinner on a cruise. However, a lot of cruises are dropping the mandatory “formal” night where you had to dress to the nines in black tie attire. Instead, you’ll find smart casual, or evening chic dress codes in place for dinner.

Cruise OUtfits for Ladies

What are the best clothes to wear on a cruise?

You’ll want to wear something comfortable and casual during the day. Don’t forget your swimsuit for excursions or lounging at the resort deck. And add something a bit dressy for the evening.

What NOT to wear on a cruise?

Now there are a few things not to wear on a cruise that pertain mostly to the evening. Flip flops, swimsuits tank tops, and shorts are generally not allowed inside restaurants during dinner.

Another thing to keep in mind is your footwear. Cruise ships are huge and you’ll be doing a surprising amount of walking (especially if your cabin is on the opposite of the buffet) Don’t wear shoes you can’t walk in like super high heels , etc.

Let’s Sum it up on Cruise Outfits

I hope you found this post helpful for packing for your next cruise vacation. To sum it up here are things you need to think about when packing for cruise outfits.

  • During the day you’ll want to bring something to wear around the cruise ship. Think comfortable and casual.
  • Bring a swimsuit + coverup for days on the resort deck.
  • I always recommend bringing something easy to throw on for quick runs to the buffet, especially in the morning for coffee!

Pro tip: bring a reusable insulated water bottle to fill up with coffee, water (or cocktails) to keep warm or cold throughout your cruise.

  • During the evening pack something a bit dressier. For ladies that can be dark pants and a dressy top or a nice dress. Men should bring long pants and a collared shirt for dinner time.

Headed on a Cruise? – Read these posts next:

The Ultimate Cruise Packing List

Amazon Travel Essentials

What is resort Casual Wear?

Cruise Reviews:

Virgin Voyages Review

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Cruise Outfits

Dana Berez is a fashion and travel blogger with a focus on affordable style and outfit ideas, especially when traveling. Dana Berez has been featured on the Wall Street Journal, CNN Underscored, Apartment Therapy and more! Plus , you can also watch Dana on Youtube for fashion hauls and travel guides that has over 9 million views.

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The Wandering Girl

Everyday Outfit Ideas & Travel Fashion

Outfits , What to Wear · February 27, 2024

11 Best Cruise Outfit Ideas That Look So Relaxing

This post shows you the best cruise outfit ideas.

cruise outfit ideas

Table of Contents

Cruise Outfit Ideas

1. blue formal dress.

blue spaghetti strap dress

If you’re attending a formal dinner or formal event on the cruise, you can wear a tight dress like the one in the photo. I love that it’s a simple dress but also formal enough to wear to fancier occassions.

2. Two Piece Blue Dress

blue two piece set

To wear something more feminine and girly, try wearing a dress or skirt with ruffles. A good idea is a two piece set with a top that has puffed sleeves and a flowy mini skirt.

3. Colorful Flowy Dress

flowy dress

For a very casual look, you can wear a colorful flowy mini dress. The unique aspect of this dress is that is very loose fitting and super comfortable to lounge in around the cruise boat.

4. Green Long Sleeve Wrap Dress

green long sleeve dress

If you want to wear a dress that is not too formal but also not too casual, a long sleeve wrap dress with bright colors is a great outfit to wear.

11 Best Cruise Outfit Ideas That Look So Relaxing

Check your inbox for your classic casual style free guide. 

5. Loungewear Set

loungewear for cruise

Sometimes, you just wanna wear something relaxed and casual around the ship. So I love this loungewear set with a quarter zip and a matching pair of shorts.

6. Off The Shoulder Top and Knit Skirt

off the shoulder top and maxi skirt

Another dressy casual look is to wear a one side off the shoulder top and a midi skirt. This outfit definitely looks like a beach outfit but it’s also very fitting to wear on the cruise boat as well.

7. Pink Long Sleeve Dress

pink dress

Going along with the pink theme, another outfit idea for the cruise is to wear a pink long sleeve dress. This outfit looks casual and pairs great with white sneakers.

8. Pink Top and Denim Shorts

pink top and denim shorts for cruise

If you’re going on a summer tropical cruise, this outfit is a perfect outfit idea. We’re wearing a pink top/bikini and denim shorts. This combination looks very casual and matches the tropical vibes.

9. Long Sleeve Maxi Dress

white maxi long sleeve dress

For a more mature cruise outfit, you can wear a long sleeve maxi dress. What makes this outfit look mature is definitely the material of the dress and how the outfit is accessorized with big earrings.

10. White Top and Jeans

white top and jeans

For a more casual street style-inspired outfit for the cruise, try wearing a white top and a pair of blue jeans. The key to making this outfit look more unique is having more unique details on the white top.

11. Yellow Two Piece Set

yellow matching set

In the mood for a more colorful outfit? You can wear a two piece set with a top and a maxi skirt. I love the yellow color – it looks young, playful, and casual!

You may also like:

  • The Best Outfits To Wear To Hawaii
  • What To Wear To Bali

11 Best Cruise Outfit Ideas That Look So Relaxing

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Yours Truly Chelsea

41 Of The Best Cruise Outfits We’ve Ever Found Online + Cruise Accessories

November 9, 2023

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read  full disclosure  for more information.

Looking for ideas on what cruise outfits to buy for your upcoming vacation? Look no further! Cruise t-shirts, casual wear, formal wear and accessories! In this post you will find top items in each category from Amazon.

This post will go over cruise outfits, cruise outfits for women, cruise ship outfits, caribbean cruise outfits, cruise outfit ideas and more.

What you wear on your cruise will vary greatly depending on the type of cruise it is. Clothes you’d wear for an alaskan cruise are very different from the clothes you would pack for a Caribbean cruise.

This article will be focusing on more tropical, warm weather cruise outfits.

These outfits are the top tried and tested outfits from Amazon for your cruise vacation. From cruise t-shirts, casual vacation wear, cruise formal attire and cruise outfit accessories, this post has it all.

This post is all about cruise outfits.

@yourstrulychelsea I love all three of these dresses so much! All are linked in my bio in my amazon storefront in “vacation/cruise must haves” #greenscreen #cruise #cruiselife #cruisetips #cruisetipsandtricks #cruisehacks #vacation #royalcarribean #royalcarribeancruise #carnivalcruise #carnivalcruiseline #virgincruise #virgincruiseline #norwegiancruise #disneycruise #disneycruiseline #ocean #amazon #amazonstore #amazonstorefront #amazonfinds #amazonmusthaves #amazonfavorites #amazonstorefrontfinds ♬ original sound – CHELSEA CRUISES

Cruise T-Shirts:

Cruise themed t-shirts are extremely popular! You will see all different types of groups on your sailing with themed cruise shirts.

Popular group shirts are: Bachelorette cruise shirts, family cruise shirts, reunion cruise shirts, girls trip cruise shirts, and drink package cruise shirts.

They’re such a fun addition to a vacation and a great way to be able to find your group easier on a cruise ship.

1. Life Is Better On A Cruise

Cruise T-shirt

This cruise t-shirt is a great option if you’re looking for a fun cruise themed shirt for embarkation day! Or any day on a cruise.

Life is better on a cruise is something every cruiser can agree with.

2. Bachelorette Group Shirts

Cruise T-shirt

Bachelorette cruises are becoming more and more popular! I have personally been on one and it was one of the best cruises I have been on.

They are so much fun and adding a themed t-shirt for your group is the perfect way to secure cute group photos!

3. Blame It On The Drink Package

Cruise T-shirt

Blame it on the drink package shirts are some of my favorites!

If you’re commited to getting the drink package on a cruise you are probably down for a good time.

This shirt is such a fun way to show you’re excited to be on the cruise and looking to enjoy your vacation.

4. Cruise Hair Don’t Care 

Cruise T-shirt

Cruise hair don’t care is another great option for a fun and funny cruise themed shirt.

The wind on the cruise pool deck can be very strong or having your hair up all day while on an excursion in port makes this shirt the perfect accessory to a day on a cruise.

5. Drink Package Shirt

Cruise T-shirt

Another hilarious drink package shirt that is a great conversation starter.

I love seeing the different types of cruise themed shirts people wear and this one would definitely make me laugh.

6. Friends Themed Cruise Shirt 

Cruise T-shirt

If you’re a fan of the TV show Friends this is the shirt for you!

It makes a great option for a group going on a cruise vacation together.

7. It’s Cruise Time

Cruise T-shirt

It’s cruise time is another generic cruise shirt that is awesome to sport around the ship all day, any day.

It’s another fun option for embarkation day as well to show how excited you are to be on a cruise because let’s be real, who isn’t?

Top Cruise Packing Tips Guaranteed To Make You Pack Like A Pro

Casual Cruise Outfits:

If you’re looking for casual but cute clothing options for your vacation this is the section for you!

From fun hawaiian shirts to comfy two piece sets, below are several options perfect for a tropical cruise vacation.

1. Hawaiian Shirt #1

Hawaiian Shirt

Going on a cruise you will see tons of Hawaiian shirts. Unless of course you’re cruising to Alaska.

This Hawaiian shirt is a great option for your cruise vacation and can be worn regularly or tied up like shown in the photo.

2. Two Piece Floral Set

Two Piece Set

This two piece skirt set comes in tons of different colors and patterns!

It’s a great option for embarkation day on a cruise or wearing to dinner after a long day of relaxing by the pool.

3. Two Piece Tropical Maxi Dress Set

Tropical Set

If you’re looking for a fun tropical two piece set I would check this outfit out! It comes in different colors and patterns.

Everyone will be asking where you got your outfit from in this tropical fit.

4. Casual Loose Maxi Sundress


Looking for something easy to wear on a shore excursion day?

This dress is cute, lightweight and most importantly comfortable!

5. Two Piece Hawaiian Outfit

Hawaiian Set

Another take on a Hawaiian shirt but in a two piece outift!

This outfit is so cute and works great for a Caribbean cruise whether you’re crusing solo, with the fam or friends.

6. Beach Tank Top

Tank Top

Want something that’s not a t-shirt but is still cute and has graphics?

This tank is the one for you. It’s a great easy option to complete any outfit on your cruise.

7. Two Piece Crop Top And Shorts Set

Crop Set

This outfit will have everyone asking where you got it from!

It comes in several colors and patterns, is cute and easy to throw on to look fabulous!

8. Two Piece Lounge Set

Lounge Set

This two piece lounge set is a good option for breakfast in the buffet, walking around ship on a sea day or for an hour or two in the gym!

Check out all of the colors it’s available in.

9. Linen Pants

Linen Pants

These linen pants are an easy way to elevate any cruise outfit.

Lightweight, comfy and cute, these pants have it all.

10. Two Piece Linen Set

Linen Set

This two piece set is perfect if you’re wanting something easy to put on that looks a little fancy.

It comes in a lot of different colors to fit your needs!

11. Casual Maxi Dress

Maxi Dress

This maxi dress is another option that is perfect for a shore excursion day or to throw on before dinner in the main dining room.

It’s flowy shape is great for letting the breeze on the pool deck or at the beach flow through.

Click Here For Link To Every Outfit Shown

Swim suit cover ups:.

If you’re going on a cruise you will need a swim suit cover up or two.

They’re great options to wear on the pool deck or throw over a swim suit when getting off the ship to explore a tropical port or on your way to a beach club.

1. Beach Sarong Wrap Maxi Skirt

Beach Skirt

If you’re looking for a quick cover up for your swim suit while relaxing on the pool deck of the cruise ship this is a great option.

It ties wherever you want it to and you can adjust it lower or higher depending on your height.

2. Long Beach Kimono

Beach Kimono

This cover up is a beautiful option for a photo op on the beach at one of your cruises port stops.

It ties in the front and comes in several colors.

3. Crochet Cover Up

Cover Up

This crochet cover up is light, airy and works perfectly to throw over a swim suit.

4. Chiffon Sheer Cardigan Cover Up

Sheer Cover Up

If you’re looking for something a little sexier this swim suit cover up may be the one for you.

It ties in the front, comes in several colors and has sheer coverage.

5. Lightweight Shirt Open Front Cover Up

Shirt Cover Up

This shirt is a casual way to cover up on the way to the pool.

The fabric keeps you from getting too hot while still getting some coverage.

@yourstrulychelsea 3 must have products if you are prone to losing things/like to stay organized like I do! #greenscreen #cruise #cruiselife #cruisetips #cruisetipsandtricks #cruisehacks #vacation #royalcarribean #royalcarribeancruise #carnivalcruise #carnivalcruiseline #virgincruise #virgincruiseline #norwegiancruise #disneycruise #disneycruiseline #ocean #amazon #amazonstore #amazonstorefront #amazonfinds #amazonmusthaves #amazonfavorites #amazonstorefrontfinds ♬ Chill Vibes – Tollan Kim

Dressy Casual Cruise Outfits:

If you’re looking for something cute and casual to wear on your cruise but also elevated a little bit so it would work for dinner, etc check out these options!

1. Two Piece Linen Pant Set

Linen Pant Set

Linen is always a cute and comfortable option when on vacation.

This set comes in several colors.

2. Two Piece Crop Top Pant Set

Crop Top Pant Set

This two piece set is available in tons of different colors.

It is a great option for dinner on the cruise ship and to take some photos in.

3. Sleeveless Tank Dress

Tank Dress

This dress is a mix between casual and dressy casual.

Great for dinner in a specialty restaurant.

4. One Shoulder Jumpsuit


This jumpsuit is the perfect option if you’re looking to impress at dinner on the cruise ship or walking around port with a cute hat for a few photos.

5. Crochet Dress

Crochet Dress

This is technially a swim suit cover up but could also be used as a cute in port outfit.

6. Two Piece Cropped Tank With Skirt

Skirt Set

This outfit is an ideal pick for something comfortable that looks very nice.

Lots of colors are available for this set.

7. Cutout Tank Dress

Tank Dress

This dress is great for brunch on a cruise ship, a bite to eat in a specialty restaurant and family photos on the top deck.

8. Sleeveless Slip Dress


This dress is a little more on the casual side because of the material but can be dressed up to work for a slightly fancier environment.

9. Two Piece Knit Skirt Set

Skirt Set

This set is my favorite of the bunch. It is made of thick sweater material making it great quality.

It also comes in several colors.

10. Tie Knot Dress

Knot Dress

This tie dress comes in lots of different colors and can be adjusted since the front has an elastic band and is tied.

{Related Content: 10 Must Try Drinks If You Have A Cruise Drink Package }

Formal cruise attire:.

Every cruise has at least one formal night, if not more.

These options from Amazon are affordable and the ultimate formal night dresses for a cruise.

1. Spaghetti Strap Backless Slit Dress

Backless Dress

This slit dress is a sexier option for formal night with a high slit and spaghetti straps.

2. One Shoulder Long Sleeve Cocktail Dress

Long Sleeve Dress

This dress comes in one shoulder like shown above and also sleeveless. It’s a great option for formal photos.

3. Halter Tied Jumpsuit


This jumpsuit is a little less formal than dress options but still formal enough for gala nights on a cruise.

4. Spaghetti Strap Bodycon Ruched Dress

Ruched Dress

This dress is a little less formal than others since it is cocktail length and not a floor length gown.

It is very stretchy and comfortable while still being an elevated look.

5. V-Neck Sleeveless Ruffle Jumpsuit


Looking to show out on white night on a cruise? Look no further!

This jumpsuit does come in other colors as well.

6. Casual Split Long Maxi Dress

Maxi Dress

This dress is a sweet and beautiful look with a high slit.

7. Long Sleeve Velvet Bodycon Ruched Dress

Velvet Dress

If you’re going on a cruise around Christmas this velet dress is the perfect option.

Cruise Outfit Accessories:

Every outfit needs the right accessories! These cruise essentials and accessories are great options for your vacation.

1. Pillow Slippers


This shoes are the most comfortable slides on the market. They are great for all of the steps you’ll be taking around the ship and in port.

They come in tons of colors as well.

2. Lululemon Belt Bag

Belt Bag

This is the IT bag right now making it the perfect choice for your cruise vacation.

3. Cross Body Bag

Cross Body Bag

If you’re looking for a small bag to take with you on shore excursions this is a stylish option that also comes in lots of different colors.

4.   Foldable Sun Visor

No products found.

This foldable visor is a great option if you want to rock a pony tail while also getting some sun coverage.

It can easily be folded to throw in a bag on the go.

5. Wide Brim Floppy Straw Hat

Floppy Hat

This floppy hat is ideal for shore excursions and walking through the port.

6. Sun Hat With Wide Brim

Wide Brim Hat

This hat is also a great option for the pool deck on your ship or in port.

All of these cruise outfit options are ideal for your cruise vacation, come in lots of colors to choose from and are easy and lightweight for packing.

This post was all about cruise outfits.

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25+ Fashionable Cruise Outfits for Ladies (affordable cruise wear)

Cruise Outfits for Ladies - Cute and Affordable

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Are you going on a cruise and looking for cruise outfits that are fashionable and affordable? In this post you’ll find casual cruise dresses and daywear, formal night dresses , plus a few must-have accessories. 

Use this list of cruise wear to plan outfits to wear on a 7 day cruise. Of course, you can add more clothing items or bring less, depending on the length of your cruise.

All the cruise wear in this post is available on Amazon and linked for convenience. If you’re simply looking for great cruise outfit ideas, you can find similar items elsewhere as well.

This post contains affiliate links which means if you click and buy that I may make a commission, at no cost to you. Please see my disclosure policy for details.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Affordable and Stylish Cruise Wear for Ladies for a 7 Day Cruise

What to Wear on a Caribbean Cruise - Cruise Outfits

If you’re going on a Caribbean , Bermuda or Bahamas cruise, plan on packing light sundresses, shorts and tops, bathing suits and cover ups. Add a couple formal night outfits and some dress shoes , and you’re all set.

Remember that you can pack lighter by wearing outfits more than once on a cruise . A good tip is to pair a daytime outfit with dressier shoes and some jewelry, and wear it in the evening for a whole new look.

Shop my Amazon storefront for current favorites and deals.

Cruise tip: Always pack for the weather of your cruise destination. Cooler weather cruises require warmer clothing. 

Cruise Embarkation Day Outfit Ideas

If you have time to change before heading to the cruise ship on embarkation day , wear something comfortable that you also feel good in. Shorts and a t-shirt or a light sundress are perfect.

Cruise tip: You may want to wear a bathing suit under your clothing, if you’re planning on heading to the pool soon after you board your cruise ship .

Cute Romper

This cute romper is a very cute and affordable embarkation day outfit. It’s perfect for shore excursions and tours as well. 

cruise voyager outfit

Casual Sundress

A sundress is a great embarkation day outfit. Plus, it can be worn later on in the cruise and no one would even know.

This sundress is so cute, with pockets, and available in small to plus sizes.

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended: Sundress with pockets sizes (see color and fabric options, & sizes)  

Romper Tee and Shorts

Very cute and casual, this short sleeve romper shorts outfit is a great comfortable embarkation day outfit.

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended: Comfy short sleeve romper shorts set

Ladies Cruise Wear for Daytime

Cute sundress.

This cute sundress has pockets, along with some cute details!

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended: Short sundress with pockets

Swimsuit Cover up Dress

This sundress cover up is perfect for pool and beach days on a cruise.

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended: Sundress cover up (see price & Amazon reviews here)

Casual T-shirt Dress Tank Style

Wear this cute t-shirt style dress on boarding day, as a cover up or even dressed up with accessories in the evening. 

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended: Casual t-shirt style tank dress (see amazing reviews on Amazon & color options)

Shorts, Tops and Rompers

One piece rompers are very popular and are perfect when you’re hanging out by the pool or doing activities on the cruise ship.

Sleeveless romper shorts

This sleeveless tank romper jumpsuit is available in several colors.

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended: Sleeveless romper (see over 8000 Amazon reviews)

Spaghetti Strap Romper

Perfect for days on a cruise or even a beach vacation, this colorful romper shorts outfit gets amazing reviews!

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended: Romper Shorts Outfit (verify price & styles on Amazon here)

Cute Tops (daytime to evening)

Floral off-the-shoulder top.

This floral top is is gorgeous paired with shorts or white pants. This loose blouse is available in different colors and patterns as well.

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended: Floral off the shoulder top (check price & over 30,000 4.5* Amazon reviews here)

Lace Detailed Top

This v-neck spaguetti strap tank top will look great during the day with shorts or in the evening on a cruise paired with dark jeans. The black is very flattering, but the white is gorgeous too!

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended: Vneck lace spaghetti strap top (see reviews & color options)

Halter Chiffon Top

A halter chiffon top like this pairs beautifully with a white skirt, pants or jeans. It can go from day to evening, depending on how dressy you’re feeling.

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended: Halter chiffon tank top (verify pricing here)

Cute Cruise Outfits for a 7 Day Cruise

Casual Sundresses

Pretty boho dress.

This tank style dress is great for day or casual evenings on a cruise. Love the pockets!

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended: Tank style boho dress (see fabric options & price here)

Sleeveless Striped Casual Dress

This casual striped dress is great on a cruise or for everyday!

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended: Casual striped sleeveless dress (see different colors & reviews here)

Long sundress

This long halter top dress is so pretty! It’s great for day or evening on a cruise.

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended: Long halter top dress (check price & reviews on Amazon here)

2 piece sundress

This sleeveless floral 2 piece sundress is so pretty for a Caribbean or even a Mediterranean cruise .

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended: 2 piece sundress (see beautiful style choices on Amazon)

This long boho floral print sundress is on trend this year and will look great on a cruise, either day or evening. I’m excited to wear this dress on an upcoming cruise!

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended: Long floral boho sundress (see reviews & other patterns here)

Casual Sleeveless Dress

A loose casual dress like this one can look great on it’s own, or over a bathing suit if you’re off on a shore excursion.

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended: Sleeveless dress tank style (see 15,000+ Amazon reviews)

Related:  What I Wore on a 7 Day Caribbean Cruise (Cruise Outfits with Photos)

Get The Ultimate Cruise Planner

Regular price: $27 now just $17.

cruise voyager outfit

Sleeveless Bodycon Hollow Out Dress

If you like a tighter fit dress, this bodycon hollow out dress is a great vacation outfit. The tropical patterns and solid designs are equally pretty!

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended: Sleeveless Hollow Out Bodycon Short Dress

Maxi Dresses & 2 Piece Outfits

2 piece outfits are in style these days, and look great day or evening on a Caribbean, Bahamas or even a Mediterranean cruise.

2 Piece Jumpsuit with Drawstring Pants

This 2 piece jumpsuit is with drawstring pants is very flattering and very on trend this year. The long crop top has gorgeous ruffle detail, and pairs well with the loose drawstring pants.

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended: 2 piece jumpsuit (see over 7000 Amazon reviews)

I love maxi dresses! They’re gorgeous for day or casual evenings on a cruise.

This halter style maxi dress is so flattering for ladies of all ages!

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended:   Halter style maxi dress (verify price & color options here)

Maxi Dress with Pockets

This maxi dress with pockets comes in several fabric choices and two styles, with and without sleeves.

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended: Maxi dress with pockets (see style options here)

Halter Neck Beach Dress

The detail on this halter neck long dress is so pretty! This is a newer dress that is popular (4.5* reviews) for good reason.

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended: Halter dress with detail (see different colors & price on Amazon here)

Loose Dress with Pockets (Racerback style)

This loose dress is so easy, cute and comfortable. I love the black, however there are so many colors to choose from!

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended:  Tank style maxi dress (with pockets & racerback)

Summer Casual Midi Dress

This cute mid-length dress is on trend this year. It’s classy, yet casual and perfect for cruising!

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended: Midi casual dress (see color and pattern choices on Amazon)

Ladies Dresses for Evenings on a Cruise

Cruise tip: The dress code on most cruise lines will be casual and smart casual for 5 days out of a 7 day cruise. There will usually be 2 formal nights or dress up evenings. Longer cruises will have an additional formal night.

Ladies Floral Halter Dress

This floral dress is very flattering, light and airy. It would work well any evening in the main dining room or specialty restaurant on a cruise.

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended: Floral halter dress (see reviews and photos on Amazon)

Mid-length Strapless Dress

Here’s a pretty strapless dress that will look great in the evening on a cruise, from Celebrity to Norwegian.

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended: Mid-length strapless dress (available in solid colors too)

A Line Midi Dress

This elegant dress is beautiful in every color! 

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended: Elegant mid length dress (see reviews photos on Amazon here)

Jumpsuit Romper

While there are a lot of beautiful dresses in this post, you can definitely wear pants and in many cases, even jeans on a cruise. Jumpsuits and rompers are trendy and flattering, and will look great on a cruise in the evening.

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended: Pants jumpsuit romper (see different styles here)

Halter Style Floral Summer Dress

This floral dress is so pretty! It’s available from small to plus sizes.

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended: Halter style short dress (see 3500+ awesome Amazon reviews)

What to Wear on a Caribbean Cruise - 25 Outfit Ideas

Ladies Cruise Formal Dresses

Mermaid style long dress.

This Bodycon long dress is perfect for formal nights on a cruise. The halter top style is absolutely gorgeous!

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended: Bodycon mermaid style long dress (see 5000+ Amazon reviews)

Short Cocktail Dress

A short cocktail dress is a popular choice for many women for cruise formal or chic evenings. The ruffle sleeves and slit add a beautiful detail to the dress.

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended: Ruffle sleeve cocktail dress (verify pricing & Amazon reviews here)

Lace Top Cocktail Dress

A little black dress is always appropriate for cruise formal nights, however the lace detail on this dress just adds an extra touch of elegance. Like most of the other dresses in this list of cruise outfit ideas, it’s very affordable.

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended: Lace detail cocktail dress (verify price on Amazon here)

Plus Size Long Cocktail Dress

This short sleeve plus size dress is gorgeous and very flattering.

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended: Plus size cocktail dress (see sizing & color options here)

Related: 20+ Favorite Cruise Dresses & Resort Wear on Amazon (I’m wearing right now)

Must-Have Shoes and Accessories for a Cruise

Make sure to bring a cute sandal, a closed toe walking or running shoe, and a pair of dress shoes. If you’re planning on hanging by the pool or beach, flip flops are a must as well.

Cruise tip: Often flip flops are not permitted in restaurants and main dining rooms, so make sure to bring a slightly dressier sandal for evenings.

For more shoe suggestions, please read this post next: Best Shoes to Pack for a Cruise .

Nice sandals

These stylish sandals look great and cost way less than anyone would think.

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended: Dressy flat sandal (check pricing on Amazon here)

Swimsuit Cover Up

Make sure to pack a bathing suit cover up or two for cruise sea days.

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended: Swimsuit cover up (see color options here)

Make sure to have a wide brim sun hat on your Caribbean cruise packing list! The bow detail on this sunhat elevates the look.

cruise voyager outfit

Recommended: Wide brim sunhat

More Cruise Outfit and Packing Ideas

Please feel free to check my Amazon storefront where I share and list my favorite cruise clothing items, packing essentials , jewelry and beauty essentials for a cruise  and more.

Life Well Cruised Amazon Storefront – I update and add great items frequently, so make sure to Follow my pae and check back as you need items for your future cruise.

Read next: More Cruise Packing Lists

  • 15 Best Beach and Tote Bags for a Cruise
  • 15 Matching Cruise t-Shirts for Families, Couples & Groups
  • Best Shoes to Bring for a Cruise
  • 50 Must-have Cruise Essentials – Amazon List
  • Best Travel Gadgets to Bring on a Cruise
  • Best Things to Pack in Your Cruise Carry-On Bag
  • What Toiletries to Pack for a Cruise
  • Beach Day Essentials
  • What to Pack in Your Cruise Shore Excursion Day Bag

Final Thoughts: 25 Fashionable Cruise Outfits for Ladies (affordable cruise wear)

In this post I shared 25 cruise outfits for women that are stylish and affordably priced. Hopefully you’ll have found some cruise wear suggestions that will be helpful as you plan your next cruise!

Have suggestions of outfits you love? Please let me know in the comments below.

Happy cruising!

If you found this article helpful, please pass it along. Please feel free to share on Facebook or PIN to your favorite Pinterest board (share buttons at the top). Thanks so much!

Let’s connect:

Follow me on Facebook at Life Well Cruised

Follow me on YouTube at Life Well Cruised

Follow me on Pinterest at Life Well Cruised

Follow me on Instagram at Life Well Cruised

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Love your Blog. I do have one suggestion, would you please show samples of what to wear for those of us over 70 who do not wear the cute sleeveless tops and dresses?

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Absolutely! Thanks for your suggestion 🙂

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Outfits for the 70+ woman who is also plus size and cannot wear sleeveless or strapless. I’ve had a mastectomy and wider straps work better over spaghetti straps.

Thanks Ann for reading! I have this post (by request) which has a lot of nice options with sleeves: https://lifewellcruised.com/what-to-wear-on-a-cruise-for-ladies-over-60/

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Thanks a lot for sharing these great tips with us. I am really need this. Keep it up.

So glad this was helpful 🙂

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Love the information. Could you include outfits for plus size women too?

So glad you enjoyed the post! I have another one with plus size cruise wear here: https://lifewellcruised.com/plus-size-cruise-wear-cruise-outfits-for-curvy-women/

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40+ Style

Home » How to dress after 40 » What to wear » What to wear on a cruise – the cruise clothing essentials to pack

What to wear on a cruise – the cruise clothing essentials to pack

by Sylvia | Dec 25, 2023 | 3 comments

Going on a cruise this season? Lucky you! It’s a great way to visit several destinations in one trip. But that can also make it tricky to decide what to pack. Below, we will show you what to wear on a cruise and which cruise clothing essentials you will need, This will ensure that you have everything you need for shore excursions and fun aboard the ship.

Rooms on board ships tend to be small with limited space. Although, the big advantage is that, even though you are traveling to multiple destinations, you only need to unpack once! Your accommodation is also your mode of transportation.

But, you will still want to plan your outfits carefully and pack pieces that you can wear in multiple ways so you don’t take up vital cabin space.

Below, you will find our list of what to wear on cruise and what to pack to set sail for sunny destinations in style. But first, some general tips when thinking about what to pack for your cruise vacation.

Is it okay to wear jeans on a cruise?

Should you take your trusty jeans on your cruise? Yes, denim is definitely acceptable in most situations, although think about how much room it will take up in your case. You can wear denim shorts during the day, and you’ll probably be able to wear your jeans in the evening. Just check the dress code for your cruise line as some don’t allow jeans in the dining room at night.

What colors should you wear on a cruise?

Anything goes when it comes to your choice of colors. Make sure that you think about how your clothes will go together to create different choices. Have fun with your color combinations. And, we’d avoid too many dark colors as they go ‘against’ the fun element of a cruise.

Do you still have to dress up on cruises?

Some cruise lines do still have a dress code for diner, so be sure to check. Plus, dressing up is one of the fun things about a cruise. It’s a great excuse to make an effort with your evening outfits.

what to wear on a cruise – Your cruise packing list

Below is what we recommend taking along for a cruise trip. Take a look for your what to wear on a cruise packing essentials.

Cruise dresses for day and night

Dresses don’t take up much space in your luggage, and are vacation workhorses.

A dress can take you from brunches and lunches on board and can easily be dressed up or down with a change of shoes.

If the weather is warm or humid, a dress can be worn alone or paired with a jacket or lightweight sweater when it turns cooler at night.

Wear your dress with comfortable gladiator sandals or stylish slip on sneakers in a metallic hue.

Pack at least one stylish maxi dress and a sundress in a shorter length.

Cruise essential – Maxi dress or jumpsuit

A maxi dress or jumpsuit can be perfectly laidback, or more formal, depending on the cruise you are going on.

Choose one which you can sling over your swimsuit after a day at the pool so that you can head to the bar for cocktails.

You can pop a cardigan or wrap over for evenings.

You may also wish to take a look at the best dresses with sleeves for women over 40 and how to wear a maxi dress .

What to wear on a cruise - Loveappella Maxi Dress | 40plusstyle.com

Loveappella Maxi Dress

What to wear on a cruise - Carmen in a pink sundress | 40plusstyle.com

Carmen @carmen_gimeno above chooses a pink dress and shirt that would be perfect for a cruise. You could wear the shirt with your shorts or as a swimsuit cover-up too.

Recreate her outfit with this similar dress , shirt , sandals , handbag and sunglasses .

what to wear on a cruise – a Versatile sundress

As well as a maxi dress, you will want an easy-breezy knee-length or midi style that you can wear for days on board as well as for sightseeing excursions.

Choose a dress that you can easily pop over your swimwear, but which will also take you from day to night.

A dress in a light fabric will be perfect. You can wear over your swimsuit, or for sightseeing with sandals. Or you can dress up with heels for evening. You can also wear over pants for a different look.

What to wear on a cruise - Polo Ralph Lauren Ivara Floral Puff-Sleeve Midi-Dress | 40plusstyle.com

Polo Ralph Lauren Ivara Floral Puff-Sleeve Midi-Dress

Evening dress for cruise formal night

If you’re thinking about what to wear on cruise and what to pack, consider that most cruise have formal nights. Depending on the cruise line, it can be anywhere from an elegant dressy affair to a more casual dinner and cocktails.

Pack two dinner outfits if your cruise is a week, so you’ll be prepared. As well as a cocktail dress, We’d be tempted to pack a jumpsuit as these can easily be dressed up or down. A black dres s will go with everything and you can easily change it up with accessories to create different looks.

What to wear on a cruise - J.Crew A-Line Matte Jersey Midi Dress | 40plusstyle.com

J.Crew A-Line Matte Jersey Midi Dress

What to wear on a cruise – Tops

I’d keep the tops you choose, like the rest of your cruise outfits, very versatile.

Opt for tops you can either dress down for day, or dress up with jewelry and heels for evening. Also, choose tops which you can wear either with pants or shorts, or over your swimwear as cover-ups.

A T-shirt (or more) is essential no matter where you are going. The Caslon T-shirt (below), will add interest to your daytime outfits, and could be dressed up with wide leg pants or a midi skirt for evening.

What to wear on a cruise - Caslon Twist Hem V-Neck T-Shirt | 40plusstyle.com

Caslon Twist Hem V-Neck T-Shirt

A tunic top is the ideal choice as you can pop over your swimsuit for days onboard, but you can also wear over your shorts or pants for days spent ashore sightseeing. You can leave loose or tuck it in to create different looks.

Natori Barong Gradient Tunic | 40plusstyle.com

Natori Barong Gradient Tunic

When thinking about what to pack for a cruise, a shirt is so useful for your trip. You can wear over your shirts or pants, you can tuck into jeans or a skirt, or you can wear over your swimsuit as a cover-up.

120% Lino Linen Buttoned Shirt | 40plusstyle.com

120% Lino Linen Buttoned Shirt

If you’re cruising somewhere warm, you may want to opt for some sleeveless tops. Tank tops can be worn with your shorts, pants or skirts, or are useful for layering under your shirts, or you can always wear as pajama tops. The J.Crew tank top (below) features a bra shelf for extra support.

J.Crew Vintage Rib Shelf-Bra Tank Top | 40plusstyle.com

J.Crew Vintage Rib Shelf-Bra Tank Top

What to wear on a cruise - Georgette wears palazzo pants | 40plusstyle.com

Georgette @grownandcurvywoman above (read her style interview here ) chooses a red tank top with her palazzo pants.

Get her look with this similar tank top (another option here ) , wide pan ts (another option here ), sandals , bag and earrings .

Day to night top

Choose a top that will go with your shorts during the day and that you can elevate at night with a statement necklace. If you choose a top in a beautiful material or with some draping, you can easily dress it up or down.

Ramy Brook Sabrina Surplice Tie Top | 40plusstyle.com

Ramy Brook Sabrina Surplice Tie Top

What to wear on a cruise – pants and shorts

When considering what to wear on a cruise, think about the weather. If you’re going for sunny locations, it’s highly recommended you bring shorts. On most cruises, you’ll be going ashore to explore ports of call. Pack a pair of stylish crop pants or shorts to wear for sightseeing.

Choose pants or shorts you can move comfortably in. You probably want to avoid denim as this isn’t the coolest fabric in hot weather.

cropped pants

A pair of pants will also be a hardworking staple of your cruise wardrobe. Choose a cropped pair to keep your ankles cool. You can wear it with your t-shirt and sandals or sneakers for the day, or you can dress up with a silky top and heeled sandals for the evening.

Theory Crop Straight-Leg Trousers | 40plusstyle.com

Theory Crop Straight-Leg Trousers

For more tips check our article on how to wear cropped pants .

palazzo pants

A pair of wide, palazzo pants can look effortlessly stylish on a cruise or vacation. Wear with your tank top and shirt and sandals during the day.

Bird & Knoll Darcy Striped Cotton Voile Palazzo Pants | 40plusstyle.com

Bird & Knoll Darcy Striped Cotton Voile Palazzo Pants

What to pack for a cruise: Shorts

A pair of shorts is a must for casual days on the ship and for excursions. Choose a pair that is mid-length so you have enough coverage but is also cool.

The J.Crew chinos (below) are a good mid-length, and come in a choice of neutral shades.

See more of our tips in our article on how to wear shorts .

J.Crew Pleated Capeside Chino Short | 40plusstyle.com

J.Crew Pleated Capeside Chino Short

What to wear on a cruise - Kylie wears shorts and a white shirt | 40plusstyle.com

Kylie @kylish_aus above chooses a classic shorts and shirt outfit and makes sure to protect her face and eyes.

Steal her look with this similar blouse , denim shorts , sneakers , sun hat and sunglasses .

Packing for a cruise – Swimsuits & cover-ups

Pack at least two swimsuits for your trip, so you can rotate them in case the other is wet. There’s nothing worse than having to put on a wet swimsuit.

Choose cover-ups which you can wear not just over your swimwear, but also as tops and dresses.

You will want more than one swimsuit as you will want to be in a position where you can rinse one out and leave it to dry, and wear the other one.

We’d make one of your swimsuits a classic black or one color style as you can wear it under any cover-up you choose, or you can wear it with shorts or pants instead of a top.

Want more ideas for bathing suits, check our article on the best swimwear brands .

Miraclesuit Swim Razzle Dazzle Siren One-Piece Swimsuit | 40plusstyle.com

Miraclesuit Swim Razzle Dazzle Siren One-Piece Swimsuit

You could also opt for a tankini. That way you can wear the bikini bottoms with the rashvest below or the tankini top.

Boden Capri Tankini Top - Boden Amalfi Fold Over Bottoms | 40plusstyle.com

Boden Capri Tankini Top – Boden Amalfi Fold Over Bottoms

If you might be spending some time swimming, snorkeling or paddle boarding, you’ll want to make sure that you don’t get sunburned. A rash vest can protect your chest and arms from UV rays. The rashguard swimsuit (below) comes well-reviewed with wearers saying it is a flattering fit, and you can leave it slightly unzipped for a sexier look, or fully zipped for more coverage.

Trina Turk Solar Floral Half Zip Rashguard Swimsuit | 40plusstyle.com

Trina Turk Solar Floral Half Zip Rashguard Swimsuit

Choose a hardworking cover-up that you can pop on over your swimsuit, or wear with your pants as a top.

You might also wish to pack a longer cover-up. Depending on your ports of call, this could be useful if you are visiting any religious sites such as temples and you need to cover your knees and shoulders.

Elan Wrap Maxi Cover-Up Dress | 40plusstyle.com

Elan Wrap Maxi Cover-Up Dress

Depending on the style of cover-up you choose, you can wear it over your swimwear, or as a duster jacket on cooler evenings. The Farm Rio sarong (below) would look good over your bathing suit.

Farm Rio Inner Beach Printed Long Sarong | 40plusstyle.com

Farm Rio Inner Beach Printed Long Sarong

Check out our list of the best swimsuit cover-ups in stores now.

What to take on a cruise – jackets, Wraps & cardigans

If you are heading to a tropical destination, you may think you don’t need warm clothing. But, you are likely to want a wrap or cardigan (or both) for cooler evenings on deck, and because you will find that much of the ship is air-conditioned.

short jacket

A short jacket can be an incredibly flattering choice to wear over your maxi dresses as it can make your legs look long in comparison to your torso. The Mother denim jacket (below) comes in a pattern that will make your denim jacket stand out.

Mother The Mountain Drifter Geometric Denim Jacket | 40plusstyle.com

Mother The Mountain Drifter Geometric Denim Jacket

What to wear on a cruise - Kimba in a denim jacket and cargo pants | 40plusstyle.com

Kimba @kimbalikes above chooses pink denim with her cargo pants.

Get her look with this similar top , denim jacket , pants , sneakers and sunglasses .

You can wear your wrap over your shoulders with your evening dress, or slung over your daywear if it’s chilly on deck.

Nordstrom Shimmer Wrap | 40plusstyle.com

Nordstrom Shimmer Wrap

A cardigan is also a versatile option. You can wear over your dresses as well as if you have a plane journey to and from your first and final port.

Cara Cara Bettina Stripe Cardigan | 40plusstyle.com

Cara Cara Bettina Stripe Cardigan

4 pairs of cruise shoes to pack

It may seem like a lot, and we agree as usually we’d recommend only packing 3 pairs of shoes for most vacations.

However, for a cruise, it’s useful to have a pair of pool shoes you don’t mind getting wet, some smarter flat sandals, a pair of comfy sneakers for walking on excursions, and a pair of low heels to go with your evening dress. And, your flat shoes won’t take up much room.

Choose a pair of stylish, yet comfy sandals which you can wear for walking around your ship and for days offshore which don’t require too much strenuous walking.

TOMS Sidney Tread Sandals | 40plusstyle.com

TOMS Sidney Tread Sandals

Flip flops are always handy to have, and they don’t take up very much room in your luggage at all. Slip on after your swims on the ship.

Tory Burch Miller Soft Sandals | 40plusstyle.com

Tory Burch Miller Soft Sandals

Excursion sneakers

You may find that some excursions require more walking than others. Perhaps you are hiking to a waterfall, or walking up steps to get to a fabulous view. I’d pack either some comfortable canvas slip-ons or walking shoes.

Dolce Vita Zina Sneakers | 40plusstyle.com

Dolce Vita Zina Sneakers

Low heels for evening

Even if you don’t tend to take heels on vacation with you, when you are cruising, you are likely to find that there is an eveningwear dress code. Your heels will go well with your formal evening dress.

Make sure to opt for block heels because these are much easier to walk in while you’re at sea than thinner heels like stilettos or kitten heels and they won’t damage the deck.

Opt for a lower or block heel. Really high heels on a swaying boat can be difficult to walk in or dance the night away in.

Vionic Chardonnay Ankle Straps Heeled Sandals | 40plusstyle.com

Vionic Chardonnay Ankle Straps Heeled Sandals

Cruise clothing essentials: What to wear on a cruise and what to pack | 40plusstyle.com

Nikki @midlifechic above shows how you could wear flat sandals with your evening dress.

Recreate her outfit with this similar halter dress (anther option here ), sandals (another option here ), clutch and necklace .

You may also want to look at the most comfortable heels that look hip and are comfortable to wear .

Cruise outfits – Accessories to pack on a cruise

Accessories can make or break an outfit anywhere, and the same applies to a cruise. But, they can be even more vital on vacation.

You will want a sun hat to protect your head and face from the sun, a pair of sunglasses to add style and protect your eyes, and a crossbody bag which you can keep your purse secure in when you leave the ship for excursions.

If you’re heading to sunny climes, a hat is vital to protect your skin and your eyes. You can wear while reading your book by the pool, and for sightseeing. Choose a style with a wide brim to keep the sun off your face.

The straw hat (below) is ideal for packing for a trip, and it comes in a wide choice of colors, so you’re sure to find a shade that goes with your cruise trip capsule. Reviewers say it looks great on everyone, and it holds its shape well.

Lanzom Wide Brim Straw Panama Hat | 40plusstyle.com

Lanzom Wide Brim Straw Panama Hat

Excursion bag

Take a small crossbody bag to hold your essentials.

Select a bag that works with your daytime casual outfits and is large enough to easily hold your cell phone, passport, money cards and sunscreen – keeping everything safe and secure if you are heading out on a shore excursion.

Your excursion bag will have to be hardworking. You want to make sure it is stylish, but that it will keep your belongings close to you.

The Travelon anti-theft messenger bag is a favorite among travelers.

Also take a look at our article on the best travel purses .

Travelon Anti-Theft Crossbody Bag | 40plusstyle.com

Travelon Anti-Theft Crossbody Bag

Slip a small evening clutch into your luggage. It won’t take up much room but will make your outfit evening-ready. Make sure it’s large enough to hold your cellphone and lipstick.

Olga Berg Amalia Pleated Woven Straw Clutch | 40plusstyle.com

Olga Berg Amalia Pleated Woven Straw Clutch

beach or tote bag

A tote bag is useful so you can pack a towel and your book for going ashore, or a tote if you just want to carry your essentials around the boat.

Longchamp Le Pliage Green Recycled Canvas Large Tote | 40plusstyle.com

Longchamp Le Pliage Green Recycled Canvas Large Tote

You probably don’t want to take anything too valuable when considering what to pack for a cruise, but a few well-chosen pieces can make a big difference to your cruise outfits. Plus, they won’t take up too much room in your luggage, or your cabin.

A statement necklace or earrings can dress up an outfit to get you ready for a drink at the bar.

Lizzie Fortunato Interval Cultured Pearl Collar Necklace | 40plusstyle.com

Lizzie Fortunato Interval Cultured Pearl Collar Necklace

BaubleBar Macaw Me Beaded Statement Drop Earrings | 40plusstyle.com

BaubleBar Macaw Me Beaded Statement Drop Earrings

Just as your sunhat is important for both protection and style, your sunglasses will protect your eyes and add some pizzazz to all of your daytime outfits. Choose a color that will go with all your outfits.

Loewe Stella 52MM Acetate Sunglasses | 40plusstyle.com

Loewe Stella 52MM Acetate Sunglasses

What to wear on a cruise - Tamera in a white outfit | 40plusstyle.com

Tamera @tamerabeardsley above (read her style interview here ) chooses an all-white outfit, and a wide-brimmed hat to shade her face from the sun.

Check out this similar off the shoulder top , pants , flats , woven bag , sunhat , earrings and sunglasses .

cruise essentials

As well as your outfits, you’ll want to pack some essentials into your suitcase.

No matter where you are traveling, sunscreen is a must to protect your skin from sun damage. Reviewers say the Neutrogena sunscreen (below) goes on sheer and can be worn under make-up.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Water Resistant and Non-Greasy Sunscreen Lotion | 40plusstyle.com

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Water Resistant and Non-Greasy Sunscreen Lotion

Mosquito repellent

You probably won’t need insect repellent while onboard your cruise as the ocean breeze will keep mosquitos away. But it’s useful to have for any excursions.

OFF! FamilyCare Mosquito Repellent IV | 40plusstyle.com

OFF! FamilyCare Mosquito Repellent IV

It can get breezy when you’re cruising, so to make sure your towel stays on your sunlounger, a couple of beach towel clips can be handy.

Beach Towel Clips | 40plusstyle.com

12 Pack Clothes Pins

your kindle

You can download all your reading material on your Kindle rather than carrying bulky books around with you. You can add guidebooks to the destinations you will be visiting as well as novels to read by the pool. The Kindle Oasis (below) is metal rather than plastic, and waterproof in case you splash it while by the water.

Kindle Oasis | 40plusstyle.com

Kindle Oasis

something to put it in

Of course, you’ll need something to pack your cruise clothing in. The TUMI suitcase (below) is well-reviewed and should be easy to roll up the gangplank.

TUMI 20 Degree International Expandable Roller Carry-On Suitcase | 40plusstyle.com

TUMI 20 Degree International Expandable Roller Carry-On Suitcase

Cruise attire – 9 cruise outfits to inspire you

If you’re thinking about what to pack for a cruise this year, I hope these outfits inspire your cruise packing list and help you experience a wonderful ship bound vacation.

You can see that you could easily change the outfits around to create more looks. For example, you could wear the striped cardigan over the red dress, the gold wrap with the sundress and heels for evening, or the tie top with the shorts or cropped pants.

Cruise capsule wardrobe | 40plusstyle.com

shop some of the items above here:

Want more of our tips on how to create capsule wardrobes? Read our article on how to create a capsule wardrobe for a complete guide.

Below is a previous cruise capsule. While the items are past season, they should still give you some inspiration if you are thinking about what to wear on a cruise.

Cruise capsule wardrobe | 40plusstyle.com

Do you know what to wear on a cruise? Don’t forget to tell us about your own cruise clothing essentials in the comments below. What’s on your cruise packing list?

Bon Voyage!

Continue reading:

  • What To Wear On A Boat – Whether You’re On A Super Yacht Or A Dinghy
  • The Best Bathing Suit Cover Ups – From Beach Cover Up To Maxi Kaftan!
  • The Best Bathing Suits For Women Over 40 – Swim Suits That Make You Feel Fabulous!

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Cruise clothing essentials: What to wear on a cruise and what to pack | 40plusstyle.com

Feature image by Nikki @midlifechic

cruise voyager outfit

Sylvia is 40+style’s editor-in-chief and has been helping women find their unique style since 2011. An alumni of the School of Color and Design, she is devoted to empowering women of any age to look and feel their best. Read more about Sylvia and 40+style on this page .

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I have been cruising for 10+ years with a group of women friends. My capsule consists of at least 2 swimsuits and dedicated cover-ups (don’t want suntan lotion stains/smells on a top I’m going to wear again). I bring a black skirt and black pants with 2-3 tops for regular dinners, and one dressy top/dress for formal nights. One outfit for an excursion (mostly we go to beach clubs, so swimsuit/cover-up works for that). Flip flops, low heels, sandals (we don’t do excursions requiring heavy walking), 1 pair of each. A crushable sun hat. A caftan for wearing in the room and a tee shirt/yoga pant for breakfast. All my clothes fit in an under-seat (rolling) carry on bag. Toiletries and one of the cover-ups/swimsuits to change into once on the ship go in a tote that becomes my beach bag and fits over the handle of my carry on.


This is a wonderful line-up of possibilities. And not only for on a cruise.


Hello Sylvia I been following your blog for a while now and I am a FAN and share it with all my “over 40” friends. I was missing these kinds of posts where you suggest outfits for different occasions or seasons. Your club is fantastic but not affordable to me so I really enjoy these kinds of posts and not only interviews (which are nice too). Keep them coming, éxito! Esther from the other side of the world ( PR in the Caribbean)

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cruise voyager outfit


What to wear on a cruise: 21+ cruise outfits for women that are cute and comfy!

Are you searching for some super cute yet comfy cruise outfits for women ? This article has you covered!

Selecting the right attire for a cruise is key to ensuring comfort and style. An array of activities on board necessitates a versatile wardrobe for any woman. Here are some comfy yet cute outfit ideas for a cruise!

cruise outfits for women

Cruise outfits for women: Daytime Attire

When packing for a cruise, women should consider outfits that balance comfort with style. Daytime attire on a cruise ship can vary from relaxed and casual to slightly more dressed-up for brunch or exploring port cities. Below are various outfit suggestions that cater to different tastes and activities during the day.

A cute romper to keep you cool

A romper is an effortless, all-in-one garment that keeps a woman cool in the warm cruise environment. Its playful design is perfect for on-board activities or short excursions. Lightweight fabrics like cotton make it a comfortable choice for a sunny day out.

cruise voyager outfit

Linen pants and a crop top for a chic look

Pairing linen pants with a crop top offers a blend of sophistication and relaxation. Linen is breathable, making it a smart pick for warmer climates. A crop top adds a modern, youthful touch to the outfit, suitable for a chic afternoon on deck.

cruise voyager outfit

A flowy dress for a cute and comfy look

Flowy dresses allow for ease of movement and a carefree vibe. They’re a staple for cruising due to their versatility and the ability to keep the wearer cool. Opt for bright or nautical patterns to align with the cruise atmosphere.

cruise voyager outfit

Two-piece set for a stylish look

Two-piece sets are trendy and practical for women wanting a coordinated look with minimal effort. These sets can range from matching shorts and tops to skirt and blouse combinations, adaptable for various daytime activities onboard.

cruise voyager outfit

Striped linen dress for a nautical look

A striped linen dress embodies a timeless vacation style. Its lightweight fabric provides comfort, while the stripes offer a nod to nautical themes. This dress works well for both onboard leisure and exploring the ports of call.

cruise voyager outfit

Crochet set for a beachy look

Crochet sets with their intricate patterns bring a unique texture to the mix. They’re breezy enough for tropical climates and exude a relaxed, beachy aesthetic. It’s an ideal choice for lounging on the sun deck or a casual walk along the shore.

cruise voyager outfit

Shorts and top for a casual look

A simple pair of shorts paired with a top is an easy go-to outfit for daytime. It’s practical for exploring or engaging in on-ship activities like deck games. Denim shorts offer durability, while chino shorts can elevate the look slightly.

cruise voyager outfit

Cute jumpsuit for a trendy look

Jumpsuits are chic and convenient, as they create a full outfit in a single piece. They transition well from daytime exploration to a casual lunch. Look for breathable materials and a fit that allows for comfort and ease.

cruise voyager outfit

Cardigan over a crop top and shorts for a comfy look

Layering a cardigan over a crop top and shorts ensures versatility in changing temperatures. This combination keeps it comfortable and relaxed with the option to add or remove the cardigan as needed.

cruise voyager outfit

Capri pants and tee for a laid-back and comfy look

Capri pants paired with a blouse strike a balance between comfort and style. The 3/4 length of the Capri is well-suited for maritime climates while the blouse can offer a splash of color or an cute design element.

cruise voyager outfit

Skort and blouse for a sporty-cute look

A skort—combining the appearance of a skirt with the functionality of shorts—provides flexibility and style. Teamed with a blouse, this outfit offers a sporty yet cute aesthetic perfect for an active day on a cruise.

cruise voyager outfit

Button-up blouse with shorts for a sophisticated & comfy look

A button-up blouse paired with shorts delivers a refined yet comfortable style. The blouse adds a touch of elegance, while the shorts remain casual and cool for daytime activities.

cruise voyager outfit

Maxi skirt and blouse for a feminine look

A maxi skirt paired with a blouse is a beautiful option for those who prefer a more feminine look. The long skirt offers grace and an airy feel, ideal for a stroll around the ship or a relaxed lunch by the pool.

cruise voyager outfit

Cruise outfits for women: Evening and Formal Attire

Choosing the right outfit for evening and formal events on a cruise can make a woman feel confident and stylish. This section will discuss the perfect attire for various evening occasions to ensure women can enjoy their cruise in both comfort and elegance.

Caftan dress for semi-formal events

A caftan dress is an excellent choice for semi-formal events on a cruise due to its ease of wear and elegant drape.

This attire allows for comfort as it flows freely, making it perfect for a dinner under the stars or a shipboard show. Women appreciate the versatility of caftan dresses as they can be accessorized for an elevated look.

cruise voyager outfit

Cocktail dress for semi-formal events

For semi-formal events, a cocktail dress is a staple in a cruise wardrobe. The cocktail dress strikes a perfect balance between formal and casual, making it suitable for a variety of social gatherings on board.

Women can choose from a myriad of styles to fit their body type and personal style, ensuring they look and feel fabulous.

cruise voyager outfit

Dressy Jumpsuit for evening events

A dressy jumpsuit serves as a trendy alternative to dresses for evening events. Its one-piece composition offers a seamless and sophisticated look, while providing ease of movement throughout the night.

Jumpsuits can be easily dressed up with statement jewelry and a pair of heels, making women feel sophisticated and fashion-forward.

cruise voyager outfit

Formal dress for formal events

When attending a formal event on a cruise like a gala , a formal dress is the quintessential choice for women aiming for timeless elegance.

A well-tailored formal dress can flatter any figure, and luxurious fabrics like silk or satin add a touch of glamour. For these occasions, a floor-length gown can make a dramatic statement as one enters the room.

cruise voyager outfit

Midi dress for any evening occasion

Midi dresses are versatile evening wear options suitable for almost any event on a cruise. Falling between the knee and ankle, the midi dress is often seen as a universally flattering length.

It pairs effortlessly with heels or elegant flats, making it a practical choice for a night of dining or dancing on deck.

cruise voyager outfit

READ: Best shoes to pair with a Midi dress

Long formal dress for formal events

For the pinnacle of formal cruise events, a long formal dress exudes sophistication and style. A long dress can come in a variety of cuts, from A-line to bodycon, each providing a different silhouette. Opting for a flowy material accents the ocean breeze, while a fitted design emphasizes a woman’s shape, enhancing her evening ensemble.

cruise voyager outfit

Cruise excursion outfit ideas

Selecting the right outfits for various cruise excursions is essential for both comfort and style. They ensure participants can fully enjoy their activities while blending practicality with the appropriate dress code for the setting they’ll be exploring.

Beach day attire

A swimsuit is fundamental for a beach day, paired with a stylish cover-up for transitioning from water to land.  Beach sandals  are ideal for walking on hot sand, and a beach bag is perfect for carrying essentials like sunscreen, towels, and a water bottle.

Women should choose swimwear that offers the desired level of coverage and support, and a cover-up that complements the overall look.

cruise voyager outfit

READ: Best beach outfits for plus-size women

Cultural Tours: Comfortable yet respectful attire

For cultural tours, women should prioritize comfort without sacrificing respect for local customs. Wear loose-fitting clothes such as a long skirt or breathable trousers. Outfits can be paired with comfortable walking shoes and a sun hat for protection.

It’s important to research the culture beforehand and ensure attire meets any specific dress codes, such as covering shoulders or knees.

cruise voyager outfit

Adventure Activities: 

When engaging in adventure activities like zip-lining or hiking, women should opt for activewear. Clothing should be breathable and allow for ample movement. A sturdy pair of sports shoes is essential for safety and comfort. In addition, considering layers can be beneficial for varied climates or colder altitudes.

cruise voyager outfit

Final words

A well-packed wardrobe for a cruise allows one to dress comfortably and appropriately for various occasions. Selecting versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched is key.

Attention to the specific cruise’s dress code ensures that one is always well-prepared. Packing smart exemplifies a cruiser’s savoir-faire and adds to an enjoyable voyage.

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Breonna Queen is a retired makeup artist, and style lover. Her content has been featured on OWN, HBO, 10news, Bustle, HuffPost, and Buzzfeed. She also runs LearnWithBreonna.com, a blog sharing content creation tIps.

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Is It Safe in Moscow?

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Stanislav Solntsev / Getty Images

When you visit Moscow , Russia, you’re seeing one of the world’s largest, and most expensive, capital cities . While there is a history of violent crime against foreign journalists and aid personnel in Russia, a trip to Moscow is usually safe for mainstream travelers. Most tourists in Moscow only face potential issues with petty crime, though terrorism is also a concern. Visitors should stick to the principal tourist areas and abide by the local security advice.

Travel Advisories

  • The U.S. Department of State urges travelers to avoid travel to Russia because of COVID-19 and to "exercise increased caution due to terrorism, harassment, and the arbitrary enforcement of local laws."  
  • Anyone exploring more of Russia should avoid "The North Caucasus, including Chechnya and Mount Elbrus, due to terrorism, kidnapping,   and   risk of civil unrest." Also, travelers should stay away from "Crimea due to Russia’s occupation of the Ukrainian territory   and   abuses by its occupying authorities."  
  • Canada states travelers should use a high degree of caution in Russia due to the threat of terrorism and crime.  

Is Moscow Dangerous?

The Moscow city center is typically safe. In general, the closer you are to the Kremlin , the better. Travelers mainly need to be aware of their surroundings and look out for petty crime. Be especially careful in tourist areas such as Arbat Street and crowded places like the Moscow Metro transit system. The suburbs are also generally fine, though it is advised to stay away from Maryino and Perovo districts.

Terrorism has occurred in the Moscow area, leading authorities to increase security measures. Be more careful at tourist and transportation hubs, places of worship, government buildings, schools, airports, crowds, open markets, and additional tourist sites.

Pickpockets and purse snatching happen often in Russia, perpetrated by groups of children and teenagers who distract tourists to get their wallets and credit cards. Beware of people asking you for help, who then trick you into their scheme. Don’t expect a backpack to be a safe bag bet; instead, invest in something that you can clutch close to your body or purchase a money belt . Always diversify, storing some money in a separate location so that if you are pickpocketed, you'll have cash elsewhere. Keep an eye out for thieves in public transportation, underground walkways, tourist spots, restaurants, hotel rooms and homes, restaurants, and markets.

Is Moscow Safe for Solo Travelers?

Large cities like Moscow in Russia are overall fairly safe if you are traveling alone, and the Moscow Metro public transit is a secure and easy way to get around. But it is still a good idea to follow basic precautions as in any destination. Avoid exploring alone at night, especially in bad areas. You may want to learn some basic Russian phrases or bring a dictionary, as many locals don't speak English. However, in case you need any help, there are tourist police that speak English. Also, exploring with other trusted travelers and locals or on professional tours is often a good way to feel safe.

Is Moscow Safe for Female Travelers?

Catcalling and street harassment are infrequent in Moscow and the rest of Russia and females traveling alone don't usually have problems. There are plenty of police officers on the streets as well. Still, it serves to stick to Moscow's well-lit, public areas, avoid solo night walks, and use your instincts. Women frequenting bars may take receive some friendly attention. Females can wear whatever they want, but those entering Orthodox churches will be required to cover up. Though women in Russia are independent, domestic violence and other inequality issues take place regularly.

Safety Tips for LGBTQ+ Travelers

Russia is not known as a gay-friendly country. However, Moscow is one of the more welcoming cities with a blooming LGBTQ+ community and many friendly restaurants, bars, clubs, and other venues. Hate crimes in Russia have increased since the 2013 anti-gay propaganda law. Openly LGBTQ+ tourists in this conservative country may experience homophobic remarks, discrimination, or even violence, especially if traveling with a partner. Also, while women hold hands or hug publicly—whether romantically involved or not—men should avoid public displays of affection to prevent being insulted or other issues.

Safety Tips for BIPOC Travelers

Moscow  and other big cities in Russia have sizable populations of various cultures, so discrimination against BIPOC travelers is rarer than in other parts of the country where it can become dangerous. Some people living in Russia who are Black, Asian, Jewish, and from other backgrounds have experienced racial discrimination and violence. Tourists won't usually experience overt racism but may be the recipients of some stares. If anyone should bother you, be polite and resist being taunted into physically defending yourself.

Safety Tips for Travelers

Travelers should consider the following general tips when visiting:

  • It's best not to drink the tap water. If you do, boil it before drinking, though showering is safe and the amount used to brush teeth is generally not harmful. Mineral water is widely drunk, especially at restaurants, and if you prefer not to have it carbonated ask for “ voda byez gaz” (water without gas).
  • If you need emergency assistance in case of fire, terrorism, medical issues, or more, dial 112 in Russia for bilingual operators.
  • Be judicious about taking photographs, especially of police or officials. This can potentially bring unwanted attention to yourself by members of law enforcement who won’t mind asking to see your passport. Also avoid snapping photos of official-looking buildings, such as embassies and government headquarters.
  • Carry your passport in as secure a manner as possible. If you get stopped for any reason by the police, they can fine or arrest you if you don't have the document with you. Also, keep photocopies of your passport, the page on which your travel visa appears, and any other documents that relate to your stay in Russia.
  • Use official taxis only and steer clear of illegal taxi companies, especially at night. Ask your hotel to call a reputable taxi company.

U.S. Department of State. " Russia Travel Advisory ." August 6, 2020.

Government of Canada. " Official Global Travel Advisories ." November 19, 2020.

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Moscow Voyager

Moscow’s best free city tour

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I love Moscow – this charming metropolis, its people, its history and its unique cityscape. I would like to share my passion for this city with you. It is my job to show you the most exciting corners of this fascinating metropolis. That’s why, as a travel specialist and your private tour guide Moscow in Russia, I organize a guided free city tour Moscow – so that everyone, regardless of their budget, would be able to enjoy the insider’s view of Moscow.

You get to see what only Moscow residents know and what other tourist guides keep from you. I am a licensed travel specialist in Russia and would like you to enjoy all facets of the capital of the largest country in the world, without demanding any money from you. I’ll show you the city on my free Moscow walking tour for 1.5-hours on foot.

Everything you need to know:

  • My tours take place daily by arrangement, I am the only English-speaking licensed tourist guide Moscow, who offers a free city tour.
  • My 1.5-hour free tours Moscow do not cost you a cent, I also offer other great paid tours as well.
  • I am an experienced local, I make the tours informative, but at the same time relaxed and not off the plane.

cruise voyager outfit

Free Tours Moscow – Daily

My free tours Moscow city starts on Slavonic Square (Kitay-Gorod Metro Station), passes the world-famous St. Basil’s Cathedral, which was built by Ivan the Terrible on the south side of Red Square in the 16th century and where the tsars were once crowned. Then it goes across the Red Square at the Lenin Mausoleum, the luxury department store GUM and with a view of the Kremlin towards the historical museum. Of course, you will also learn more about the stories that once happened behind the thick walls of the Kremlin – from the Tsars and Napoleon to Stalin. Then we continue through the idyllic Alexander Garden.

cruise voyager outfit

An advance booking is required!

Practical information:

Time: by arrangement, daily Duration: 1.5 hours Price: Free Language: English

«First acquaintance with Moscow» – a 2.5-hour city tour in the center of Moscow

This Moscow city tour starts on the Theater Square, past Lubyanka Square and the KGB-building, then through Kitay Gorod district and Varvarka Street, past the world-famous St. Basil’s Cathedral. Then it goes across Zarjadje Park, over Red Square at the Lenin Mausoleum, the GUM-department store and towards the Historical Museum. We walk through the Alexander Garden.

Time: by arrangement, daily Duration: 2.5 hours Price: 17 $ Students and children: 6 $ Language: English

A 3.5-hour car/bus tour of Moscow.

This is the best tour of Moscow city as all the important sights are visited. I am your Moscow city guide who will walk you through the city explaining the charming history of the city. This tour begins with picking you up from the hotel. 3 breaks are offered for photographing.

First, we will visit the most famous riverside streets and bridges in the center of the city with the most beautiful views of the Kremlin and the Moskva River (e.g. the Kremlin embankment and the Great Stone Bridge).

The first photo break is made at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. We then pass by the district with numerous museums, Prechistinka Street and the district with numerous medical areas.

We again stop at the Novodevichy Convent, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the other bank of the Moskva River to click pictures.

Then we visit “Sparrow Hills” where you can enjoy a bird’s eye view of the city of Moscow from the observation deck. Then there are the skyscrapers of Moscow-City, the Kutuzov avenue, the New Arbat, Tverskaya Street, the world-famous Bolshoi Theater, the KGB building and Varvarka Street. Here there are ample spots to click pictures.

We then drive past the Kremlin again and finally reach Red Square. We take a short tour of Red Square and say goodbye in the Alexander Garden.

Time: by arrangement, daily Duration: 3.5 hours Price for a group: 170-200 $ (depending on the number of travelers) Language: English

Metro tour – daily

Palaces for ordinary people – that was what Stalin promised to the people when the construction of the Moscow Metro began between the World Wars. The communist dictator hadn’t promised too much. No other underground system in the world can boast such spectacular architecture – chandeliers, decorations, stucco, paintings on the walls – each station is individually designed. No wonder that Moscow residents love their metro. I will guide you through the bustle of one of the busiest subways in the world and show you the most beautiful stations Moscow city has.

Time: by arrangement, daily Duration: 2 hours Price: 21 $ Students and children: 17 $ Language: English Included in the price: Metro tickets / the guided tour

Tour of Communist Moscow – every day

After the Communist October Revolution in 1918, Moscow became the capital of the Soviet Empire and was the center of socialist orbit for more than 70 years. This left its mark on Moscow, even if the USSR disintegrated more than a quarter of a century ago. The city streets are full of remnants of the communist regime and the Cold War. This is a walking tour where I will show you the most exciting places in Soviet Moscow: from the notorious KGB headquarters, also known as Lubyanka to the Karl Marx Monument to small hidden remains from the time of hammer and sickle. You will also learn about Stalin’s Great Terror political campaign and the system of the GULAG and how the USSR, the communist Russian republic, became modern Russia.

Time: by arrangement, daily Duration: 2 hours Price: 21 $ Students and children: 17 $ Language: English Included in the price: the guided tour

Alternative Moscow Tour – daily

Explore the unseen Moscow with your Moscow private guide and discover a range of sights during this alternative walking tour.  Away from the main tourist spots (in the central district of Kitay-Gorod), just a short walk from Red Square and St. Basil’s Cathedral, you suddenly find yourself in one of the trendiest districts of Moscow. This place not only has trendy cafes and green squares, but here you can see the most beautiful spray works (according to Albrecht Dürer), hangout-places of the youth and hipsters, as well as learn what Moscow looked like in the 19th century. Here you will also learn exciting and even bloody stories about famous gangsters, eccentric business people and legends like the wandering preacher Rasputin, who is known in Russia either as the “holy devil” or the mad monk. To learn a little more about Moscow’s culture, this is the tour for you. On my alternative tour, you will get to know Moscow away from the tourist hotspots. This tour is of 2 hours duration and you will experience the following on the tour:

  • St. John’s Hill, a quiet oasis right in the center, where time has stopped as it did in pre-Communist times
  • Khokhlovka Art Center, where Russian hipsters and street artists hang out
  • Samoskvorechye District where you can see beautiful streets and hear stories from old Moscow
Time: by arrangement, daily Duration: 2 hours Price: 21 $ Students and children: 17 $ Language: English Included in the price: the guided tour / tram ticket

Kremlin tour – daily (closed on Thursday)

With its 20 towers and high walls, the Kremlin rises imposingly over Red Square. This world-famous fortress with its area of ​​28 hectares is home to over 800 years of Russian history. Described as the eighth wonder of the world, this historic fortress complex is the principal symbol of Russia that sits on the banks of the Moscow River. Today the Kremlin still harbors numerous secrets and has palaces and cathedrals, surrounded by Kremlin Wall. The current wall was constructed between the 15 th  and 16 th  centuries, but the original wall was made of wood around the year 1147. The Kremlin Wall became an important symbol of Moscow’s importance in the Russian Empire. This top tourist destination attracts millions of people every year and there are various sights to see. With my Kremlin tour, you will see the oldest square in the city in the heart of the Kremlin, the once largest cannon in the world and the scene of numerous dramas – from Ivan the Terrible and Napoleon to Stalin. You cannot miss this unique experience.

An advance booking and prepayment for tickets are required.

Time: by arrangement, daily (closed on Thursday) Duration: 2 hours Price on request Students and children: on request Language: English Included in the price: Kremlin tickets / the guided tour

Moscow pub crawl – Friday / Saturday

Experience the real nightlife of Moscow with my Moscow Pub Crawl and enjoy 4 pubs/bars plus 4 welcome shot drinks. Move from one bar to another and get to know travelers from around the world as well as the locals. Play fun adventure games and contests in addition to getting perks in the bars. Between the bars, move from one place to another on foot. The routes are organized as such that you will walk no more than 10 minutes between the bars. Visit the most exciting events, parties, concerts, and dance in the bars. Moscow Pub Crawl is a tour that you will never forget.

This tour runs every Friday and Saturday evening at 8 PM and you need to bring along your passport or an ID card, comfortable shoes, and wear smart casual clothes.

An advance booking and a small prepayment are required!

Time: by arrangement, daily Duration: 4 hours Price on request Language: English Included in the price: the guided tour, 4 shot drinks

1.5-hour boat trip on the Moskva River.

Taking a boat tour in Moscow on the Moskva River is a very pleasant experience. It allows you to know the city from a totally different perspective and admire the beautiful bridges. In this 1.5-hour river trip, you will sail past many beautiful sites in Moscow, so you can take the best photos to commemorate this day. The ship makes several stops on the way. The trip starts from the Ustinskiy Bridge near Sarjadje Park and ends at the Kiev train station.

On this Boat Trip, you can see sights such as: the former Imperial Education House, Sarjadje Park, the “flowing”, “floating” bridge, the most beautiful view of the Kremlin, the Great Stone Bridge, the legendary House on the Quay, the Christ the Savior Cathedral , the monument to Peter the Great on the ship, the central sports arena Luzhniki, the Sparrow Hills, 240 meters high Lomonosov University, the numerous architecturally spectacular skyscrapers of Moscow-City, the Novodevichy Convent, the building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs etc.

Time: by arrangement, daily Duration: 1.5 hours Price on request Language: English

A military tour – riding on tanks in Stupino (Moscow region)

Russian Military is one of the largest military forces in the world formed in 1992. With my Military Tour experience what it likes to be in the Russian military, shooting guns, ride the Tank T-34 and various models of German tanks from the Second World War, as well as armored personnel carriers and vehicles. You will also shoot from the AK-47 and another combat weapon.

The tour will begin with your private tour guide Moscow in a Soviet army van accompanied with some tasty snacks and tea for a tasty start. Upon arriving, you will have to put on the army safety clothing and climb the Russian armored vehicles. The tour will take you on the noisy, smoky tank, driving through mud roads. All participants will get the chance to drive the tank which is coordinated by the Russian military.

Time: by arrangement, daily Price on request Language: English

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Alexander Popov

Welcome to Russia! My name is Alexander, I was born in Moscow and I'm a passionate tour guide. I want to share my passion for Russia and my hometown with you. On my website you will find useful information to make your individual trip to Russia as interesting as possible.

Gorky Park and Sparrow Hills: Green Lungs, place to relax and meet

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Cruising the Moskva River: A short guide to boat trips in Russia’s capital

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There’s hardly a better way to absorb Moscow’s atmosphere than on a ship sailing up and down the Moskva River. While complicated ticketing, loud music and chilling winds might dampen the anticipated fun, this checklist will help you to enjoy the scenic views and not fall into common tourist traps.

How to find the right boat?

There are plenty of boats and selecting the right one might be challenging. The size of the boat should be your main criteria.

Plenty of small boats cruise the Moskva River, and the most vivid one is this yellow Lay’s-branded boat. Everyone who has ever visited Moscow probably has seen it.

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This option might leave a passenger disembarking partially deaf as the merciless Russian pop music blasts onboard. A free spirit, however, will find partying on such a vessel to be an unforgettable and authentic experience that’s almost a metaphor for life in modern Russia: too loud, and sometimes too welcoming. Tickets start at $13 (800 rubles) per person.

Bigger boats offer smoother sailing and tend to attract foreign visitors because of their distinct Soviet aura. Indeed, many of the older vessels must have seen better days. They are still afloat, however, and getting aboard is a unique ‘cultural’ experience. Sometimes the crew might offer lunch or dinner to passengers, but this option must be purchased with the ticket. Here is one such  option  offering dinner for $24 (1,490 rubles).

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If you want to travel in style, consider Flotilla Radisson. These large, modern vessels are quite posh, with a cozy restaurant and an attentive crew at your service. Even though the selection of wines and food is modest, these vessels are still much better than other boats.

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Surprisingly, the luxurious boats are priced rather modestly, and a single ticket goes for $17-$32 (1,100-2,000 rubles); also expect a reasonable restaurant bill on top.

How to buy tickets?

Women holding photos of ships promise huge discounts to “the young and beautiful,” and give personal invitations for river tours. They sound and look nice, but there’s a small catch: their ticket prices are usually more than those purchased online.

“We bought tickets from street hawkers for 900 rubles each, only to later discover that the other passengers bought their tickets twice as cheap!”  wrote  (in Russian) a disappointed Rostislav on a travel company website.

Nevertheless, buying from street hawkers has one considerable advantage: they personally escort you to the vessel so that you don’t waste time looking for the boat on your own.

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Prices start at $13 (800 rubles) for one ride, and for an additional $6.5 (400 rubles) you can purchase an unlimited number of tours on the same boat on any given day.

Flotilla Radisson has official ticket offices at Gorky Park and Hotel Ukraine, but they’re often sold out.

Buying online is an option that might save some cash. Websites such as  this   offer considerable discounts for tickets sold online. On a busy Friday night an online purchase might be the only chance to get a ticket on a Flotilla Radisson boat.

This  website  (in Russian) offers multiple options for short river cruises in and around the city center, including offbeat options such as ‘disco cruises’ and ‘children cruises.’ This other  website  sells tickets online, but doesn’t have an English version. The interface is intuitive, however.

Buying tickets online has its bad points, however. The most common is confusing which pier you should go to and missing your river tour.

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“I once bought tickets online to save with the discount that the website offered,” said Igor Shvarkin from Moscow. “The pier was initially marked as ‘Park Kultury,’ but when I arrived it wasn’t easy to find my boat because there were too many there. My guests had to walk a considerable distance before I finally found the vessel that accepted my tickets purchased online,” said the man.

There are two main boarding piers in the city center:  Hotel Ukraine  and  Park Kultury . Always take note of your particular berth when buying tickets online.

Where to sit onboard?

Even on a warm day, the headwind might be chilly for passengers on deck. Make sure you have warm clothes, or that the crew has blankets ready upon request.

The glass-encased hold makes the tour much more comfortable, but not at the expense of having an enjoyable experience.

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Getting off the boat requires preparation as well. Ideally, you should be able to disembark on any pier along the way. In reality, passengers never know where the boat’s captain will make the next stop. Street hawkers often tell passengers in advance where they’ll be able to disembark. If you buy tickets online then you’ll have to research it yourself.

There’s a chance that the captain won’t make any stops at all and will take you back to where the tour began, which is the case with Flotilla Radisson. The safest option is to automatically expect that you’ll return to the pier where you started.

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