What to wear on a cruise

I promised this post to a friend of mine a few months ago and though I’m a little (a lot) late, I’m finally getting to the topic. Any trip is complicated to pack for, even with my guide on how to pack for anything. But what about when a cruise is involved?

MSC Yacht Club

MSC Fantasia

I’m off this week to Europe aboard an MSC Yacht Club Cruise that will be taking me to Genoa, Marseilles and finally, Barcelona. Of course,  I’m stoked to see the cities and so in need of a little European getaway. But I’m also wondering, what the heck should I wear?! If you’re planning your first cruise anytime soon, you may want to check your cruiseliner’s site for dress code suggestions. Many will breakdown what’s appropriate and what’s not. Some of the finer dining rooms, for example, won’t allow denim or shorts. But you wouldn’t do that anyway, would you? Of course not!

Here’s a quick cheat sheet on what to wear on a cruise vacation that should have you covered, no matter what the dress code.

1. Resort wear

what to wear on a cruise

Flowy linen pants are always a cruise "Do"

Forget about denim, think flowy maxi dresses and skirts, summer dresses, and casual wide leg pants for resort wear chic. Traveling in the fall like me? Bring a little cardi to cover up as it’s likely to be breezy and chilly at night. Resort wear is great for touring the cities and daytime ship wear.

2. Swimsuits and coverups

What to wear on a cruise

A coverup and sandals make this a cute look to walk around the ship

If you’re hitting the pool or having a beach vacation, be sure to pack plenty of swimsuits and coverups. You don’t want to be walking around the boat in just a swimsuit; a cute skirt or print tunic is the perfect accessory. Don’t forget your sunglasses, a hat and plenty of SPF!

3. Evening attire

what to wear on a cruise evening wear

Not feeling a cocktail dress? Wide leg pants are always chic

Most cruises have a “formal” evening and many have dining rooms that won’t allow daytime as part of their dress code. Be sure to pack a few cocktail dresses or summer dresses that can be transitioned to evening. It can be as simple as swapping out your sandals for some wedges and a cute clutch. If you aren’t feeling a dress, bring along some dressy pants which are always in style.

4. Sight seeing outfits

what to pack for cruise

A maxi dress is practical and stylish

Think you can’t be fashionable while touring the sites? Think again. Forget the sneakers, T-shirts and fanny pack look (not that you would have). Instead, try some comfortable sandals, riding boots or maybe even a cute pair of Chucks. You can pair these shoes with stylish yet practical outfits like leggings, jeans and summer dresses.


What do you usually pack for a cruise vacation?

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