Heading off on a cruise soon? A 7-day vacation that promises sun, sea, and endless relaxation, but deciding what to pack can turn into a challenging endeavor. It’s not just about swimming costumes and flip-flops; as there’ll be a range of activities, events, and even dinners on board that will have a dress codes.
In this article, we’ll explore some style guidelines to keep you comfortable and chic for this weeklong trip on the high seas.
Let’s start with the staples. No matter of the destination or the cruise line, some items are essential. A comfortable swimsuit will your best friend; opt for a one-piece with flattering lines that can double as a bodysuit when layered under a skirt or shorts. Comfortable walking shoes are also a must, as you’ll be doing a lot of exploring both on the ship and at the ports. And don’t forget sun hats, sunglasses, as well as at least one light jacket for unexpected weather changes.
One of the challenges in packing for a cruise is not knowing what activities you’ll want to dive into. You may need to transition from a casual stroll on the deck to a fine dining experience within minutes.
Bringing along a couple of “day-to-night” outfits can make this easier. Think of base pieces like summer dresses, or light slacks and blouses that can be dressed up or down with the right accessories and outerwear. A silk scarf, for example, takes up little space in your luggage but can transform an outfit instantly.
Many cruises have at least one formal night, where guests are expected to show up in their finest outfits. Men should consider packing a well-fitted suit and a pair of dress shoes. Women have more leeway, from evening dresses to elegant pantsuits.
If you’re looking to make a statement, this is the time to do it. Don’t hesitate to pack that outfit you’ve been saving for a special occasion; a cruise is an excellent excuse to go all out.
Know Before You Go
Before you start packing, it’s a good idea to consult your specific cruise line’s dress code. Some lines like MSC offer a range of shopping options onboard, including boutiques stocked with fashion-forward options to keep you looking your best throughout the journey. This is particularly useful when you have forgotten to pack that perfect pool-side shirt or if you just add a dash of spontaneity to your wardrobe.
Let’s face it, for some, a cruise is a perfect opportunity to show off their luxury attire. If you are in the mood to impress, feel free to pack a designer outfit or two. However, remember that comfort is key when you are at sea. Fabrics like linen, cotton, and light knits are preferable as they allow your skin to breathe.
Given the luggage constraints, you can’t pack every accessory you own. Pick your most versatile pieces that work with multiple outfits; a pair of neutral sandals, for example. Or for men, a single stylish watch can be both casual and formal depending on the settings. Ladies might consider packing a statement necklace that can elevate both day and night looks.
Keep in mind that weather at sea can be unpredictable. Ontop of warm-weather clothes, pack a light rain jacket and a sweater for cooler nights. Most cruise ships are well air-conditioned, which means you might need a shawl or light sweater even indoors.
Balance is Key
Ultimately packing for a 7-day cruise is about balance. You want to be prepared for a variety of occasions without overpacking. Check the cruise line’s dress code guidelines before you set off and consider take advantaging of onboard shopping options to fill in any gaps.
Now you are ready to set sail and prepared to make your personal style a priority. Not only will you look good, but you’ll also feel more comfortable and confident, making your trip all the more enjoyable. Happy cruising!