The right way to dress on your cruise depends on where you're going and what kind of dress code your cruise line has. However, there are a few basic rules you can follow to ensure you're dressed appropriately on any cruise ship. Your safest bet is to pack both casual clothes and formal clothes so you're ready to lounge during the day and get dressed up at night.
Method 1 of 3:Packing Clothes for Your Cruise
1Find out if there's a dress code. Many cruises have strict dress codes that require you to wear certain things to get into restaurants, clubs, and other popular spots on the ship. Call the cruise line or visit their website to find out if they have a dress code before you start packing your bags.
Even if there's no dress code on your cruise, take a look at other cruise line's dress codes to get an idea of what kind of clothes you should pack.
2Pack casual clothes for when you're relaxing. Bring shorts, summer dresses, t-shirts, and sandals if you're going on a warm-weather cruise. Pack comfortable sweaters, khakis, jeans, and sneakers if the weather will be cold. Opt for loose-fitting, comfortable clothes that you'll enjoy lounging in.
3Bring work-out clothes if you'll be using the gym. Pack workout shorts, tank tops, and t-shirts. You should also bring a pair or running shoes and extra socks to work out in.
4Pack a bathing suit for the pool. If you know you're going to be swimming a lot, bring multiple bathing suits with you. That way if one of your bathing suits is wet, you'll have a dry one to change into.
5Pack multiple pairs of shoes. Bring comfortable shoes like sneakers, sandals, and flip flops for when you're relaxing during the day. Pack at least 1 pair of nicer shoes, like dress shoes, flats, or high heels, for evenings when you want to dress up.
6Bring along a few formal outfits. Some cruises have formal nights where everyone dresses up. You may also be required to wear formal attire to enter the nicer restaurants on the ship. If you know you'll only be dressing up once or twice, one formal outfit should be enough.
Pack a formal dress or suit. If the dress code is black tie or there's going to be a black-tie event, pack a floor-length dress or a tuxedo.
Method 2 of 3:Dressing During the Daytime
1Wear casual clothes during the day. Don't worry about dressing up for breakfast or lunch. Most people relax and lounge by the pool during the day on cruises, so break out your casual clothes for daytime activities.
You should still make an effort to look presentable during the day. You wouldn't want to wear your pajamas to walk around the cruise ship.
2Dress in clothes you're comfortable in. Wear jeans and a lightweight t-shirt or throw on a sundress. If you're going on a cruise somewhere warm, shorts paired with a blouse or t-shirt is an easy go-to casual outfit. If you're going somewhere cold, a heavy sweater with jeans or khakis works. You'll have a better time walking around the deck and relaxing if you're dressed in something comfortable.
You may not be able to wear shorts into the dining room for dinner, so factor in time to change if you decide to wear them.
3Wear comfortable shoes you won't mind walking around in. Go with a pair of sneakers or sandals during the day, or a pair of flip-flops if you'll be swimming at the pool. Avoid shoes that might hurt your feet, like high heels and dress shoes.
4Don't wear your bathing suit outside of the pool area. Wear a shirt and shorts or a dress over your bathing suit to get from your room to the pool area. When you leave the pool area, cover up again. Make sure you bring shoes for your walk to and from the pool area.
Method 3 of 3:Dressing During the Evening
1Get dressed up for dinners. Some cruise lines have a dinnertime dress code in their dining rooms. Wear a button-up shirt or a nice dress to the dining room. Dark jeans, khakis, and slacks are also good options. Avoid wearing tank tops, shorts, or sundresses to dinner.
2Wear a formal outfit on formal nights. Your cruise may have designated formal nights where you're encouraged to wear formal attire. Wear a tuxedo or a long dress, or go with a suit or a cocktail dress if you want to be slightly more casual. Avoid wearing jeans, t-shirts, polos, or casual dresses to formal night.
3Wear a nicer pair of shoes. Change out of your sneakers or sandals you wore for the day and put on a pair of dress shoes or nice flats. You may want to wear high heels on formal nights. Don't wear sandals, flip-flops, or sneakers into the dining room or other evening venues on the ship.