You’re all booked and getting more excited by the day for your upcoming cruise, and have even started thinking about putting things aside to be packed. But, if you’re like many other new and even seasoned cruisers, you might have concerns about what you’re expected to wear. Instead of getting in a fluster and over-packing, take a look at our tips about what to wear on a cruise.
Clothing for the Daytime
Whether it’s a sea day and you’ll be trying out onboard activities, or you’re in port and out exploring, in general clothing for the daytime on a cruise should be casual and comfortable. No matter if you’re on a luxury cruise or a budget one, the theme of your holiday should be simply doing as you choose; so if you want to soak up the sun in swim clothes all day, do it. Or if you want to be hiking in port, or climbing the rock wall onboard, you can do that too. As long as you cover at least shoulders to knees when dining or in other indoor spaces onboard, wear whatever you like.
What to Wear on a Formal Night
Formal nights are still popular occasions on many cruise lines; passengers on Cunard’s Queens for example often choose the cruise line for its traditionalism and classic cruise features. These evenings can differ with each cruise line, with attire expectations ranging from tuxedos and ball gowns to cocktail dresses and casual dinner jackets. Sometimes formal nights are optional, but sometimes they are mandatory and guests have been known to be turned away from restaurants if they’re not dressed appropriately. Be sure to find out what the case is for your cruise when booking.
How to Dress for Casual Dining
Again the requirements for clothing at dinner on non-formal nights will change depending on the style of the cruise line. One rule that’s seen throughout however is that you must cover bathing suits, so be sure to take appropriate clothing to cover up. Guidelines on what to wear in the restaurants are diverse. Some cruise lines specify that jeans are not allowed, and some say no vests, shorts, flip flops and other beachwear for example. Again the best advice would be to check with the cruise line before embarking.
Different Clothing for Different Destinations
The clothing you decide to pack will of course be in relation to where you’ll be cruising to. If you’re off to the sunny Caribbean be sure to pack plenty of summery clothes, sunglasses and a hat. If you’ll be cruising on a luxury Antarctica cruise or a cold part of the world on the other hand, remember layers are key! Another thing to consider with regards to destinations is the attractions and sites you’ll be going to see. If they include any religious places for example, you’ll likely need to cover up from shoulders to knees, and maybe your head. Consider bringing a shawl or scarf just to be prepared.
Many cruise lines today offer themed experiences, whether for the duration or just one night. Anything happening onboard should be mentioned to you at the time of booking, but be sure to ask to double check. Taking part in the theme is optional, but most guests like to get involved with outfits and accessories and such, and often these are available to buy onboard. Themes could be anything from 80s to Star Wars.
While there are some things to consider when it comes to what to wear on a cruise, it’s certainly not something to be overly worried about. Remember everyone is in the same boat, (pun intended!) and the likelihood is there will be a big mix of outfits and styles onboard. Take a look at our guide to packing for different climate zones for some more helpful hints and tips.