With different temperatures along the way, a few specific dress codes to adhere to, and limited storage space in cabins, packing for a cruise is definitely not easy. Fortunately, with some clever advance planning, you will be able to put together a concise selection of cruise wardrobe essentials that will work for just about every occasion while you are away.
Swimwear and Accessories
If your cruise ship has a swimming pool, then swimwear is a must. It is always a good idea to bring along at least two pairs, so that you have something to wear while the other is being washed and dried. Cover-ups are also necessary, so that you can easily transition from the pool to other parts of the ship. When it comes to accessories, sun protection is a must, as are sunglasses and sun hats.
Casual Day Wear
During the day, you will generally be dressing quite casually, so items such as shorts, jeans, t-shirts and tank tops are essential. You will also need a few warmer items in case you encounter some unseasonably cold days out at sea, as well as some sandals or other comfortable shoes to walk around the ship,
You are likely to be making a few shore excursions along your cruise ship’s points of call, so keep in mind that you will need appropriate clothing for this. If you plan on doing some snorkeling or diving, function swimwear is a must, while those that want to visit religious or cultural sites should bring along some modest clothing, so as not to offend.
When it comes to evening wear, each cruise ship will usually have their own dress code that passengers must follow, and while shorts and tank tops are generally not allowed, casual wear is still accepted. This can include dress slacks with a blouse, or a casual cocktail dress. Of course, there may be a few formal nights where some passengers do go all out with tuxedos and gowns, but this is not usually essential.
There are a few other essentials that are likely to come in handy whilst you are on your cruise. A lightweight rain jacket will be your go-to item on rainy days, both on board as well as on shore, while a dressy shawl will not only keep you warm in chilly air-conditioned rooms, but will also instantly make your outfit appear much more formal. If your cruise ship has a gym on board that you will be making use of, then a pair of workout clothes will also be needed.
When choosing individual items to bring on your cruise with you, try to pick garments that can be worn interchangeably, and that can be used to create a number of different outfits, so that you still have some choice while out at sea. Your cruise ship is also likely to have some laundry or dry cleaning facilities, meaning that you will be able to wear your items multiple times, saving you some valuable space.