After a lot of planning and researching, you finally have the tickets for your first ever cruise in your hands! We bet you are excited but are you also slightly nervous about what to pack? Fear not! Read on to know how to plan your outfits for a memorable cruise holiday.
There are different entertainment options and a vast variety of activities to enjoy on a cruise. From lounging by the pool to having lunch with the captain, from beach parties to intimate dinners on the deck and everything in between! Having the right set of clothes and accessories is really important.
The first and most important thing to do is to check the dress codes of the cruise line you are travelling with. There are a variety of dress codes being implemented by various liners. Your liner might define its dress code as ‘resort casual’, ‘cruise casual’, ‘smart casual’, a mix of formal, informal and casual dress codes, and so on. If you are unsure of what the term means, call ahead and clarify.
In addition, most liners organise special events and evenings, such as ‘gala evenings’, ‘formal nights’, ‘dress-up’ nights, which require a prescribed dress code. Usually, most cruise liners don’t allow denims, bare feet, tank tops, shorts and swimsuits in the main restaurants and dining areas. It would be prudent to check your liners’ policy and pack accordingly.
Let’s move to some specifics.
Dress Code For Ladies:
For all indoor, onboard activities you can wear shorts, jeans, slacks, casual skirts or sundresses. Pack an interesting mix of these. Try and pack more tops, so that you can mix and match for new looks. Outdoors, the most obvious and frequently used will be your swimsuits. Carry two sets, so that you are not out of swimwear, should one be wet.
For onshore activities, your choice of attire would depend on the activities you choose to indulge in. if you are heading to explore a town, wear something casual. If, on the other hand, you are planning to participate in water-related activities like snorkeling or kayaking, casual clothes with a change, and swimwear would be de rigueur.
The most ‘dressy’ part of your cruise will be the evenings. Your liner will inform you of the schedule before boarding. The evening dress codes are enforced on most liners from 6pm in public rooms and restaurants. Unless it’s an extremely formal do, elegant casuals like flowy chiffon dresses, or smart pantsuits in silk, something akin to what you would choose to wear at a concert or an upscale restaurant on land, will work well.
Accessorise smart, and accessorize well. Try and pack a few statement pieces which complement each other, so that you can wear them as singles, or with each other. Make sure you carry a couple of bags such as a casual day bag for all essentials and a fancy clutch for the formal events. The same goes for footwear – flip flops for the beach, comfortable walking shoes for onshore days and a formal pair for evening dresses.
Dress Codes For Men:
You will never go wrong with a navy coat and a pair of khakis. Team these with collared t-shirts or a smart polo shirt and you will be appropriately dressed for almost all activities on board, except the formal dinner nights. Having said this, shorts and t-shirts are ‘must pack’ for men. Throw in a pair of jeans, and a few sports shirts and you should do fine.
For onshore days, plan for smart casuals unless you will be indulging in water sports, when you would require appropriate swimwear, and casual clothes, with a change. Men can choose to carry a tuxedo for the formal evenings onboard. Nothing can beat the class of a tux. However, if you are not a tux fan, a couple of business suits with ties and matching shoes, belts and socks will see you through the formal evening dos.
Shoes: Pack a few pairs – sandals, sneakers, and a pair of formal shoes that will work with multiple outfits.
Extras: The layered look works well for cruises. If the nights get chilly, or you are sailing to colder climes, add layers, instead of carrying different sets of warm wear. So a rain jacket, sweatshirt, and maybe a light cardigan. Hats and caps are a ‘must have’ on all cruises.
Apart from this, you will need a day pack to carry essentials offshore, your personal toiletries, medicines you think you might need, binoculars, some reading material, a journal to record your memories, and your trusted DSLR. Make sure you don’t overpack though; you want to save space for the souvenirs you will want to pick up.