What to Wear on a Cruise: A Guide to Cruise Fashion

Want to be both stylish and comfortable on your cruise vacation? Find out what to wear on a cruise and make packing a breeze.

So you finally decided to go on a trip and have booked a cruise for your family!

A cruise is a great low-stress vacation that gives you the opportunity to enjoy the emerald and blue waters of the Caribbean and experience a few different countries or cities. 

Now that you’re booked, you’re probably wondering what to pack. We’re here to help. Here is your quick guide on what to wear on a cruise so you’ll fit right in with veteran cruisers!

“Cruise Casual”

For days at sea, think of the dress code as “cruise casual.” Shorts, tank tops, flowy sundresses, swimsuits, and cover-ups are all acceptable. Anything you would wear at a beach resort can be considered cruise casual. 


A swimsuit is the one thing you can’t forget for your cruise! Whether you’re at the pool or heading to the beach, a swimsuit and a cover-up are needed. Multiple swimsuits are necessary so you always have one dry and ready.

Different styles are also useful. Maybe a two-piece for relaxing and a one-piece for playing with the kids in the water or going on any excursions, such as scuba diving, snorkeling or jet-ski ride.

Hats & Sun Protection

A Caribbean cruise is going to give you the opportunity to spend a lot of time in the sun, at the pool or on the beach. Think about how to protect your skin from the sun, whether that be a hat, long-sleeved swim shirt, and rashguards for the kids. Don’t forget the sunscreen! 

For Excursions

Caribbean cruises are a great way of seeing the islands like never before, so take advantage of the different excursions available to you! 

It’s likely you’ll have an idea of what excursions you want to go on before you set sail, so you can pack accordingly. Most likely swimsuits will make an appearance on your port day excursions. But, you might also need lightweight shorts and tanks for excursions involving hiking or ziplining, for example.

Closed-toe shoes are also a must, as many excursions require them. You don’t want to miss out because you forgot to pack them! 

Dinner Attire

Some cruise ships might have an evening dress code, so check on that ahead of time. Ships usually have a “dinner with the captain” night as well, which requires more formal attire.

For women, think dresses, heels, and the types of things you might wear to a wedding. You can be really dressy here or a bit more understated. Trust us: you’ll see it all! 

For men, a collared shirt, pants, closed-toe shoes, and even a tie or blazer is warranted. 

Set Sail With These Tips for What to Wear on a Cruise 

Now that you know what to wear on a cruise, it’s time to start packing! These tips should give you a good foundation for what to bring. The more you cruise, the better you’ll get at packing!

For even more outfit ideas and fashion tips, explore some of the other areas of our site.