Having been on a few Caribbean cruises, I can tell you that if you can put together a really cute wardrobe before you step on board, you are going to have a much more enjoyable time. The right clothes can really put you in a relaxed vacation mood. Plus, knowing ahead of time how and when you are going wear your outfits makes your trip stress free.
As I always say, when you look great, you feel great, and life is so much more fun! Here are some tips on what to pack, and some cute outfit ideas for what to wear on a Caribbean Cruise.
What To Pack for A Caribbean Cruise
Acceptable attire may depend, in part, on the cruise line you’re traveling with, but there are several general things to keep in mind no matter who you’re traveling with:
Pack for Your Destination
You may be a little chilly getting to and from the airport dressed in summer clothes, but it’ll be worth it once you’re sipping pina coladas in the Caribbean sun. Just make sure you include one or two layering pieces in your suitcase to keep you warm while strolling the deck in the evening, or if you find the ship’s air conditioning a little too cold.
Pack Good Walking Shoes
Comfortable walking shoes are a must to pack when you’re on a cruise and in particular, when you’re taking advantage of the wonderful shore excursions that are available. Remember you are going to be doing things like hiking, biking, ziplining, hang gliding, shopping, exploring local beaches and sightseeing, so to keep your feet safe and protected, I recommend a pair of comfy closed toe shoes.
Pack Cruise Casual for Day
At one time, cruise attire was always extra dressy, but these days things are a little – not a lot – more casual. Most cruise lines recommend cruise casual. For women, this means casual sundresses, skirts, and pants including capris. Shorts are fine as well – just make sure your ‘assets’ are covered.
Pack Smart Casual for Most Evenings
If you plan to dine in one of your ship’s fine dining restaurants or dance the night away at their disco, then you’ll want to pack something that is a little more upscale than what you’d wear during the daytime. Think about a smart-looking dress or slacks and a dressy blouse. And don’t forget a little bling. Accessories are small and easy to pack and are great for transitioning an outfit from day to evening.
Pack One or Two Outfits for Special Events
Part of the fun of a cruise is the special on-board events for guests. Whether it’s a cocktail party with the Captain or a special fine-dining night, there is always something going on so make sure you have one or two dressier outfits that are a little extra special. Check with your cruise line how dressy you should pack. Some ships require dressier outfits like long gowns and fancy cocktail dresses. Others are a little less formal, and a maxi dress or little black dress will do.
Wondering What to wear on a Caribbean Cruise? Take:
1. Cropped Pants
I always take a pair of shorts on a cruise, but I usually end up wearing white cropped pants or jeans. They look so fresh, cool and classy, and they go with everything.
Here’s an outfit that would be great for around the ship or if you went onshore to do a little shopping or sightseeing. The floaty tunic is so colorful and breezy, and the lush tropical print is so perfect for the Caribbean. Cute flat sandals are a must. I always like a silver pair of sandals because silver is considered a neutral. It’s also a lot richer looking than say, a white sandal.
You really don’t need a very big bag when you are cruising, but it helps if it has a strap so you can go hands-free. This white one is very cute and just big enough to carry your passport, some souvenir money, and your sunscreen. I like it because it is casual enough for day, but dressy enough for night.
Here is a cute, practical outfit that is right on for your cruise. You can’t go wrong with this butterfly print tee, and a pair of sporty shorts. These soft blue ones are classic and slimming too. Add some pretty sandals and a canvas tote, and you’ve got a great casual outfit that will look darling in those vacation photos!
You might also think about taking a hat. Not only does it keep the sun away but if your color your hair and don’t wear a hat, your hair will get bleached out by the strong Caribbean sun.
I’m a big believer in packing a few easy-breezy sundresses. This relaxed tunic has a fun, go-anywhere feel to it.
The best dresses to wear on a cruise ship are light and airy. I suggest you look for halter style, off the shoulder, keyhole necklines or dresses with some interesting detail like a bit of tropical beading or embroidery up top to make you look more relaxed and festive. Anything from bright, happy prints in tropical colors to relaxed neutrals help set the mood.
If you are wondering what shoes to wear on a cruise, I would suggest flats or a low wedge. Spiky heels are not very practical. A cruise ship is as long as a football field, and there’s always lots of walking across all kinds of changing surfaces. If you feel you must take a heel, make sure it is something you feel very comfortable walking in, like a kitten heel. Wedges are good, and so are sandals with block heels.
4. A Glam Bathing Suit
Life at sea cruising while from one destination to the next means lots of time spent lounging by the pool…darling!!! A swimsuit is one item you will probably want to splurge on (even if you never plan to set foot in the water).
Go all out and tell your fashion story. Find yourself a glam bathing suit, movie star sunglasses, and a chic tote. Don’t forget a fabulous cover-up. It’s a necessity when you are running off to the buffet or the spa in between sun tanning and dips in the pool.
5. A Maxi or a Midi
Even if you have never worn a maxi or a midi, a cruise is one place where you will really enjoy one. Choose something fun and tropical. Wear it by day with flats and a big floppy hat or dress it up at night with sexy evening sandals then head off the theater to catch a live show.
Want to see more. Check out these other ideas for what to wear on a cruise ship. Bon Voyage!
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