What to Wear When You Go On A Cruise

Affiliate Disclaimer

You can receive daily cruise news updates directly to your inbox, so you don't miss a thing! Go ahead and Subscribe here.

One would think that clothes would be the least of your concerns when you’re on a trip that’s all about doing things at an enjoyable, leisurely pace.

But, when you’re going on vacation where you’ll be spending some time with new people in a luxurious setting for a stretch of time – then picking the right kind of cruise clothing may actually be something to pay attention to.

Not to mention, some ships and onboard activities do have a dress code that you need to follow. Otherwise, you’ll have to either spend extra and buy the right outfit from an outlet on the ship (the price is not always budget-friendly), or you’d have to be left behind while everyone else enjoys the activity.

You would also have to keep in mind the weather in the area you’ll be cruising to. You really wouldn’t want to be underdressed nor overdressed for the climate you’re in.

And for sure, you would want to look back on those cruise pictures and see yourself looking happy and stylish, right? If you just said yes, here are a few tips to keep in mind and take note of on what clothes to pack and wear for your cruise:

Think ‘cruise casual’

This term may vary depending on the cruise ship, but in general, ‘cruise casual’ pertains to walking shorts, jeans, t-shirts and collared shirts, casual skirts, and sundresses. For men, this translates to casual khakis, jeans, walking shorts, sports shirts and t-shirts.

For footwear, make sure to have some comfortable flats or sandals. Athletic wear and shoes are a must in fitness centers and for certain activities. Flip flops are best used when you’re bound for the pool area.

Amazon is the place to find endless amounts of casual travel wear.

While keeping it simple is great – keeping it too ‘spare’ in terms of fabric may not always be in agreement to some ships’ dress code. Limit your stash of short shorts, ripped jeans or cut-offs, and tank tops as certain areas of the cruise ship like restaurants and recreation centers have stricter requirements.

Bring proper swimwear

Just like luxury resorts, cruise ships also have strict rules on swimwear. Make sure to bring a swimsuit, flip-flops, and a cover-up (great for lounging around the pool area, and is acceptable at some pool-side restaurants).

If you’re feeling the beach vibe (and the weather agrees), you can jazz up your look with a light sundress or shorts. Light colors are great for poolside wear, especially if you’re cruising in hot weather.

Find swimwear for your upcoming cruise here.

Be ready with hats and eye protection

If you’re cruising to a hot-weather destination, you’d want to have hats and sunglasses handy. They’re not just classy and fashionable, more often than not, they are actually necessary to keep the blinding glare of the sun at bay and to keep your facial skin protected from painful sunburn.

Everything you need to protect yourself from the sun can be purchased here.

Outerwear is just as important – bring a light cardigan, a heavy jacket, scarves, or shawls

Layering is so ‘in’ in cruise ships, mainly because it lets you carry just a few basics and transform them into a ‘new’ outfit with just a scarf, a cardigan, or a jazzed-up jacket. These pieces of clothing also come in handy for those instances when the weather takes a bad turn, and you’d need to get a little warmer.

Get travel outerwear from Amazon.

Always have at least two formal wear choices

Cruise ships have, at the very least, at least one formal night, when cruisers literally dress up and bring their most elegant selves to the event venue. For women, formal cocktail dresses and evening gowns are a must. You may also want to bring at least one dressy top or bottom or an elegant dress for semi-formal nights.

Related: 50 Cruise Outfit Ideas for Your Vacation at Sea

For men, a tuxedo or dark suits with ties are best. You may also consider sports coats and button-down shirts for less formal night events. For footwear, bring a formal pair that can match all your formal clothing options. Classic colors like black, silver, gold, or nudes are best. For men, elegant dress shoes are a must.

Make sure to pack these clothing basics for your upcoming cruise, and be truly ready for your grand vacation and those picture-perfect moments!

If you enjoyed the article and would like no fuss daily cruise news to your inbox directly from Cruise Hive, you can Subscribe here.

Up Next


Free expert cruise tips and news from Cruise Hive! We'll send you the latest cruise updates daily to your inbox.

Don't Miss Any Cruise News!

We'll send you the latest cruise updates daily to your inbox.

Copy link