Some travelers may struggle with packing for a cruise, worried that the one item or outfit that they leave at home will be the one that they want once on the ship. The ideal cruising wardrobe will cover you for a typical five to seven night cruise and should all fit in a conventional 20" suitcase. You may travel with a bit larger bag if you plan to bring home souvenirs and purchases or if you are traveling with a companion.
Some style staples of the perfect cruising wardrobe includes the following:
When heading to most tropical destinations, the underlying theme in terms of dress seems to be cruise-casual. Think of the fashion in cities such as Miami; light fabrics, cool colors, and chic styles seem to sum up the affordable Miami fashion scene. Bring a pair of linen slacks, silk tops, and cool cotton skirts for everyday wear.
There will be at least one night that guests are encouraged to dress-up on board, and this means men wear jackets and women wear heels. Ladies may get double-duty out of a silky sundress, which can be worn with flip-flops by the pool during the day or with a shrug and heels at night. Shirt-dresses are also excellent options, fine for formal affairs, with the potential of being worn over a swimsuit during excursions or day-trips.
Sportswear and swimsuits.
If you enjoy sunbathing or swimming, you will want to bring along at least one swimsuit. A good rule of thumb is to bring two, in the unlikely event something happens to one of them during your trip. A couple extra swimsuits may serve the purpose of a tank-top when worn with shorts, or as undergarments for a long, flowing dress.
Shoes and accessories.
When packing shoes for your cruise, remember that one pair of heels will likely be enough. Depending on the weather, the boat's motion may make wearing flats or low-heels more comfortable. Be sure to bring at least one pair of closed-toe shoes, such as sneakers, as many activities, excursions, and tours prohibit sandals or flip-flops.
A smaller cruising wardrobe can actually cover you for longer journeys when you use the laundry service on-ship; this service may seem a bit expensive but could possibly be free for frequent cruisers. Use a shoe bag to keep your dirty clothes together and bring along a couple trial-sized packets of laundry soap just in case you opt to try the self-service laundry facilities on board. It may seem nice to bring home a suitcase full of clean clothes for a change!