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 put you in a relaxed vacation mood. Plus, knowing ahead of time how and when you are going to 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, women’s cruise wear was always dressy, but these days things are 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 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. These cropped pants are made from linen, so they are fresh and cool to wear. I love the side buttons which give them a nautical feel. Pair them with a pretty tee in a pink or coral to bring out your tan and don’t forget a cute pair of strappy sandals. These are nice and flat ( read comfy) the lace-up straps that tie around the ankle give them real style!
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 woven bag is very cute and just big enough to carry your passport, money, and your sunscreen. I like it because it is casual enough for day, but dressy enough for night, and the raffia makes it feel tropical.
Here’s a cute, daytime outfit that is right on for your cruise. You can’t go wrong with a pair of crisp white shorts and a striped linen top. Add some sleek white slip-on sandals and a cute, colorful bag and you are island ready.
Don’t forget a cute pair of sunglasses. 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
Here’s another shorts outfit that is really cute too!
I’m a big believer in packing a few easy-breezy sundresses. They look good, they keep you cool, and they are a nice way for your legs to get a bit of sun. This relaxed shift dress has a fun, go-anywhere feel to it. There’s also need to worry about eating an extra bun at dinner with this dress. It camouflages your tummy perfectly.
The best dresses to wear on a cruise ship have a cute neckline such as lace-up, halter style, off the shoulder or a keyhole neckline. Fun details like a bit of exotic beading or embroidery will make you look more relaxed and vacation ready. 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 something low and more on the chunky side. 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. Maxi Dress
Blowing sea breezes, hot, hazy days strolling around the ship….A cruise is the perfect setting to wear a maxi dress. 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.
5. 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.
6. Flowy Pants
Cruises are easy, breezy and so a pair of wide flowy linen pants. These comfy drawstring pants are perfect for a sun and sea vacation.
If you can’t find any flowy pants you like, then a jumpsuit is another option. The shoes make it a bit dressy for dinner but you could wear it with a lower or flat sandal too. ! I love the circle bag. It’s a style that is really popular at the moment and easy way to show everyone that you are on top of your fashion game!
Want to see more cruisewear for women? Check out these other ideas for what to wear on a cruise ship. Bon Voyage!
Shop more cruise finds below!
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