When it comes to packing your suitcase for a cruise holiday, there are more aspects to take into consideration than if you were simply jetting off for a week or two on the beach, or for a cosmopolitan city break. Whether you’re sailing in the infamous luxury of the Cunard Line, or the more informal Disney Cruise Line, you’ll need a range of different outfits for different occasions, such as formal dinners, casual evening entertainment, and for long days strolling around the ship and the ports. Here’s everything you’ll need to blend in on your next cruise holiday:
Regardless of which cruise line you sail with, or which boat you’re on, daytimes onboard are a casual affair. The cruise ships of today are magnificent, and it can really be quite the effort to see it all, so you’ll want something you feel comfortable walking in. Jeans, shorts, and linens are all acceptable. You’ll also want to be comfortable during shore excursions, so take into account the weather at each port. For example, if you’re docking in St Petersburg at the start of the season, a warm jacket is recommended, while shorts and t-shirts are suited to the Bahamas, for example.
Don’t forget to pack swimwear, too. Most ships boast open air pools and hot tubs, with some also offering peaceful adult-only solariums and Royal Caribbean even have FlowRider for an authentic surfing experience. You may also wish to take some clothing for the spa if you plan on having some treatments onboard.
The number of formal nights that take place in the main dining rooms will vary depending on the cruise line, the destination, and the length of the cruise, but typically you can two per week, so two week Caribbean cruises, for example, would have around four formal dinners. You don’t need to participate in formal night, and an instead choose to eat in one of the informal restaurants onboard, but it’s worth noting that passengers are expected to be dressed appropriately on these nights for access to the bars and entertainment venues.
Women should be dressed in formal ball gowns or cocktail dresses, but you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg on a dress. Browse the high street, some have wonderful summer maxi dresses that would be perfect for such an occasion. Men are expected to wear tuxedos or formal suits comprising of a jacket and tie. Be sure to have your photo taken by the onboard photographer before dining; a wonderful souvenir of your trip.
Casual wear is permitted in the main dining rooms on nights that are not designated as being formal. The atmosphere is more relaxed, and there’s definitely a bit more leeway in what is and what isn’t considered to be acceptable attire. However, ‘casual’ in this instance doesn’t mean torn jeans and hooded tops, so you’ll still want to think carefully about what you pack.
As a general rule, women should pack sundresses or tea dresses, trouser suits, or linen trousers paired with a top. Men, on the other hand, would fit in wearing casual slacks with a shirt, or a top with a collar. Casual nights are more common than formal nights, so make sure to pack a few outfits that will see you through the length of your cruise.