What to Wear on a Cruise: A Guide for Women

What to Wear on Cruise

Embarking on a cruise vacation is an exciting adventure, and planning your wardrobe plays a significant role in ensuring a comfortable and stylish experience. Whether you’re lounging by the pool, exploring the ports of call, or enjoying elegant evenings on board, dressing appropriately will enhance your enjoyment of the journey.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about what to wear on a cruise, ensuring you’re prepared for every occasion while maintaining your personal style.

Daytime Casual

During the day, comfort and versatility are key. Pack lightweight, breathable fabrics such as cotton, linen, or blends for maximum comfort in warmer climates. Here are some essential items to consider:

  • Swimwear: Don’t forget to pack your favorite swimsuits, cover-ups, and beach towels for poolside relaxation and shore excursions.
  • Casual Tops: Opt for loose-fitting, breathable tops like t-shirts, tank tops, or lightweight blouses.
  • Bottoms: Pack a variety of options such as shorts, skirts, or casual pants that can be mixed and matched with different tops.
  • Dresses: Flowy sundresses or maxi dresses are perfect for effortless daytime style.
  • Comfortable Shoes: Bring a pair of sandals, flip-flops, or walking shoes for exploring ports and walking around the ship.

Evening Wear

Cruise ships often have dress codes for evening activities and dining. While specific requirements may vary, here are the general guidelines to consider:

  • Casual Evenings: For casual evenings, opt for resort-style attire such as sundresses, skirts, or slacks paired with a stylish top. Dressy sandals or flats are appropriate footwear choices.
  • Smart Casual Evenings: Dressing up a bit more is required for smart casual evenings. Consider wearing a cocktail dress, dressy separates, or a stylish jumpsuit. Pair them with heels or dressy flats.
  • Formal Nights: Most cruises have one or two formal nights. For these occasions, you’ll want to bring more formal attire such as a cocktail dress, evening gown, or a tailored pantsuit. Don’t forget to accessorize with elegant jewelry and choose appropriate heels or dress shoes.
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Practical Essentials

Apart from the specific outfits, there are several practical essentials to include in your cruise wardrobe:

  • Layering Pieces: Pack lightweight cardigans, wraps, or shrugs for cool evenings or overly air-conditioned areas on the ship.
  • Active Wear: If you plan on engaging in physical activities like working out, pack activewear, sneakers, and comfortable athletic shoes.
  • Outerwear: Consider bringing a lightweight waterproof jacket or windbreaker for unpredictable weather conditions or cooler destinations.
  • Accessories: Don’t forget to pack hats, sunglasses, a versatile scarf, and a small crossbody bag for excursions.

Additional Tips

  • Check the cruise line’s website or contact customer service for specific dress code guidelines and recommendations.
  • Pack a few formal accessories that can transform your daytime outfits into elegant evening attire.
  • Consider the itinerary and destination climate to ensure you have appropriate clothing for different weather conditions.
  • Don’t forget to pack undergarments, sleepwear, and essential toiletries.


Planning your cruise wardrobe doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By considering the daytime, evening, and practical essentials, you’ll be prepared for any occasion on your cruise vacation.

Remember to pack comfortable, breathable fabrics, mix and match versatile pieces, and adhere to any specific dress codes. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to enjoy your cruise in style and make lasting memories. Bon voyage!

What to Wear on a Cruise

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  • Gloria

    Gloria is a top-performing fashion designer with more than eight years of experience in developing fashion concepts.

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