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What to wear on a cruise: daytime, formal nights & more.

Experts share their top recommendations for versatile cruise clothing.

What to Wear on a Cruise

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Know what types of clothing, shoes and accessories are best to wear on a cruise.

When it comes to cruising in style, packing the right attire for every occasion is essential. Including a few key versatile items on your cruise packing list will prevent your suitcase (and the limited closet space in your stateroom) from becoming overcrowded – and keep you looking appropriate for all events.

Although most cruise lines outline their suggested dress codes in the FAQ sections of their websites, be sure to also review the specifics of your cruise itinerary. Not only will the destination and weather factor into what you should wear on your cruise, but you'll also want to know if formal nights require black-tie attire, themed dress parties need costumes or shore excursions necessitate unique clothing or footwear.

Whether you'll be lounging by the pool or attending a glamorous dinner, our list of must-have items and suggestions from industry experts will help you navigate dressing for your next cruise vacation.

night cruise wear

For relaxing sea days, prioritize comfort above all else. Depending on your planned activities, any of the following casual options are considered acceptable attire:

  • Skirts or skorts
  • T-shirts and tank tops
  • Breezy lounge pants
  • Bathing suits
  • Cover-ups 
  • Sun hats or baseball caps

Travel writer Jill Schildhouse always packs her VOTEPRETTY sundress . "This is my go-to cruise workhorse," says Schildhouse. "It's light and breezy, and the pockets come in very handy." She adds that the sundress can be worn to casual dinners on the ship or on shore excursions, and it can even double as a swimsuit cover-up. "I've taken it all over the world and it always arrives wrinkle-free," she says. Schildhouse has received many compliments on this classic sundress, which is available in multiple colors.

Sheri Griffiths, host of YouTube series CruiseTipsTV , suggests wearing comfortable, broken-in shoes on a cruise. She recommends avoiding brand-new footwear during your voyage to prevent blisters and daily discomfort. A basic sneaker can be worn for just about any cruise itinerary, from Alaska to the Caribbean . Griffiths says, "We love these Adidas Stan Smiths because they wear in quickly and have a timeless style."

Read: The Top Walking Shoes for Travel

Mature African American couple, standing and leaning on railing on deck of a cruise ship, looking off into the distance.

In the evening, most cruise ships adopt a dress code in their main dining rooms and specialty restaurants that incorporate smart-casual or resort-wear attire. The following clothing choices will suffice:

  • Maxi dresses
  • Elegant tops
  • Long- or short-sleeved button-down shirts
  • Polo shirts
  • Blazers and ties (typically optional, unless otherwise stated)
  • Shawls or wraps
  • Closed-toe dress shoes
  • Sandals or heels

Colleen McDaniel, editor-in-chief at Cruise Critic, shares her best advice for cruise footwear. "I always pack my Rothy's shoes for any cruise because they're infinitely comfortable, work as both a formal and [an] informal shoe and can be tossed in the laundry if they get dirty." She notes that she has several pairs, but two of her go-to styles are The Point and The Ballet Flat . McDaniel adds that the shoes work in every occasion, from strolling along the ship decks to perusing cobblestone streets on shore. "I bought both [pairs] 5 years ago, and they look as new today as they did out of the box despite literally hundreds of hours of wear," she says.

Jason Leppert, founder of YouTube channel Popular Cruising , always packs his signature Hawaiian shirts to wear day or night. He says, "I love the RSVLTS collection because they can play casually with shorts or more dressy with slacks for dinner."

Formal Nights

night cruise wear

While more casual these days, cruise formal nights still call for a bit more sophistication and style. Appropriate options include:

  • Cocktail dresses
  • Evening gowns
  • Dress shoes

Ashley Kosciolek, senior cruise writer for The Points Guy, always packs a gown or a fancy cocktail dress for a formal night. "I work from home and don't have a reason to dress up otherwise, so I look forward to it." Still, Kosciolek is a firm believer that travelers should wear what is most comfortable for them while on vacation. She adds, "My dinner won't taste any better or worse based on what others are wearing."

Mikkel Woodruff, editor of cruise site Sometimes Sailing , always brings her Omega Sailing Bracelet on cruises. She says, "I like to bring jewelry that reminds me of the ocean and being on the sea." Woodruff appreciates the bracelet's versatility, noting how easily it can go from shore excursions to formal evenings to everyday activities.

Explore cruise deals on  GoToSea , a service of U.S. News.

Shore Excursions

night cruise wear

When heading off the ship for a shore excursion, opt for comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing and sturdy footwear to make the most of your adventures on land. Consider packing the following items:

  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Mesh water shoes
  • T-shirts or tank tops
  • A waterproof jacket

Freelance travel writer David Swanson shares his favorite versatile cruise shoes. He discovered a comfortable pair of Danner multitasking shoes that worked for dinners, casual events and multiple days of cycling on a recent European cruise. "I didn't think I'd find something to do dual duty, but I love this comfy pair from Danner, an outdoor brand [that is] new to me but has been around since 1932," says Swanson.

Paul Thornton, host of The Joy of Cruising Podcast , always packs his Coofandy linen shirts and shorts for hot Caribbean days and breezy cruise ship evenings. "I love Coofandy because they enable this senior to look 'youthful' on the beach and excursions," says Thornton. He adds that the brand is also his go-to retailer for White Party-themed nights on board.

Read: Beach Packing List

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Cruise Line Dress Codes

Dress codes can vary significantly from one cruise company to the next, so it's a good idea to check with your specific line before filling up your suitcase. Once you're on board, be sure to read the daily program for reminders about the dress codes required at the events and dining venues during your voyage.

Azamara Dress Code

  • Daytime: Fairly casual attire is suitable throughout Azamara 's ships during the day. However, baseball caps, distressed denim, tank tops and bathing suits cannot be worn at Discoveries, Aqualina and Prime C restaurants (and shoes are required).
  • Evening: At night, women typically wear casual dresses, skirts, pants, capris, blouses and knit tops, while men are welcome to wear collared golf and polo shirts, shorts and pants. Sport coats are optional. Note: There are no official formal nights on Azamara's voyages.
  • Themed Nights: Be sure to pack an all-white outfit for Azamara's signature White Night dinner and deck party.

Carnival Cruise Line Dress Code

  • Daytime: Pack casual, comfortable attire to sail with Carnival Cruise Line , such as T-shirts, polo shirts or relaxed tops paired with shorts, capris, khakis or jeans. Athletic wear paired with a lightweight sweater or jacket are suitable for those looking to stay active. 
  • "Cruise casual" attire for men typically suggests longer dress shorts, pants or jeans and a collared polo shirt. Women usually wear sundresses, blouses, skirts, dress shorts and capri pants.
  • "Cruise elegant" typically translates to dress slacks, dress shirts and sports coats (suggested) for men, with some wearing suits, ties or tuxedos. Women choose dresses (party or cocktail), pantsuits and elegant skirts with blouses, while some may wear evening gowns. Kids should follow the adult dress code, opting for school dance- or party-appropriate attire. Note: Jeans, men's sleeveless shirts, shorts, T-shirts, sportswear, exercise clothes, baseball hats, flip-flops and bathing suits are not permitted. The number of "cruise elegant" evenings varies based on the length of the cruise.
  • Carnival Journeys cruises feature a "Throwback Sea Day," where guests can relive the '80s by day (outfits included) and dress up for a themed Captain's Cocktail Party by night. 
  • Cruises between early December and Christmas Day feature an "Ugly Sweater Contest."
  • Costumes are suggested for Halloween cruises between the end of September and October. However, when choosing a costume, keep in mind that full masks are prohibited (masks covering half of the face are allowed).

Celebrity Cruises Dress Code

  • Daytime: During the day, smart casual resort wear is suitable throughout Celebrity Cruises ' ships. (Think: sundresses, shorts, polos and button-down shirts paired with sandals, low heels and loafers.) Bathing suits with cover-ups, T-shirts, tank tops, hats and sunglasses are only appropriate poolside. Cruisers should avoid wearing these items in the dining areas.
  • Evening: Most evenings, guests are expected to wear comfortable yet tasteful attire. This entails dresses, skirts, long pants or jeans, stylish tops and button-down shirts. Shorts and flip-flops do not meet the evening dress code. Depending on your voyage, there will be one or two formal nights that require "evening chic" wear. Passengers can dress to impress in formal gowns, tuxedos, cocktail dresses, dressy jeans or blazers.

Costa Cruises Dress Code

  • Daytime: During the day, Costa Cruises ' passengers may wear casual clothing like T-shirts, shorts and sundresses. Beach clothing and flip-flops are not permitted in ship restaurants. Depending on the itinerary, some shore excursions may have specific dress codes.
  • Evening: Most nights require resort attire; however, Costa hosts one or two Elegant Evenings per cruise, when men may wear dark suits or tuxedos and women can wear evening gowns or cocktail dresses.
  • Themed Nights: Costa recommends that guests pack white clothing for its White Night events and white, red and green clothing and accessories for its Italy-themed evenings.

Cunard Line Dress Code

  • Daytime: Shorts, T-shirts and sundresses are appropriate daytime wardrobe options on sailings with Cunard Line . Swimwear is acceptable by the pool but should not be worn in indoor dining areas.
  • Evening: In the evenings, passengers are asked to wear smart attire, which includes dress shirts and trousers for men, and cocktail dresses or sophisticated tops and skirts for women – similar to what you'd choose for dinner at a trendy restaurant or a special occasion. Voyages lasting seven nights host at least two Gala Evenings, during which guests are requested to adhere to a more formal dress code. 
  • Themed Nights: Gala Evenings employ themes ranging from specific colors (such as black and white or red and gold outfits) to the roaring '20s to masquerade balls.

Disney Cruise Line Dress Code

  • Daytime: On Disney Cruise Line sailings, cruise casual attire is acceptable during the day; outfit options include sundresses and shorts and tees. Swimwear and tank tops are not permitted in dining venues.
  • Evening: After the sun sets, polished attire like collared shirts and jeans without rips are acceptable. Bathing suits, tees, tank tops and sports attire are not allowed. Adult-exclusive dining venues on Disney ships call for elegance; formal or semiformal wear is recommended.
  • Themed Nights: On three- and four-night sailings, there is typically a pirate-themed deck party and one optional dress-up night for guests of all ages. Sailings lasting seven nights or longer add one formal and one semiformal night, when women may wear a formal dress or pantsuit and men can opt for a suit or dress pants with a jacket.

Holland America Line Dress Code

  • Daytime: Plan on wearing casual attire aboard Holland America Line 's ships during the day. When indoors, guests must wear shirts, cover-ups and footwear.
  • Evening: On most nights, smart casual clothing is acceptable. However, in table service restaurants, shorts, bathing suits, distressed jeans and tank tops are prohibited. Grand Voyages cruises host formal nights, when suits and dresses are appropriate.
  • Themed Nights: Once per cruise, Holland America hosts an Orange Party in celebration of King's Day. Pack your favorite orange clothing and accessories for this event, which honors the cruise line's Dutch heritage.

MSC Cruises Dress Code

  • Daytime: Guests of MSC Cruises dress fairly casual during the day in T-shirts and shorts.
  • Evening: Collared shirts, dresses and tailored pants are expected at night in the main dining rooms, specialty restaurants and entertainment venues. There is one optional Gala Night, when varying levels of elegance are acceptable. Guests should wear what makes them feel comfortable, ranging from tuxedos or ball gowns to dressy jeans and polo shirts.
  • Themed Nights: MSC hosts a White Night Party (where guests wear all white) and a Sunshine Party, where guests don cheerful colors.

Norwegian Cruise Line Dress Code

  • Daytime: During the day, plan to wear cruise casual attire like summer dresses, jeans, khakis, shorts and casual shirts on Norwegian Cruise Line voyages. At the buffet and outdoor restaurants, swimwear can be worn with a cover-up and footwear. In dining rooms and specialty restaurants, Norwegian does not permit tank tops for men, jeans with rips or tears, flip-flops, baseball caps or visors.
  • Evening: In Norwegian's upscale specialty restaurants, smart casual attire is the norm. Women can wear slacks, jeans, dresses, skirts and tops, while men should opt for jeans or slacks, a collared shirt and closed-toed shoes. Children ages 12 and younger may wear shorts in all restaurants. On each cruise, there is one particular "Dress-Up or Not Night," when guests can wear fancier clothing (if they choose).
  • Themed Nights: Pack an all-white outfit for the White Hot Party and formal attire for Norwegian's Night Out.

Princess Cruises Dress Code

  • Daytime: In Princess Cruises ' restaurants and public spaces, casual resort wear is required. Shoes must be worn in the dining areas, and pool or beach attire, ball caps and frayed jeans are prohibited in restaurants.
  • Evening: On most nights, smart casual attire is acceptable in restaurants. However, on formal evenings, women may wear evening gowns, cocktail dresses or elegant pantsuits; while men may opt for tuxedos, dark suits or dinner jackets with slacks. The number of formal nights per cruise depends on the length of the sailing.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Dress Code

  • Daytime: Elevated resort wear, including jeans, shorts, T-shirts and tennis shoes, is appropriate before 6 p.m. on Regent Seven Seas Cruises ' ships.
  • Evening: At night, elegant casual attire is recommended. Women typically dresses, pantsuits or slacks paired with blouses or sweaters; a collared shirt and dress pants for men is the norm, with the option for sport jackets and ties. On cruises lasting 16 nights or longer, there are two evenings when guests can choose to wear formal or semiformal attire. Wardrobe choices include dark suits and cocktail dresses or tuxedos and gowns. Note: On the last night of every voyage, the dinner dress code is "relaxed casual" to accommodate guests packing for early morning flights.

Royal Caribbean International Dress Code

  • Daytime: A relaxed, casual style is acceptable during the day on cruises with Royal Caribbean International . However, swimwear should be limited to the pool deck. 
  • Evening: On most nights, guests wear smart casual attire, which includes collared or button-up shirts, dresses, skirts, blouses and pantsuits. Jackets, sports coats and blazers are encouraged but not required. On formal evenings and for the Chef's Table dining experience, cruisers are expected to wear black-tie attire, which includes tuxedos, suits with ties, cocktail dresses and evening gowns. The number of formal nights per cruise depends on the length of the sailing.
  • Themed Nights: Offered on cruises lasting four nights or longer, themed nights may include toga parties, masquerade balls, decade themes and black and white nights.

Silversea Cruises Dress Code

  • Daytime: Casual attire akin to what you'd wear at a five-star resort is suitable during the day aboard Silversea Cruises ' ships.
  • Evening: Evening attire is categorized into three groups: casual, informal and formal. On casual evenings, women wear pants, blouses, skirts, and casual dresses, while men wear open-neck shirts and slacks. On informal evenings, ladies often choose dresses or pantsuits, and gentlemen typically wear jackets (ties are optional). Formal night is always optional; if you choose to participate, outfits may include cocktail dresses, gowns, tuxedos and suits. The number of formal nights per cruise varies by voyage length.

Seabourn Cruise Line Dress Code

  • Daytime: Casual resort wear like jeans and shorts are welcome in all lounges and dining venues on Seabourn Cruise Lines ' ships. Athletic apparel and swimwear should only be worn in the pool area, on the deck or at the spa and fitness center.
  • Evening: After 6 p.m., the dress code is "elegant casual." Men are expected to wear slacks with collared shirts or sweaters (jackets are optional), while women can choose pants, skirts, pantsuits or dresses. Elegant jeans are allowed in all dining venues except The Restaurant. On formal evenings in The Restaurant, men may wear tuxedos, suits or slacks and jackets, while women can opt for evening gowns and cocktail dresses.

Viking Ocean Cruises Dress Code

  • Daytime: On Viking Ocean Cruises ' ships, casual daytime clothing such as shorts, pants, jeans and comfortable walking shoes are acceptable. Athletic wear including exercise clothing, swimsuits and cover-ups may only be worn in the fitness center, pool zones and sports deck.
  • Evening: While there are no dedicated formal nights, the dress code after 6 p.m. calls for elegant casual attire for all dining venues, lounges, bars and theaters. Jeans are not permitted (with the exception of the World Cafe, where the dress code remains casual in the evenings). For women, wardrobe options include dresses, jumpsuits, skirts or slacks paired with elegant tops. Jackets and ties are optional for men, but trousers and collared shirts should be worn in the evenings.

Virgin Voyages Dress Code

  • Day or night, cruisers on Virgin Voyages ' ships are encouraged to wear attire that expresses their personal style. Just note: In restaurants, bathing suits are not permitted, and shoes are necessary. There are no formal nights; guests can dress up or down, depending on what makes them feel their best.
  • Themed Nights: Pack something scarlet red for the Scarlet Night Party, which occurs once per voyage.

Why Trust U.S. News

Dana Freeman is a highly experienced cruise writer who embarked on her first cruise with her grandmother when she was just 12 years old, and she hasn't stopped since. Having sailed on more than 20 different cruise lines and completed over 30 voyages, Freeman's cruise expertise spans from small ships accommodating only eight passengers to massive ones accommodating over 5,000. To curate this article, she leveraged her extensive knowledge of the cruise ship industry, combined with her strong research skills.

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What to wear on a cruise: Cruise attire and cruise line dress codes

Ashley Kosciolek

Editor's Note

Have you ever had that nightmare where you're at work, in school or giving an important presentation only to look down to discover you're only wearing underwear (or worse, nothing at all)? If you're new to vacationing at sea, knowing how to dress for a cruise can be confusing and just as potentially embarrassing if you're not prepared.

Packing acceptable attire for a cruise is simple if you remember a few general rules. Here, I'll break down some safe options if you're unsure, and I'll give an overview of the cruise dress codes for each of the "big eight" cruise lines.

For more cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG's cruise newsletter .

What do people wear on a cruise?

night cruise wear

You can't go wrong with resort-casual clothing for sea days when you'll remain on board your ship. Although some lines will be more or less casual than that, it's a good baseline. What is "resort casual" though?

Khaki pants or shorts with loose-fitting, short-sleeved button-down shirts or even nice, plain T-shirts work well for men. Women might opt for khaki shorts or palazzo pants with a nice top or a sundress. In most cases, nice jeans (dark wash with no holes) will also work well.

On most ships, this clothing will also be acceptable at night in the main dining rooms. For extra-fee restaurants, you might choose to dress up a bit more. Collared shirts or long-sleeved button-downs are acceptable for men, and slacks with a blouse or a dress for women are acceptable.

For formal nights, which are optional on many lines' ships, men will want to bring a collared, button-down shirt at the bare minimum. For something a little more snazzy, bring a jacket to wear over your shirt, with or without a tie. Some men opt for suits or tuxes. For women, pantsuits and dressy pants outfits are a great choice, as are party dresses or even ball gowns.

Although most lines have eased dress codes on formal or "elegant" nights, jeans are generally not allowed in the main dining rooms. Cut-off shorts, baseball caps and flip-flops are banned at all times — not just on formal nights — during dinner in the main dining rooms.

Related: 7 cruise ship packing mistakes you want to avoid at all costs

Another key piece of clothing to bring is a bathing suit. Whether you're headed to a warm-weather destination and plan to laze by the pool or on the beach, or you're visiting somewhere chilly but want to take advantage of your vessel's hot tubs, it's an item you won't want to forget. Note that cover-ups are required for entry at all restaurants and dining rooms, with the exception of walk-up poolside window-service venues.

For shore excursions — particularly those in more rugged or active destinations that require a lot of walking — comfortable, casual clothing and sturdy footwear are a must. Bring layers for cold climates and moisture-wicking fabrics for places where it's warm or where you expect to work up a sweat.

Finally, check to see if your cruise line has any special theme nights planned. If so, you might want to pack an outfit for the white party or '80s night.

Carnival cruise dress code

night cruise wear

Carnival is one line where casual is the name of the game. Passengers will be fine in jeans, T-shirts, tank tops, shorts and bathing suits for their days on board or ashore.

At night, nice jeans and nice tops are perfect for eating in the main dining rooms.

On Carnival cruise formal nights, known as "cruise elegant" nights, cruisers wear everything from slacks with nice shirts to tuxes and ball gowns. However, most passengers stick to clothes that fall somewhere in the middle.

Voyages of six nights or longer will have two "cruise elegant" nights, while those five nights or shorter will see only one.

Celebrity Cruises dress code

Celebrity Cruises maintains a dress code that's best described as chic-casual. The demographic on board tends to be a bit more upscale than what you'll find on Carnival, Royal Caribbean or Norwegian. That means khaki shorts with nice button-downs are more common than jean shorts and tank tops, although you won't be out of place in the latter.

For dinner, you'll want to dress it up even more, as the line has a smart-casual dress code at night in most restaurants, including the main dining room. Anything from unripped jeans to dress pants with nice blouses or button-downs is acceptable.

Related: 20 must-have items I won't cruise without

Are there formal nights on Celebrity cruises? Yes, the line holds one "evening chic" night on every sailing of six nights or fewer and two on voyages of a week or more. The dress code encourages passengers to go all-out with tuxes and evening gowns. However, most men choose slacks with collared or button-down shirts and jackets, sans ties. Most women choose slacks and nice blouses, sundresses or party dresses.

Disney Cruise Line dress code

night cruise wear

Disney Cruise Line is synonymous with children, and children like to be comfortable. With that in mind, just about anything goes in terms of dress on The Mouse's ships. These cruises tend toward casual in spite of their stellar service and high price point.

It's not uncommon to see jeans, shorts, T-shirts or bathing suits during the day. Unlike most other lines, the same goes at dinnertime, with jeans and T-shirts just as common as dressier attire like slacks and button-downs.

Exceptions are the line's "dress-up" nights — two on sailings of a week or more and one on shorter voyages. For those, DCL suggests that men avoid jeans and wear jackets. Women should go with dresses, skirts and blouses, or pantsuits.

Related: The 5 best cruise lines for families

Some of Disney Cruise Line's added-fee restaurants, such as Remy — one of the most expensive alternative eateries at sea — require jackets for men and don't allow jeans.

Each Disney sailing features a Pirate Night; cruisers wishing to participate should pack their best swashbuckling gear. As is standard at Disney parks, you're also likely to see large numbers of costumes and mouse ears at all hours of the day.

Holland America Line dress code

Although the dress code on Holland America ships is technically "cruise casual," you'll rarely spot anyone looking disheveled or like they just rolled out of bed. Most passengers tend toward resortwear or, at the bare minimum, nice jeans with pressed T-shirts.

The casual dress code carries through to dinner, but HAL cruisers often dress up a bit more. This includes collared shirts or button-downs (sometimes with jackets) and slacks for men and slacks with nice tops or dresses for women.

As for Holland America formal nights, on sailings shorter than a week, there will be one "gala night," during which travelers don evening or ball gowns, suits or tuxedos. Voyages of eight to 13 nights will see two gala nights, while any cruises of two weeks or longer will have three chances to dress to the nines.

MSC Cruises dress code

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What to wear on MSC cruises largely depends on the crowd with whom you're sailing. On European cruises, your fellow passengers are likely to dress up more often — even during the day; skimpy resortwear and designer bathing suits often grace the pool deck as far as the eye can see. On those voyages, dinner is an even more fancy affair, with elegance as the norm. Expect to see glittering dresses and stylish pants and button-downs with dress shoes, even when it's not a formal night.

On cruises that depart from the U.S., expect a more casual vibe, with jeans, T-shirts and bathing suits ruling the day. At night, you'll be fine with nice jeans and a collared shirt or a sundress, although you might want to dress up a bit more to match the ship's ambience.

Related: A beginners guide to picking a cruise line

Are there formal nights on MSC cruises? Absolutely. They're called "gala dinners," and they appear at least once per voyage, but the number can vary by itinerary. The dress code is strict, with the buffet the only place that will allow T-shirts and shorts. You'll fit in best in a ball gown, cocktail dress, suit or tuxedo.

Norwegian Cruise Line dress code

Norwegian , which pioneered the concept of "freestyle cruising," prides itself on allowing cruisers to dress as they please, providing a "come as you are" atmosphere during the day and at night. The most popular clothing is cruise casual, and passengers are free to wear whatever they'd like with an emphasis on comfort.

The only exception is at dinner, when a smart-casual vibe encourages travelers to avoid torn clothes or suggestive or skimpy outfits.

In a nod to Norwegian's laid-back style, NCL formal nights — dubbed "Dress Up or Not" nights — provide a chance for you to get dolled up. However, it's not required, and you won't be turned away from the main dining rooms if you choose not to participate. Passengers have been spotted wearing everything from jeans and T-shirts to ball gowns and tuxes, and all coexist in perfect harmony.

Princess Cruises dress code

night cruise wear

Princess ' casual daytime mindset means you can wear the same types of clothing on board as you would during a day ashore — activewear, beachwear and jeans or T-shirts are totally fine.

Princess' formal nights are special because the line is one of the few industry holdouts in that it still has an official formal night. Its passengers enjoy a more traditional cruise experience, and they relish the romantic vibe that a formal night can provide. With that in mind, the line doesn't mention super-fancy garb like ball gowns or tuxes; instead, it advises suits or slacks with jackets for men and cocktail dresses or pantsuits for the ladies.

On voyages of less than a week, passengers should plan for one formal night, while sailings of a week to 13 days will have two, and cruises two weeks or longer will have three.

All other nights are listed as "smart casual." This means sundresses or pants with flowy tops for women and nice jeans or slacks with collared shirts for men will suffice.

Royal Caribbean dress code

As is the case with Carnival and Norwegian, Royal Caribbean is a casual line during the day. Like Disney Cruise Line, it caters to a lot of families. Translation: Wear what allows you to have the most fun in the most comfort. Expect to see shorts or jeans with T-shirts or tank tops and bathing suits or beachwear almost exclusively during the daytime.

At night, you might want to put on something a little less comfortable, but it's certainly not required unless it's a formal night. (Like Princess, Royal still has those.) The confusing part is that the line has three different dress codes, all of which are loosely enforced: casual, smart casual and formal. The ones that show up on your voyage will depend on the length of the cruise.

The only difference between the first two is that smart casual recommends pantsuits for ladies and jackets for the guys, but skirts or trousers with blouses or collared shirts are fine in both cases. Smart casual also strongly discourages jeans — even nice ones.

Royal Caribbean formal nights have the highest expectations for passengers, urging them to wear their finest cocktail dresses, evening gowns, suits or tuxes. As with the line's smart-casual dress code, jeans are not allowed in the main dining rooms on formal nights.

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Packing Souvenirs from your Cruise Travels

What To Wear on a Cruise: 5 Day-to-Night Outfit Ideas [INFOGRAPHIC]

The five must-have cruise outfits to wear from day to night.

By Chantae Reden Published on April 9, 2024

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Day-To-Night Outfits

To bring on your cruise.

Explore the world in style with these five perfect cruise outfits that'll keep you comfortable as you go from pool deck to onshore excursion and back again. Put together a capsule wardrobe made up of a few versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched for any adventure.

The quintessential cruise style consists of chic but relaxed pieces. Think breezy fabrics, loose silhouettes, light neutrals, bright colors and beachy accessories.

Lean into tropical prints, red and coral hues that pop against aquamarine waters, woven hats and classic sunglasses.

Your cruise outfits will be as fun to wear as they are to look at.

Port-Day Wardrobe

Fashion and function combine on days strolling through port cities.

Breezy top or polo shirt

Flowy maxi dress

Wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses

Comfortable sandals

Capris or shorts

Dress it up

A cardigan or button-up shirt adds evening elegance when it's time for dinner.

Onboard Ensemble

Go for comfort on those relaxing sea days.

Swimsuit or stylish swim trunks

Sundress or a loose nautical-themed shirt

Panama hat and sunglasses

Comfortable sandals or flip-flops

Swap flip-flops for dressy sandals or closed-toed shoes before heading to the onboard restaurant.

Adventure Attire

Be ready for all of the fun cruise ship adventures, from the skydive simulator to the waterpark.

Lightweight shirt

Athletic shorts or leggings

Long-sleeved shirt, sunglasses and hat

Shoes with sturdy soles

Before showtime at the onboard theater, change into a skirt or trousers, dress shoes and an airy scarf for a polished look.

Beach-Day Outfit

Nothing says beach paradise vacation like an outfit that's laid-back yet luxe.

Swim shorts with a Cuban collar shirt

Hat and sunglasses

Swimsuit under a romper or sundress

Have dinner reservations? Trade your beach sandals for smart penny loafers, and add seashell-inspired jewelry or a sleek watch

Sightseeing Cruise Outfit

Opt for loose, breathable fabrics on big days out to roam any terrain from rainforests to ruins.

A lightweight shirt

Socks and boots or sneakers

Sunhat and sunglasses

Breezy linen pants

This outfit can easily carry you into the evening, but dainty jewelry, colorful slip-on shoes, a Panama hat and swapping from a backpack to handbag will create a softer look.

Rack Of Clothes, Saint John, New Brunswick

Getting There

Get packed and ready to set sail on the Ultimate World Cruise.

T hough it's tempting to pack everything, cruise outfits are meant to be laid-back, so plan to wear a few items of clothing more than once — no one will judge you, promise. Pack a few key staple pieces that can be paired together in several different mix and match styles — this is called a capsule wardrobe. To ensure you can put together a great outfit each day, pack mindfully in one color palette or scheme — colors like red, coral and yellow will pop in pictures when photographed in front of a turquoise sea. If you're wondering what to pack for a five-day cruise, bring along six shirts, six sets of underwear, and three to four bottoms. Then, throw in at least two swimsuits, so you always have one dry. Finally, pajamas, a jacket or sweater, athleisure wear, a hat, sunglasses, sandals, athletic shoes, and dress shoes round out a perfect cruise outfit packing list.

Breezy fabrics like cotton and linen in a loose silhouette keep you cool and covered under the sun during the daytime, and with a few adaptable accessories, you can transition seamlessly into a polished evening look. No matter if you're spending your day sipping an ice-cold cocktail on deck, strolling along a sandy beach, adventuring on jungle trails or searching for local treats, these five versatile day-to-night cruise outfit ideas will make packing easy, getting you on island time, in no time.

1. Port-Day Wardrobe

If you'll be spending your port days shopping, dining, and exploring new cities and towns, you'll need cruise outfit ideas that are both stylish and practical. A flowy top or polo shirt, bright-colored capris or khaki shorts, comfortable shoes, sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat will keep you cool during the day. When the sun goes down, dress it up with a button-down shirt, shawl or cardigan.

2. Onboard Ensemble

For days spent at sea, you'll want cruise attire that's comfortable and convertible. A swimsuit underneath a sundress or flowy shirt and shorts is an outfit that will take you from the pool to the spa to the mini golf course and beyond. When it's time for dinner, swap your shorts for trousers and slip on dressy sandals or closed-toe shoes. If you're cruising with your kids, be prepared for spills and stains with an extra shirt.

Solid-colored board shorts paired with a button-up shirt (nautical print encouraged) work just as well for a day on deck. Then, change from swim trunks and flip-flops to chinos and dress shoes before heading to the onboard restaurant. A Panama hat adds an element of holiday luxe no matter the time of day.

3. Adventure Attire

The best outfits for a cruise are the ones you can wear all day long. If you have a list of adventure activities planned for your shore excursions, or if you'll be braving the ship's RipCord® by iFly® skydive simulator and Zip Line, pack accordingly. During the day, wear athletic shorts, a neutral-colored tank top, and sneakers or sandals. Don't forget a hat, sunglasses and a long-sleeved sun shirt in your day bag. Need to dress up for dinner? It's simple. Pack extra clothes in a tote bag in case you don't have time to go back to your stateroom. Swap your athletic shorts for a flowy skirt or trousers, and trade your sneakers for a more formal pair of shoes, like chunky heels or loafers for a put-together look.

4. Beach-Day Outfit

For many, a cruise vacation is all about spending as much time as possible in or near the sea. Maybe this means claiming a lounge chair as your own, seeking a spot in the sand without footprints or swimming out into the clear blue water. When you're done wading in the water or soaking up the sun, a cover-up like a romper, oversized shirt or dress is always a stylish choice for wandering local shops and grabbing a seaside lunch. Quick-drying swim trunks are the go-to staple for this cruise outfit and is a perfect choice for kids. Just throw on a collared shirt and slip-on penny loafers, and you're good to go.

For dinner reservations, add an air of tropical elegance with a pair of wide-legged linen trousers or chinos in a solid color, paired with a linen top in a colorful print and some timeless accessories like a gauzy scarf, dangling necklace, a sleek watch or large sunglasses.

Make sure your cruise packing list includes a lightweight bag for your book, sun protection, wallet, camera, phone and a foldable dry bag tucked inside. When you're done swimming, you can stow your swimwear away in the dry bag without getting the rest of your items wet.

5. Sightseeing Cruise Outfit

When trying to figure out what to wear on a cruise, it's important to plan ahead and know what your must-dos are for your cruise vacation. For long days jam-packed with historical and natural sights to see, pack fabrics that are breathable and comfortable. Linen pants and a good pair of socks and boots are invaluable for rainforest hikes, while a lightweight long-sleeve shirt and a sunhat with a drawstring will keep you covered when visiting ancient ruins. If you're packing outfits for a cruise destination in a warm climate, bring something that can be worn over a swimsuit, so you're always ready to take a dip in hidden cenotes.

When it's time to hit the town at night, add some accessories to soften this look like dainty jewelry, colorful slip-on shoes, a Panama hat and a handbag.

night cruise wear


Chantae Reden is an adventure writer and photographer who rarely strays far from the coastline. She is a freediver, surfer, scuba diver, and has a mild obsession with sharks. Her work has appeared in Travel + Leisure, Escape, and she's a guidebook author for Moon Travel Guides. Discover more of her stories on her travel website,

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Should Be Cruising

What to Wear on Formal Night on a Cruise

By: Author Carrie Ann Karstunen

Posted on Published: December 15, 2021  - Last updated: November 27, 2022

What to Wear on Formal Night on a Cruise

Have you booked a cruise that has a formal night or two? Formal night on a cruise can be a highlight of your vacation! But if you don’t know what to wear on formal night, no worries—here’s everything you need to know.

Read on to find out all about cruise formal night—from how to find out how many nights will be formal, what the formal night dress codes are for the major cruise lines, and what to do if the idea of dressing up on a cruise just isn’t your thing.

I’ve even put together some cruise formal night outfit ideas for men, women, and kids to inspire you!

Be sure to read my cruise formal night FAQ at the end for quick answers to the most frequently asked questions about formal night on a cruise.

What is formal night on a cruise?

Formal night on a cruise ship is the evening when passengers don dressy clothing for dinner, photos, and special activities. The main dining rooms usually will serve an elevated menu, with fancier options like filet mignon, prime rib, or lobster tail.

Some cruise lines have the Captain’s welcome party the evening of the first formal night, with the opportunity to meet the captain and mingle with the other guests.

night cruise wear

Your cruise line might use an alternate name for formal night, like “Evening Chic”, “Gala Evening”, or “Cruise Elegant”, but it’s essentially the same thing—a night when most passengers dress in their finest clothing for dinner and evening festivities.

Why do cruise lines have formal nights?

During the golden age of ocean liners, guests staying in first class cabins were required to wear formal attire after 6 PM in all public areas of the ship. In the early decades of modern cruise travel, women wore evening gowns and men donned white tie in the evenings.

Learn more: The Story of the First Cruise Ship: SS Prinzessin Victoria Luise

In the 1960s, when standards of dress became less formal in general, cruise lines began to alter their dress codes to appeal to a more modern aesthetic—as well as to the less well-heeled guests who were now able to afford a cruise vacation.

Today, many passengers enjoy having the opportunity to dress up once or twice during a cruise. In an increasingly casual world, this tradition is unique to the cruise industry!

Do all cruise lines have formal night?

If you really don’t like dressing up, you might want to choose one of the cruise lines that doesn’t have formal nights. These cruise lines don’t have a specific formal night with dressy attire required in the main dining rooms:

  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Virgin Voyages
  • Oceania Cruises
  • Paul Gauguin Cruises
  • Regent Seven Seas

However, most of these cruise lines do have “formal optional” evenings, when many passengers do dress up in the evening—but it’s not required.

What should you wear for formal night on a cruise?

When people ask me what to wear for formal night on a cruise, I usually advise them to dress like they would for an elegant evening wedding—a dark suit and tie for men, and a cocktail dress or dressy evening separates for women.

You’ll often see people dressed to both ends of the “formal” spectrum on many ships—some wear tuxedos and full-length gowns, and others will wear chinos and a dress shirt or a more casual dress.

On more traditional cruise lines like Holland America or Cunard, you’ll notice the general level of dressiness to be a bit higher. But as long as you’re within your cruise line’s dress code, feel free to be as dressy or as casual as you prefer.

Where to find the formal night dress code for your cruise line

The idea of “formal night” may conjure up different images to different people, so the cruise lines have come up with guidelines to help cruisers understand the dress code expectations before they pack for vacation.

Here are links to the formal night dress codes for many of the major cruise lines:

  • Carnival Cruise Line – look for “Cruise Elegant”
  • Celebrity Cruises – look for “Evening Chic”
  • Costa Cruises – look for “Formal”
  • Cunard Line – look for “Gala Evening”
  • Disney Cruise Line – look for “formal” and “semi-formal”
  • Holland America Line – look for “Formal”
  • MSC Cruises – click on “Gala Evenings”
  • Princess Cruises – click on Clothing Recommendations and look for “Formal”
  • Royal Caribbean – look for “Formal nights”

Where is formal night attire required on the ship?

If you’re opting out of formal night attire, you don’t need to stay in your stateroom all night! Formal night dress code is generally only required in the main dining room during dinner. (Some cruise lines also require formal attire in specialty restaurants on formal nights).

The buffet’s dress code will always be more casual, and of course no one expects you to lounge on the Lido deck in your suit or cocktail dress!

However, in the central area of the ship, especially after 5 or 6 PM, you’ll see most people dressed up for pre-dinner photos or cocktails. If I’m skipping formal night (or I’m having a late dinner and haven’t changed yet), I tend to avoid the atrium or the busiest part of the ship. You can feel a bit out of place in a t-shirt and shorts when everyone else has changed into their nighttime best!

Cruise formal night outfit ideas

Need some inspiration for your cruise formal night outfit? I’ve included ideas for men, women, and kids—with options ranging from semi-formal to black tie.

Cruise formal night outfit ideas for women

Retro sleeveless pencil dress.

You can’t go wrong with a little black dress, and this one’s extra special with a draped ruffle and flattering pleats at the waist. Add some cross-strap heels and an elegant gold bracelet to complete your evening outfit.

Miusol Women's Retro 1950s Style Half Collar Ruffle Cocktail Pencil Dress (Large, Black)

Vintage glam v-neck gown

A floor-length gown in a stunning shade of red brings to mind old-school Hollywood glamour, just right for your elegant evening! (I’m picturing this with a peekaboo wave hairstyle, à la Veronica Lake). Pair it with vintage-style gold stilettoes and a crystal necklace and earrings set for a little sparkle.

WOOSEA Women Sleeveless V Neck Split Evening Cocktail Long Dress Red

Floral lace cocktail dress

This bracelet-sleeve lace cocktail dress features eyelash lace at the scalloped hem and an elegant v-neck at the back, making it perfect for a formal night updo. Add gold chain link earrings and kitten heel pumps for a polished evening ensemble.

wedding guest dresses for women,cocktail dress,dresses for weddings as a guest, Lace chiffon Evening Dress Black Almond

Side ruffle slit tailored evening dress

An elegant yet simple long gown would be stunning for formal night, especially in this dark teal hue. A side ruffle and asymmetrical cap sleeves give it extra visual appeal. Just add metallic heels and gold bar drop earrings for a refined evening look.

WOOSEA Women's Split Bodycon Mermaid Evening Cocktail Long Dress

Jeweled neckline halter sheath dress

This sleek charcoal sheath dress features ruching at the waist and an embellished halter neckline that adds just a hint of sparkle. Add a pair of black strappy heels and a crystal cuff bracelet to complete your formal night look.

Alex Evenings Women's Short Sheath Slimming Stretch Halter Neck Dress, Charcoal, 4

Lace overlay fit and flare dress

This pretty knee-length fit and flare dress with lace overlay would be perfect for formal night—and it comes in burgundy and black options as well! Pair it with some neutral sandals and gold-plated drop earrings for a simple yet elegant outfit.

AmélieBoutik Women Floral Lace Overlay Fit and Flare Dress (Ivory and Beige Medium)

Plus size 3-piece evening ensemble

These lightweight georgette dressy separates make an elegant formal night option. The embellished top pairs with a matching flowy jacket and elastic waist pants—just add some strappy heels and crystal tassel earrings to finish the look!

Roaman's Women's Plus Size Three-Piece Beaded Pant Suit - 44 W, Black

Cruise formal night outfit ideas for men

Slim-fit classic suiting separates.

I love this classic Calvin Klein suiting in a slim fit—in lightweight wool with a little Lycra for stretch, it’s a good choice for any cruise year-round. It comes in several darker hues including navy, black, and charcoal, and the jacket and trousers are sold separately so he can choose the perfect fit.

Pair it with a classic dress shirt in any color, plus a silk tie (pocket square optional) to look dapper on formal night.

Calvin Klein Men's Slim Fit Suit Separates, Solid Navy, 28W x 29L

Linen two-piece vest + pant

If your cruise line’s formal night dress code is a bit on the casual side, this beige linen-cotton blend vest and trousers would look amazing for a summertime cruise. Pair it with a classic white dress shirt , fun tie , and loafers for a dressed-up but comfortable look.

High-End Suits Casual Linen Beige Men's 2 Piece Suits Wedding Suits Slim Fit Groomsmen Tuxedos Prom Blazer Custom Summer Linen Vest+Pant be-XL/4438

Modern fit tuxedo separates

These 100% wool tuxedo separates are perfect for an elegant look on formal night. The slim-fit single-breasted tuxedo jacket and matching trousers look great with a classic tuxedo shirt and black bow tie .

Calvin Klein Men's Modern Fit 100% Wool Tuxedo Suit Separates-Custom Jacket & Pant Size Selection, Black Jacket, 40 Short

Cruise formal night outfit ideas for kids

Striped box-pleated party dress.

This adorable striped party dress in shades of pink, champagne, light blue and navy is an unfussy formal night choice for a little girl. Pair it with some ankle strap gold flats to match the included belt.

paint dress kids 14 year old girl dresses for party dresses for girls special occasion vintage lil girl dress burgundy dress for teen girls dress for girls pink (1801 Green,14)

Navy three-piece suit

He’ll look ship-shape for formal night in this navy boys’ three-piece suit! It comes with a shirt and tie, so you’ll just need dress shoes and a matching belt to complete the look.

Boys Suit Navy Slim Fit Suits for Kids Formal Outfit Boy tuxedo with Blazer Vest Pants Shirt and Tie Size 2T

Chiffon tutu-skirt dress

She’ll feel like a princess on formal night with this long-sleeved tutu dress featuring 3D appliqué flowers. Pair it with sparkly flats and a jeweled headband to amp up the fairytale look.

TTYAOVO Girls Long sleeve Lace 3D Flowers Tulle Layered Princess Party Dresses Size(120) 3-4 Years Dusty Pink

Nautica Baby Boys’ 4-Piece Set

Your littlest cruiser doesn’t have to miss out on formal night! How cute would this “suit” set be for a dressy family photo? The four-piece set is comfy for fussy little ones with an elastic waistband and spandex for stretchiness.

Style it with some adorable leather dress shoes that come in the tiniest sizes!

Nautica Baby Boys' 4-Piece Set with Dress Shirt, Vest, Pants, and Tie, Wave Runner, 6-9 Months

Renting formal wear for your cruise

If you’d prefer to rent formal wear for your cruise, some cruise lines do offer tuxedo rentals. You’ll usually need to book this through the cruise line at least a couple of weeks before you sail.

Links and phone numbers for cruise line tux rentals:

  • Carnival: Call the Fun Shops at 1-800-522-7648
  • Cunard (tuxedo rental on board, no need to pre-order. Type “tuxedo” in FAQ search bar to see pricing)

Some cruise lines, including Disney and HAL, traditionally partnered with a company called Cruiseline Formalwear. Unfortunately, this company closed permanently during the pandemic. Instead, many cruisers have been renting tuxedos from local formal wear shops and carrying them on board.

For cocktail dress or gown rentals, you can check sites like Rent the Runway or Armoire (they’re especially great for maternity formal wear rentals). You’ll be able to rent a formal dress for far less than buying, and they take care of the cleaning for you.

How many formal nights will there be on my cruise?

When you’re deciding what to wear for formal night on a cruise, it’s a good idea to know how many formal nights your sailing will have.

In general, cruise lines that have formal nights will have two each week on a seven-day cruise. On short cruises (less than five days), there often isn’t a formal night.

Check with the cruise line or your travel agent to see how many formal nights are planned for your particular voyage.

Having photos taken on formal night

Once you’re all dressed up for the evening, why not plan to have some formal portraits taken to commemorate your cruise?

On most mainstream cruise lines, the roving photographers are ready to snap your pic in locations around the ship. But during formal night evenings, the photo team is out in full force!

They’ll often set up in the atrium or main public area with professional lighting and backdrops to capture your family or group in your formal night best.

Unlike a photoshoot on land, you won’t need to pay to have your pictures taken (although some cruise lines do have a portrait studio where you can book a photo session for a fee). You’ll only pay for the photos that you like, and prices are reasonable for formal shots.

A single 8″x10″ will run you about $25, and you’ll be able to purchase a discounted photo package if you want several prints to take home.

How to keep your cruise formal wear from wrinkling

Many cruisers worry about their dressy clothes for formal night wrinkling from being stuffed in a suitcase while traveling to the cruise port. You do have some options that will keep your formal wear looking good when you’re ready for that special night!

Although you can’t pack your own clothes iron or steamer (they’re a fire hazard on ships), some cruise lines do have passenger laundry rooms with an iron you can use to touch up your outfits.

But if your formal wear is too delicate for an iron, I have a few tricks you can use to get the wrinkles out:

  • Use wrinkle release spray and hang to dry
  • Use a home dry clean kit in the laundry room dryer
  • Hang your outfits in the bathroom with a hot shower running for a few minutes

Read more: How to Prevent Wrinkled Clothes on a Cruise

Can you skip formal night on a cruise?

If dressing up just isn’t your thing, you can absolutely skip formal night on a cruise! The main dining room will have a formal dress code, but you can always have dinner at the buffet or order room service.

Many cruise lines have a “smart casual” dress code in their specialty restaurants, making them a popular choice on formal nights for those who want to avoid dressing up. But double-check dress codes—some cruise lines (Carnival for example) have the same dress code in their specialty restaurants as in the MDR on formal nights.

Cruise formal night FAQ

Do you have to dress up for formal night on a cruise?

As long as you don’t have dinner in the main dining room or a specialty restaurant with a formal night dress code, you don’t need to dress up for formal night. Instead, you can eat at the buffet, a quick-service restaurant, or order room service.

Do men have to wear a jacket and tie for cruise formal night?

Some cruise lines do require a jacket and tie to enter the main dining room on formal night. Check your cruise line’s  formal night dress code  for details.

Do women have to wear a dress for cruise formal night?

Cruise lines that have formal nights don’t specify that women need to wear a dress on those evenings. Dressy evening separates, like an elegant top paired with a matching skirt or trousers are fine for formal night.

Do kids need to dress up for formal night on a cruise?

If your cruise line has formal nights, kids who are eating in the main dining room with their parents will need to adhere to the formal night dress code.

Which cruise lines don’t have formal nights?

Several cruise lines don’t have formal nights, including Norwegian Cruise Line, Virgin Voyages, Azamara, Oceania Cruises, Paul Gauguin Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas. However, there may be an optional dress-up night on your sailing.

Can you buy or rent formal wear on the cruise ship?

Many cruise lines offer tuxedo rentals, but you should reserve your tux at least several weeks before you sail.

I’d love to hear your opinions about what to wear for formal night on a cruise! Do you go all out, do the minimum, or skip it altogether? Let me know in the comments below!

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Dresses on Hangers.

Sunday 13th of March 2022

I was wondering if it would be inappropriate to wear a simple wedding dress during formal night. My fiancé and I are eloping but the cruise is our honeymoon and much of his family will be there! I thought it might be fun! Nothing too poofy, just a lace sheath dress. TIA!

Monday 14th of March 2022

Hi Darby, I think a simple white lace sheath would be perfect for formal night on most cruise lines! As long as it doesn't actually look like a wedding dress, you'll be fine. Congrats on your upcoming wedding!

Friday 17th of December 2021

I always enjoy formal night when we cruise. We don't dress up often at home so this is always special and so much fun!

Thursday 16th of December 2021

What a great idea! I feel like not many people think about needing such a formal outfit for a cruise!

Hi Alex, lots of new cruisers don't know about formal night on their first cruise! Thankfully it's optional - you just need to eat dinner on those nights in a casual-friendly environment. But hopefully lots of first-time cruisers read this post so they know how to join in on the fun! :D

I like the fact you don't have to attend a formal evening if you don't want to - i'd be the one in the buffet or getting room service ;-) Although I may be tempted to bring a cocktail dress for a long cruise!

Hi Hannah! I totally get skipping formal night (I sometimes do if I'm tired)! It's great that it's not mandatory and you're free to do your own thing :D

I love formal nights on the cruise, definitely my favorite theme night

Hi Elyse, I agree! I love a chance to get dressed up and enjoy the fancier meal choices on formal nights. Thanks for stopping by!

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12 Affordable Dresses Perfect for a Cruise Formal Night

There might not be a single event on a cruise that can cause as much stress as formal night.

And all that stress comes from one simple question: What can I wear?

To be fair, it can be a tough question to answer. Over the years, formal night has decidedly become more casual. While it used to be just for formal evening gowns and tuxedos, these days almost anything except for shorts (and sometimes even those) will pass the dress code.

That said, we think you definitely should dress up for formal night. The night isn’t just about you — it’s for everyone headed to dinner in the ship’s dining room. Not everyone gets a special occasion to dress up. Being able to get dolled up and head to dinner with other glamorous-looking folks helps to set the atmosphere.

To learn more about what sort of dress is and isn’t allowed during formal night you can read our article here.

In the meantime, we’ve rounded up a dozen formal dresses — all of which would be perfect for cruise formal night. You can find all of these dresses on Amazon, which typically offers free returns/exchanges if something doesn’t fit just right.

Note: The links to Amazon used below are affiliate links. Should you make a purchase, we receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.

Classic Slimming Black Cocktail Dress

night cruise wear

Turn heads with this slimming cocktail dress that’s a staple of any wardrobe. Just $23 on Amazon and comes in black, navy, and wine.

Aqua Gown with Peacock Design

night cruise wear

Formal with a bit of flair, this beautiful dress comes in seven different colors. Prices vary, but this one costs just $50 .

Classic Sleeved Long Gown

night cruise wear

Elegant, yet simple, this dress offers full coverage but with a low-cut back. This $60 dress comes in eight different colors , although we think grey is the most “classy” look.

Strapless Coral Formal Dress

night cruise wear

This fun dress just screams “cruise” while also being perfect for formal night. There are a variety of colors, but none as perfect as this coral one for only $30 .

Hip-Hugging Royal Blue Gown

night cruise wear

Have curves you want to show off? This is your dress. It’s classy and perfect as formal wear, but also a little sexy… for after dinner. Best of all, it’s only $24 .

Retro-Style Pleated Dress

night cruise wear

Looking for a dress that’s a bit different than the long-flowing gown? How about this retro style that comes just to the knee. It’s $35 and has several different colors available .

Sleeveless Dress with Sheer Bottom

night cruise wear

Cocktail Dress with Blue/Black Lace Design

night cruise wear

This formal dress is totally unlike the gowns shown above and works well for both formal night and day-to-day work back home. Shows off your shape and has a cool design for just $27 .

Above-the-Knee Formal Cocktail Dress

night cruise wear

If you’re someone with a petite figure and don’t want to be swallowed up in a large gown, this is the perfect dress. Comes in a ton of different colors, but is the most expensive dress on the list at $120 .

Multi-Color Flowing Evening Gown

night cruise wear

Retro-Inspired Sleeved Dress

night cruise wear

Strapless Above-the-Knee Dinner Gown

night cruise wear

If you want a formal dress that’s fun and flirty, check out this one. It has a high cut in the front to show a little let and the strapless shoulders reveal a little more. Best of all, it comes in 10 colors and only costs $20 .

Can’t find a dress here that you love? Shop all the available formal gowns and dresses here .

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What I Wore on a 7 Day Caribbean Cruise (Cruise Outfits with Photos & Links)

What I Wore on a Caribbean Cruise

Sharing is caring!

Are you going on a Caribbean or Bahamas cruise and wondering what cruise outfits to wear? Personally, I love some good cruise outfit inspiration!

I recently returned from a 7 day Caribbean cruise and thought I’d share some of the clothes I wore to give you a few cruise outfit ideas.

It had been almost 2 years since I’ve cruised I needed some new dresses, bathing suits and cover ups. The stores near me weren’t selling resort wear at this time of year, so this time I bought most of my new cruise outfits online.

In this post, I share photos of cruise wear I wore for embarkation, during the day on the ship and ports of call, and formal wear . Where possible, I’ve included links to the items in case you’d like to check them out.

This post contains affiliate links which means if you click and buy that I may make a commission, at no cost to you. Please see my disclosure policy for details.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

My Cruise Outfits for a 7 Day Cruise

Embarkation day outfit.

On embarkation day I wore a navy blue and white stripe casual dress. It was super comfortable, and I figured I could wear it both during the day on our cruise as well as in the evening on a smart casual night .

I purchased this nautical stripe dress on Amazon in a size small and it was true to size.

Ilana Embarkation Day Outfit

Recommended: Navy blue and white stripe casual dress (check price & details on Amazon)

What I Wore During the Day on a Cruise

I don’t like to stress about what to wear on a cruise , especially Caribbean cruise itineraries. I like to pack comfortable sundresses and rompers that I can wear both on the cruise ship when hanging out on the lido deck, as well as in cruise ports of call.

These are some of the cruise outfits I wore.

Sleeveless Shorts Romper

I realize I so like navy stripe clothing, bags and accessories!! This cute shorts romper is also available in solid colors and I will probably purchase a couple more for summer. It’s very comfortable and has pockets!

I bought this outfit from Amazon in a size small and it was a nice loose fit.

Cruise outfit for daytime

Recommended: Navy & white stripe shorts romper (check price & color options on Amazon here)

Casual Sundress with Pockets

When I saw this dress on Amazon , I was pretty sure I had to have it for my cruise. It’s not only cute and very comfortable, but it has pockets!!

I bought this dress in size small and it was true to size. For reference, I’m 5, 2 and about 130 pounds.

Sundress worn on cruise during the day

Recommended: Sleeveless summer dress with pockets (verify price & style options here)

Cruise T-shirts and Shorts

While I live in sundresses on a cruise, I like to wear t-shirts and shorts for walks on the jogging track in the morning or even to head to the pool.

These 2 cruise t-shirts are from our Life Well Cruised collection, which is sold on Teespring.

Daytime cruise outfits - cruise tshirts and shorts

Ilana: “I Live for Cruising” t-shirt (available in women’s, men’s and children’s sizes)

Ethan: “Currently on Cruise Mode” (available in mens & ladies styles)

Spaghetti Strap Sundress

This light sundress was perfect for the day we spent in St. Thomas shopping and walking around the cruise port. Since we weren’t going to the beach, I wore it with a beige small crossbody purse .

I’m short and love to wear comfortable wedge sandals that I can walk in easily. I always pack at least one pair of stylish neutral wedge style sandals to wear during the day and evening (seen in photo below).

Sundress worn in St. Thomas cruise port

Recommended: Light short sundress (similar to one in photo)

Tank Style Sundress

I wore this tank style loose beach dress on our shore excursion in beautiful St. Kitts. However, I also wear it on cruises as a bathing suit cover up when I head to the pool on sea days .

I’ve had this sundress for a few years, however I have seen similar styles in solid colors and patterns on Amazon , which I’ll share with you.

Life Well Cruised couple in St. Kitts on shore excursion

Recommended: Tank style beach dress & cover up (see style options & 9000+ Amazon reviews here)

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night cruise wear

What I Wore in the Evening on a Cruise

The evening dress code on our Princess cruise was smart casual for most nights. We also had 2 formal nights.

After not dressing up much the last couple of years, I was happy to dress up a little bit, although I chose outfits I was comfortable in.

Casual Midi Dress

This rose purple summer dress ended up being one of my favorites! Since I’m only 5.2 it’s a bit longer than a true mid length dress, but I still loved it. The straps are adjustable and it has a loose top, which makes it a flattering cruise outfit for women of any age and body type.

In the evening, since I had my ocean medallion to carry as well as lip gloss, reading glasses and Advil (I’m always prepared), I wore it a neutral cross body purse . However I wore it on one shoulder simply to go with my outfit.

Smart casual dress for evening on cruise - Ilana

Recommended: Strappy midi style casual sundress (see gorgeous color options here)

Casual Summer Dress High Low Style

I wore dresses most nights on our cruise. Although you don’t see it in the photos, I did bring a light sweater with me as well as a shawl. I like wearing sleeveless dresses, however the air conditioning in the dining room can be cool, so having a light sweater is a must.

I should note that clean, dark jeans are allowed in the main dining room . On most nights my husband wore khakis, but this evening he wore a jeans and a polo style shirt.

Smart casual dress cruise couple Life Well Cruised

Recommended: High low dress (similar to dress in photo)

Strappy Casual Dress

Another dress I wore for the evening on our cruise was this light strappy mid length dress. I tried to choose clothing that would stay pretty wrinkle free and that I wouldn’t need to iron.

I wore tan sandal heels with most of my dresses in the evenings on my cruise.

Cruise wear casual dress cruise passenger

Recommended: Similar style to the photo (see dress patterns & colors)

Floral Romper

I love comfortable romper jumpsuits , both the pants style and shorts. This floral romper is an old favorite that I still enjoy wearing on a cruise.

Floral romper - Ilana on cruise

Recommended: Floral romper (similar style on Amazon)

What I Wore on Formal Night on My Cruise

On our 7 night cruise, we had 2 formal nights. So, for my Princess cruise, I packed 2 fancier dresses and my husband and son each packed one suit, with 2 different dress shirts. Don’t forget to pack dress shoes and any accessories you may need like an evening bag, clutch or jewelry.

Related:  What to Pack for a Princess Cruise

Long Black Evening Cocktail Dress

It’s been a long time since I’ve worn a long cocktail dress for formal night on a cruise, but I really liked this style and was happy with it. It was one of my best Amazon finds, I must say!

For sizing, I ordered a size small and it fit snugly a few days into the cruise – Princess cruise food is good 😉

To be more comfortable, a size medium may have been a better option.

Ilana and Frank formal night cruise wear

Recommended: Black long cocktail dress (see several color options & 5000+ Amazon reviews)

Off the Shoulder Cocktail Dress

I wish I had a better photo of this dress, as I just love the off the shoulder ruffle style and color. Is blue every cruiser’s favorite color or is it just me?

Ilana Formal Night Dress Selfie Life Well Cruised

Recommended (similar dress): Off the shoulder ruffle style cocktail dress (see colors & Amazon reviews here)

Somehow we didn’t take any good photos this night, but did take a few selfies!

Formal night Life Well Cruised

By the way, if your teenagers are wondering what to wear on a cruise , this post that can he helpful. It’s written by my son Ethan for his own blog, but I know it’s so helpful for young men and teenage boys.

Related:   What to Wear on a Cruise for Teenage Guys

Bathing Suits & Cover Ups

I brought 3 bathing suits on my cruise. 2 one piece bathing suits and one black bikini. I also found a great bathing suit cover up that doesn’t run big and is very flattering.

Ilana Bathing Suit Cover Up

Here’s another look at the bathing suit cover up . It’s available in several colors, including black and white, so it will go with every bathing suit!

night cruise wear

Recommended: Bathing suit lace style cover up (check price & amazon reviews here)

I also bought these high waisted bikini bottoms and to go with a bandeau top . I like to have at least one strapless bathing suit to avoid tan lines.

Ilana & Frank at Margaritaville

Here’s a one piece bathing suit I wore for our excursion to The Baths in Virgin Gorda.

Ilana, Frank & Ethan beach excursion cruise wear

Related:   25 Gorgeous Swimsuit Cover Ups for a Cruise

Shoes I Wore on my Cruise

I tried not to over pack too much on this cruise. However, bringing shoes on my cruise that are both comfortable and cute is not something I cut back on.

I brought a pair of flat sandals in gold (a neutral), a pair of cream flip flops for the pool, tan wedge sandals for walking, tan sandal heels for evening, gold dress shoes for formal nights, white sneakers and a pair of water shoes for our beach excursions.

I probably could have cut back on one pair, but we were driving to the cruise port and I had room in my luggage .

Flat sandals

Water Shoes

We brought water shoes for everyone in the family and they are a now a cruise essential that will remain on my Caribbean cruise packing list !

night cruise wear

Recommended: Water shoes (lots of sizes & colors)

Related:  20+ Best Cruise Dresses: Amazon Ladies Resort Wear

Video: What I Wore on a 7 Day Cruise

Here’s a video where I go over what I packed and wore on my 7 Caribbean cruise. If you enjoy watching cruise videos on YouTube, please subscribe to our Life Well Cruised YouTube channel .

Need More Cruise Wear and Packing Tips? Read these posts next:

Cruise Wear over 50: Flattering Cruise Outfits for Women (plus packing list)

25 Cruise Outfits for Ladies (affordable cruise wear)

Best Shoes to Bring for a Cruise

21 Best Cruise Luggage and Packing Accessories

50 Must-have Cruise Essentials from Amazon

Plus Size Cruise Wear: Beautiful Cruise Outfits for Curvy Women

What to Pack for a Caribbean Cruise

What I wore on a 7 day Caribbean Cruise - with embarkation dress photo

Final Thoughts on What I Wore on a 7 Day Caribbean Cruise

If you’ve been wondering what to wear on your Caribbean cruise , I hope this post gave you some cruise outfit ideas and inspiration. Of course, we’re all different and everyone should wear what feels comfortable on a cruise vacation.

Along with your clothing, don’t forget to pack accessories, like a cross-body bag, tote bag, a shawl, sunglasses and a sunhat.

Do you like to dress up or be casual on a cruise? I realize I like a bit of both!

Please let me know your thoughts and any cruise outfit recommendations in the comments below.

Happy Cruising!

If you found this article helpful, please pass it along. Please feel free to share on Facebook or PIN to your favorite Pinterest board (share buttons at the top). Thanks so much!

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What is the onboard dress code?

Whatever the itinerary, destination, or occasion—when you pack, think casual chic.


For warmer climates, pack swimsuits and cover-ups, walking shorts and shirts that protect from the sun, lightweight slacks, skirts or sundress, and a light sweater or jacket. Hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen are always encouraged.

For cooler climates, bring clothing with long sleeves, sweaters, and pants that can be layered. In areas prone to snow or rain, waterproof jackets, hats, gloves, and umbrellas are recommended. 

Around the globe, consider appropriate shoes and gear for the excursions you have planned and the terrain you’ll encounter. For instance, you may pack water shoes if hiking a waterfall or a headscarf or conservative dress for visiting museums, mosques, temples, and churches. 

Throughout the ship, casual resort wear, sundresses, shorts, polos, or button-downs are appropriate, paired with sandals, low heels, and loafers. Make sure you bring active wear and sneakers if you plan to hit the gym!

Poolside, bathing suits with coverups, T-shirts, tanks, hats, and sunglasses are welcomed. 

In main and specialty dining, we ask guests to refrain from wearing swimsuits, see-through coverups or robes, bare feet, tank tops, T-shirts, and baseball caps. 


Smart Casual attire is required for entry to main dining, specialty dining, and the Celebrity Theatre. Smart Casual means you look comfortable yet tasteful in a dress, skirt, long pants, or jean, and stylish top or button-down. Shorts and flip flops are not considered Smart Casual. 


Each itinerary features one to two “formal” nights we call Evening Chic. Evening Chic means you dress to impress, glamorous and sophisticated in your own way, with a cocktail dress, skirt, slacks, or designer jean, an elegant dress top or blazer—some guests even pack a tuxedo or gown for onboard photos. The Daily program, delivered to your stateroom and available at the Guest Relations Desk, will be your guide to the correct attire each evening. If you do not wish to participate in Evening Chic, Smart Casual attire is acceptable for dining and theater.

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What to Wear on a Cruise: The Must-Have Clothes to Pack

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The time has finally come for you to head out on a cruise and you couldn’t be more excited. But what are you supposed to pack? What to wear on a cruise is going to depend on where you’re going, the cruise line you’ve picked and any shore excursions you have planned.

Let’s take a look at cruise attire, including tips for packing clothes for a cruise.

Some must-bring clothes for a cruise

Casual clothes to wear on the cruise. T-shirts, shorts, pants, tops, whatever you feel comfortable exploring the shore and the ship in.

A jacket or sweater. Being out on the water might be colder than you think. Bring a light jacket or sweater for the nights you might be walking the ship deck or eating outside.

A swimsuit, cover-up, hat and sandals. Most cruises have pools, hot tubs and sometimes even water slides. You wouldn't want to be a fish out of water because you forgot your swimsuit.

Smart casual or formal clothes for dinner. It's not required, but some cruises have specialty restaurants or formal nights where guests dress up for dinner. Check if your cruise has a formal night and bring some clothes for a more dressed up occasion. (It'll also be good for taking portraits, a common offering on cruise formal nights).

Other tips for packing cruise clothes

Look up special theme nights.

Many cruises have special themes for certain nights. It could be as simple as "Dress to Impress" or it might require a more specific dress code.

For example, the Disney Cruise Line offers a pirate night on many of its voyages. As you’d expect, this is a night where everyone dresses as a pirate. Although you’ll get a free bandana to wear, many guests go all out when dressing up — meaning they packed for the occasion.

Virgin Voyages, meanwhile, has a Scarlet Night on all of its sailings. During Scarlet Night, guests go red from head to toe for a huge party.

More traditional cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean also offer a formal night. It’s exactly as it sounds: You’ll want to wear black-tie if you’re heading out to dinner. This can include ball gowns and tuxedos, but doesn’t need to be that fancy; you can also opt for cocktail attire.

Figuring out which cruise line fits your vibe is important and can heavily impact what you choose to pack, so it’s important to do your research before you book.

» Learn more: The best travel credit cards right now

Research your itinerary

For best results, you’ll want to take an in-depth look at the itinerary for your ship. If you’re heading out to the Caribbean, you’ll generally want to plan for warm weather. This includes lightweight outfits, like sundresses and shorts.

Forget to pack something? Don’t worry. Many cruise lines offer copious amounts of shopping onboard so you’ll be able to pick up items on the ship.

If you’re stopping at a beach club for the day, bathing suits and coverups are also a good idea. If your ship is stopping at ports, comfortable walking shoes will be a good investment, as will a hat to protect you from the sun.

For cooler destinations like Alaska or Nordic countries, more layers will be important, especially when you get off the ship to explore. Bring rain jackets, sweaters, base layers and waterproof shoes.

» Learn more: The best ways to book a cruise

Plan for excursions

While the temperature aboard your cruise ship is regulated, that all goes out the window when you embark on an excursion. These can vary wildly based on where you’re sailing. It could be as casual as a bus ride into the port town or as adventurous as riding an ATV through the jungle.

Whatever excursion you pick, make sure you’re ready for the elements. While you may not need too many additional items of clothing for a beachy excursion, more adventurous ones may need more attention. Hiking shoes, long-sleeved shirts and sunscreen will be important.

» Learn more: Should you book cruise excursions through a third party?

Pack multi-purpose clothes

It probably sounds like you’ll need to bring your entire wardrobe with you for a cruise, but that doesn’t necessarily need to be the case. If you can, select items that can perform double-duty for you. Have a sun hat for the pool? Bring one with a strap on it so you can take it into town without it flying off your head.

This can help you cut down on the number of items you need to pack — and that’s a good thing! Some cruise lines may limit the number of bags you can bring . Plus, staterooms on ships can be pretty small and too much luggage can make the room feel cramped.

Doing laundry on the ship might be an option as well! Check to see if your ship has laundry facilities.

» Learn more: 7 tips for getting the best deal on your next cruise

Best travel cards for cruises

Many popular travel cards come with benefits targeting cruise enthusiasts, others include general travel perks that make them a good option for booking cruises the next time you decide to set sail.

Here's a look at a few of them:

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

on Bank of America's website

The Platinum Card® from American Express

on American Express' website

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

Receive 60,000 online bonus points - a $600 value - after you make at least $4,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

• Get 25% more value out of your points when you book cruises through Chase.

• Book with your card to get automatic travel protections for your cruise.

• Redeem miles as a statement credit to cover spending on cruises.

• Book with your card to get automatic travel insurance coverage for your cruise.

• Earn 2x points on travel spending, including cruises and some ship excursions.

• Book with your card to get trip delay reimbursement, trip cancellation coverage and other travel assistance services.

• Get American Express Cruise Privileges Program benefits when you book at least five nights with eligible cruise lines. Terms apply.

• Cruise program benefits include $300 credit redeemable toward dining and spa services plus amenities like wine, chocolates and champagne. Terms apply.

What to wear on a cruise ship recapped

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night cruise wear

Pedal Goa

What to wear on a cruise formal night :: Cruise packing tips

Cruise outfits: What to wear on a cruise for formal night

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Depending on the length of your cruise, you will likely have one or two formal nights that take place in the dining room.

For dinner in the dining room on formal nights, your cruise attire should be on the formal side.

Even if what you wear is not enforced, you may feel out of place if you aren’t up to the dress code. This may vary by cruise line.

So if you’re wondering what to wear on formal night and what the cruise attire is for dinner in the dining room, then for most cruise lines, it’s safe to dress up!

Many people will change out of their cruise formal wear immediately after dinner, but you’ll find plenty of people dressed up for the rest of the night.

Formal night is also a good time to get an official cruise photograph when you’re in your formal wear!

  There are other things to do think about besides formal night when it comes to what to wear on a cruise .

And things to know for your first Carnival cruise formal night .

Be sure to check far below for the list of what your cruise line tells you to wear on cruise formal night!

Scroll down towards the bottom of the page to go straight to the list of what YOUR cruise line tells you to wear on a cruise!

First, here’s the quick list of things you might want for cruise formal night:

With affiliate links taking you away for your browsing fun! 

  • For women:  one of these dresses  or one of these dresses can work out for cruise formal night. You might also like one of these dresses  with more plus size variety too.
  • For men, have a look here  where you can find a sport coat or blazer to go with one of these shirts or  one of these shirts .
  • This  to minimize the wrinkles from packing your clothes in your suitcase. (Works especially well for dress shirts!)

More formal wear ideas

For what to wear on a cruise when it’s not formal night, including beach outfits, see the cruise packing list !

What NOT to pack for a cruise

Don’t stress too much about if you’re wearing “appropriate” clothing for formal night!

If you think it’s a nice outfit, it probably will be just fine for formal night!

Of course, this may depend on the cruise line. But I say this based on seeing many many (many) formal nights on Carnival cruise ships. (80+ formal nights to be somewhat exact — I used to work on a cruise ship.)

There will be some people who go all out and truly do look “elegant” and wear proper evening gowns .

Then there will be other people who are dressed up but not so much so in the sense of that full on elegant evening gown, and may opt for the still appropriate cocktail dress .

Whether or not your outfit is “good enough” for formal night isn’t something to stress out too much about, because as long as you’re dressed up, it probably is good enough!

Alternative to formal night

For longer cruises when your cruise has more than one formal night, if you’ve had enough of dressing up for a single week, you can choose to opt out of the dining room and eat at the buffet instead.

For most cruises based out of the U.S., you don’t need to be dressed up to go to the normal buffet even if it’s elegant evening.

Well, you can do this for the first formal night too if you don’t want to wear formal attire at all during your cruise!

But you should consider going to at least one formal dinner for the experience!

Formal nights in the dining room do tend to have a little something extra when it comes to food.

The buffet applies to any night of the cruise.

If you’d rather have freedom in the timing of your evening meals instead of your assigned time every night, you can always opt for the buffet instead of the dining room.

But many families choose to use dinner in the dining room as a time to regroup and spend time together when kids, teens, and adults are off doing separate things on sea days or evenings after dinner.

What to wear on cruise formal night, according to the cruise lines

What to wear on a cruise formal night: Cruise line policies. What to pack for a cruise. Packing tips.

Most cruise lines generally have the same guidelines for formal wear, but here are what the different cruise lines say officially about what to wear on formal night!

The links below will take you directly to the cruise line’s official policy or suggestions about what to wear on a cruise formal night.

– Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival cruise: What to wear on cruise formal night. Cruise packing tips

Carnival officially now calls their formal night “elegant evening.”

Women: Cocktail dresses, pantsuits, elegant skirts and blouses; ladies may also wish to wear an evening gown

Men: Dress slacks, dress shirts, and also suggested is a sport coat; men may also wish to wear a suit and tie or tuxedo

~ What to wear – Evenings, Carnival Cruise

– Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity now has their formal nights as “evening chic.” In fact, they say they are done with formal night!

Evening chic means that you can get glamorous and be sophisticated in your own way. While dressier than smart casual, evening chic is intended to be less dressy than formal attire. If you would like to still wear a tuxedo or formal gown on evening chic nights, you absolutely should.

Women: Cocktail dress; Skirt, pants or designer jeans with an elegant top

Men: Pants or designer jeans with a dress shirt, button-down shirt or sweater; Optional sport coat or blazer

~ During your cruise, Celebrity Cruises

– Disney Cruise Line

Disney cruise: What to wear on cruise formal night. Cruise packing tips

Shorter cruises on Disney don’t have formal nights. 7 day Disney cruises officially have one formal night and one semi-formal night. Even so, formal cruise attire is generally considered optional.

Women: Dress or pantsuit

Men: Dress pants with a jacket, or suit

~ Dining dress codes, Disney Cruise Line

– Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian cruise: What to wear on cruise formal night. Cruise packing tips

There are no formal nights on a Norwegian cruise! The closest thing to a formal night on a Norwegian cruise is “Norwegian’s Night Out,” which is slated as an evening of cocktails, fine dining, and great entertainment.

~ What to pack, Norwegian Cruise Line

– Princess Cruises

Princess cruise: What to wear on cruise formal night. Cruise packing tips

Women: Evening gowns and cocktail dresses

Men: Tuxedos, dinner jackets, or dark suits with a tie

~ What to pack – Clothing recommendations, Princess Cruises

–  Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean cruise: What to wear on cruise formal night. Cruise packing tips

Women: Cocktail dresses

Men: Suits and ties, or tuxedos

~ What to pack, Royal Caribbean

How to get your formal cruise attire wrinkle-free

Well, part of the challenge in having formal nights during your cruise is getting your formal cruise attire onto the ship looking presentable! Here are some ideas!

– Shower steam

You can go with the classic shower steam method to get the wrinkles out of the clothes you pulled from your suitcase!

– Laundry room

Some cruise ships have self-service laundry rooms which may be equipped with an iron. Check with your cruise line to see if your cruise ship will have an iron. Remember, irons and steamers are among the banned items of what not to bring on a cruise  so it’s best not to pack portable steamers or irons in your suitcase.

– Packing folders

Pack your formal attire (and other cruise attire!) in a  packing folder  so you can keep your cruise outfits perfectly folded to minimize wrinkles when it’s time to unpack your suitcase on the ship!

To pack more than just your formal wear nice and neat, try out the packing starter set with packing folder, packing cube, and toiletry kit organizer . (See the picture demo at that affiliate link!)

– Wrinkle releaser spray

Put a  wrinkle releaser spray  on your cruise packing list. You use it by spraying it onto your clothes and then pull gently. You then smooth your fingers over the wrinkles to lessen those wrinkles. This may not be as good as ironing your outfit, but it can work as a convenient solution when you’re pulling wrinkled clothes out of your suitcase without an iron during vacation.

For more to go with your laundry travel kit, take a look at:

  • Pocket-size liquid soap packets with a sink stopper so you can wash clothes in the sink
  • Liquid pen stain remover for that unexpected coffee spill

– Rent a tuxedo for your cruise

With cruise formal wear for men, you may also consider renting a tuxedo for your cruise. Not all cruises may cater to this, but if this sounds appealing to you, it may be something to look into! This is one way to save space in your suitcase from that never ending  cruise packing list . 😉

The place you can rent a tuxedo for your cruise is called Cruiseline Formalwear . For the best experience, consider getting your measurements at a local tuxedo rental location so you can provide accurate measurements for the cruise rental.


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Norwegian Escape

What to Pack for Your Cruise

What to pack for a cruise

Aside from your personal belongings, Norwegian Cruise Line provides just about everything you need to make the most of your cruise vacation, from food and entertainment to shopping and onboard activities . But it's always important to prepare for anything and everything when planning a cruise on the high seas. Unlike holidays on land, if you forget something, it's not super easy to swing by a store to pick up what you need.

If you're like a lot of people, packing for your first cruise is both an exciting and daunting task. Heck, even seasoned cruisers often find it hard to decide exactly what to pack for a cruise. Where do you even begin? Do you need formal wear? Is one pair of shoes enough? Don't fret. It's a lot simpler than you think to pull together the essentials without going overboard - pun intended. Keep reading to learn helpful cruising tips and tricks and to find out what to pack for your first cruise.

Ready to start planning? Explore all Norwegian cruises .

Enjoy Dinner with a View

Quick Cruise Packing List

  • Casual Clothing
  • Summer dresses
  • Capri Pants
  • Caps or hats
  • Bathing suits
  • Light sweater
  • White outfit
  • Footwear Options
  • Closed-toed shoes

Bring sneakers for onboard activities

  • Weather gear
  • Small umbrella
  • Sunscreen and insect repellent
  • Light jacket
  • Lined bag for wet items
  • Stateroom Essentials
  • Battery-powered nightlight
  • Travel adapter
  • Air freshener
  • Small electrical or battery-operated fan
  • Alarm clock

Deciding which clothes to pack tops the list of concerns for most cruisers. Norwegian's Freestyle Cruising concept is all about giving you the freedom to choose how you cruise and that includes the clothes you wear. Thanks to Norwegian's laid-back dress code, feel free to dress casual just about anywhere on the ship. Casual wear for women includes summer dresses, skirts, capri pants, shorts, jeans, and blouses. For men, khakis, jeans, shorts, and T-shirts work well in just about every situation.

Kick things up a notch if you plan to eat in the main dining rooms or upscale speciality restaurants. This means no shorts, ball caps, or sandals for men. Most cruisers pack twice as many clothes as they need, so think carefully about the activities you want to do and wear whatever makes you feel comfortable.

RELATED CRUISES: 11-Day Europe Cruise: Iceland, Norway & Belgium 10-Day Greek Isles Cruise: Santorini, Athens & Florence 7-Day Hawaii Cruise: Oahu, Maui & Kauai

Proper Footwear

Planning to live in your flip-flops for your entire cruise holiday? Take note of any special footwear requirements for shore excursions . Often you need to wear closed-toe shoes for certain activities, such as zip lining or horseback riding. If you're hiking through forested areas, proper footwear protects your feet from potential snake bites and other obstacles. Some cruise ship activities such as the ropes course on Breakaway and Breakaway Plus ships also require closed-toe shoes.

In Europe, many countries feature beautiful cobblestone streets that pose a tripping hazard. It's pretty common to stub your toes on loose or uneven stones. Keep in mind that you won't get a refund on your excursions if you don't have the proper footwear, so come prepared.

678 Ocean Place on Norwegian Getaway

Weather-Appropriate Gear

Headed to The Caribbean ? Thanks to year-round sunny skies and crystal waters, it's unlikely you'll encounter anything other than swimsuit weather. Fill your bag with bathing suits, sunscreen, sandals, and cover-ups, and you're good to go. Still, it's important to check the weather before packing your bags. If the forecast calls for rain, toss an umbrella and a light jacket in your carry-on bag just in case.

If your cruise includes ports in Europe or Canada, temperatures often vary from day to night and even from one day to the next, so it's especially important to know what to expect and pack appropriately. No matter the forecast, always pack a light sweater to wear on the ship. Air conditioning often creates quite the chill in the dining rooms, theatre , and other indoor spaces.

Theme Clothes

Norwegian knows how to throw a party, and many parties include an awesome theme . From disco dancing to eighties events, avid cruisers love to get dressed up whilst the DJ spins era-appropriate tunes. Known as the hottest party on the high seas, Norwegian's iconic Glow party is one of the most anticipated theme events on any Norwegian cruise. Consider packing an all-white ensemble to wear as you dance the night away.

Enjoy dressing up? Whilst Norwegian doesn't offer any official formal nights, Norwegian's Night Out gives you the chance to don your finest attire - or not. The choice is yours. If you do decide to dress up, it's a perfect chance to get a portrait with family and friends or even the ship's captain whilst looking your best.

Don't forget your chargers

Stateroom Staples

Norwegian's staterooms offer everything you need for a relaxing home away from home during your cruise holiday. But you'll want to pack a few extra items to make the most of your cozy cabin and maximise comfort. Make sure you pack chargers for all your electronic devices. Most staterooms only have one North American electrical outlet and one European outlet, so bring along an outlet adapter to make use of both options. Also, pack a small surge protector that allows you to charge multiple items using the same outlet at the same time.

One of the best cruising tips for first timers is to create a health kit with basic first-aid supplies. Also include any over-the-counter medications you typically use to ward off tummy troubles, colds, motion sickness, and other issues. It's often a challenge to find your favourite products at sea or in port. Other stateroom essentials include extra hangers, an air freshener, a battery-operated bedside fan, a portable nightlight, and an alarm clock.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Norwegian Cruise Line (@norwegiancruiseline)

If you're not sure what to pack for your first cruise, follow these helpful cruise packing tips to get you started. For more great ways to prepare for your cruise holiday, download the Cruise Norwegian app before leaving home. Use the app to pre-book onboard activities, dining reservations, shore excursions, entertainment, and much more.

Once you board the ship, the app offers you the ability to chat and message with other guests on the ship, view your account and track onboard purchases, and access the daily timetable of activities.

Be sure to sign up for Norwegian's cruise deals . You'll get the latest specials and offers delivered to your inbox.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was originally published on February 1, 2020. It has been updated to show related itineraries and content.


Braves Wear Down Zac Gallen in Diamondbacks 6-2 Loss

Jack sommers | jul 10, 2024.

Jul 9, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zac Gallen reacts in the second inning against the Atlanta Braves at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

  • Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Atlanta Braves

The Diamondbacks lost to the Atlanta Braves at Chase Field Tuesday night 6-2. Ace starter Zac Gallen gave up five runs in 5.1 innings. That included a three-run homer to Adam Duvall on his 104th and final pitch. It was an 0-2 curveball that stayed up just enough in the middle of the plate, and the slugger golfed it out to left field, giving Atlanta a 5-0 lead at the time.

Gallen's pitch count got so high due to a rough, 36 pitch, second inning. A leadoff double by Marcel Ozuna was followed by a walk, and a passed ball by Gabriel Moreno. That cost Gallen as the next batter, Eddie Rosario, hit a fielders choice grounder to third that would have been a double play had the runners not advanced.

An RBI ground out was followed by a line drive off the bat of Orlando Arcia right at second basemen Ketel Marte. The ball seemed to knuckle as it clanked off his glove. and trickled into right field as a second run scored. It took Gallen two more batters to get out of the inning, and his pitch count was up to 53 when it was over.

Torey Lovullo could be seen speaking to a visibly upset Marte a couple of times in the dugout afterwards. "He was upset that he didn't make the play and that he let the team down in that moment. I just wanted to assure him that he didn't..... I just wanted to get his head right, and just let him know like hey man, ok, it happened, flush it and lets go."

Gallen settled down after that. A great double play started on a diving stop by Kevin Newman ended the third inning and Gallen retired the side in order in the fourth and fifth. He struck out Austin Riley to start the 6th, but then a long double by Matt Olson and single by Ozuna set up the Duvall homer that knocked Gallen out of the game.

Gallen threw 43 curveballs, more than any other pitch. "That's my best pitch, I'm going to live and die by that pitch", he said.

Gallen had shown a velocity spike in his previous outing against the Dodgers, touching 98 and averaging 96. But tonight his fastball average was back down to 94, closer to his season average 93.3. He topped out at 96.7, but said afterwards that he was trying to dial it down a little in favor of better command.

"I was probably pitching 90%. I was trying to be a little more under control.....I felt like I was a little out of control in the last start. Fastball command suffered a little bit. So I was really just trying to tone it back a little bit."

Gallen believes that fatigue and pitch count were not really the main factors in the pitch to Duvall, but rather sequencing. "Maybe just move the eye levels a little bit, maybe go fastball up or fastball down, whatever it was, I think it was more the sequencing."

Torey Lovullo said he was little short in the bullpen so he tried to extend Gallen a little longer than he normally would have. "I was piecing it together and I felt like if he gave us six [innings] we were going to be in a great spot. So I sent him out there and asked him to do a little bit more, 105 pitches, and he just made that mistake to Duvall on an 0-2 curveball and that's part of the game."

The offense did not have a good night against Braves ace, Chris Sale. They managed to draw several early walks, and drive up his pitch count. But they couldn't get the big hit against him until the bottom of the sixth.

Trailing 5-0 by that time, Gabriel Moreno singled with one out. Jake McCarthy then smoked a line drive through the right centerfield gap for an RBI triple. He scored on a ground out from Eugenio Suarez, accounting for the D-backs two runs.

That got Sale out of the game, but the Braves bullpen held the D-backs to just one single the rest of the way. Jarred Kelenic made a spectacular catch in the seventh inning on a smash to the centerfield wall by Randal Grichuk to rob extra bases.

'The D-backs are now 45-47, 2.5 games out of the wild card behind the San Diego Padres. Game three of the series is Wednesday night at 6:40 P.M. The D-backs are likely to go with an opener followed by bulk pitcher Slade Cecconi. Charlie Morton will pitch for the Braves.

Jack Sommers


Jack Sommers is the Publisher for FanNation Inside the Diamondbacks, part of the Sports Illustrated network. Formerly a baseball operations department analyst for the D-backs, Jack also covered the team as a credentialed beat writer for SB Nation and has written for and The  Associated Press. Follow Jack on Twitter @shoewizard59

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  1. Cruise Style

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  1. Cruise Formal Night Explained: 10 Things to Know (What to Wear and More

    If you'd wear it to the pool or the beach, you don't want to wear it to formal night. Ok to Wear for Formal Night (Women): Gowns, dresses, skirts, blouses with pants. Ok to Wear for Formal Night (Men): Tuxedoes, suits, button-down shirts, slacks, nice jeans. Avoid Wearing (Men and Women): Shorts, tank tops, t-shirts, flip-flops.

  2. What To Wear on a Cruise Vacation (day, evening & formal night)

    This does depend on the cruise line. Tuxedos and dark suits are always appropriate. However, in most cases men can feel comfortable wearing a suit or dress pants and a dress shirt. For ladies, an evening gown, cocktail dress, pant suit or "little black dress" are great choices.

  3. What to Wear on a Cruise: Daytime, Formal Nights & More

    When indoors, guests must wear shirts, cover-ups and footwear. Evening: On most nights, smart casual clothing is acceptable. However, in table service restaurants, shorts, bathing suits ...

  4. What to Wear on a Cruise Formal Night (and frequently asked questions

    On most cruise lines, a tuxedo or suit for men, and an evening gown or cocktail dress for ladies is appropriate formal wear for a cruise. In practice, there will be a wide variety of "formal wear" seen on a cruise. Simply put, some people dress up more, and some less. Men can feel comfortable wearing a suit or dress pants and a dress shirt.

  5. The Best Cruise Dresses for Formal Night

    On formal nights on cruise ships, ladies wear evening gowns or cocktail dresses and men wear suits or tuxedos. Evening dresses can be long or short, but look out for crease-free fabrics and dresses that are comfortable to eat a large meal in. I do enjoy dressing up for formal night on a cruise. Here's a photo of my friends and me on a formal ...

  6. What To Wear on a Cruise: Dressing for the Vacation

    Most cruise vacations include at least one formal night where everyone dresses their best for a special dinner. Cruise formal wear still embraces the relaxed energy of sailing, so outfits like a lightweight sport coat, chinos, a colorful dress or a jumpsuit will fit right in.

  7. What to wear on a cruise: Cruise attire and cruise line dress codes

    At night, nice jeans and nice tops are perfect for eating in the main dining rooms. On Carnival cruise formal nights, known as "cruise elegant" nights, cruisers wear everything from slacks with nice shirts to tuxes and ball gowns. However, most passengers stick to clothes that fall somewhere in the middle.

  8. What To Wear on a Cruise: 5 Day-to-Night Outfit Ideas

    Finally, pajamas, a jacket or sweater, athleisure wear, a hat, sunglasses, sandals, athletic shoes, and dress shoes round out a perfect cruise outfit packing list. Breezy fabrics like cotton and linen in a loose silhouette keep you cool and covered under the sun during the daytime, and with a few adaptable accessories, you can transition ...

  9. What to Wear on Formal Night on a Cruise

    Formal night on a cruise ship is the evening when passengers don dressy clothing for dinner, photos, and special activities. The main dining rooms usually will serve an elevated menu, with fancier options like filet mignon, prime rib, or lobster tail. Some cruise lines have the Captain's welcome party the evening of the first formal night ...

  10. To Dress Up or Not: Guide to What to Wear on Cruise Formal Night

    Men can wear suits or dress slacks with a sport coat and dress shirt. For women, cocktail dresses, pantsuits or elegant skirts and blouses are appropriate. Some guests like to go all out with a tuxedo or ball gown.". Royal Caribbean: "Think of our formal dress code as a night out in your best black-tie look — suits and ties, tuxedos ...

  11. What to Wear on a Cruise: The Ultimate Guide

    On Celebrity Cruises, we want you to feel as comfortable as possible while onboard. During the day, we encourage you to wear casual attire such as t-shirts, tank tops, shorts, sundresses, and skirts. If you're spending the day at the pool, you can also have lunch or dine in casual pool clothes at the Mast Grill located next to the pool deck.

  12. 12 Affordable Dresses Perfect for a Cruise Formal Night

    There might not be a single event on a cruise that can cause as much stress as formal night. And all that stress comes from one simple question: What can I wear? To be fair, it can be a tough question to answer. Over the years, formal night has decidedly become more casual. While it used to be just for formal evening gowns and tuxedos, these days almost anything except for shorts (and ...

  13. Formal Cruisewear

    Formal Cruisewear. Elevate your cruise experience with our stunning collection of cruise evening dresses. Whether you're looking for the perfect evening dresses for cruises or an elegant cruise cocktail dresses & gown, our selection of cruise dresses for formal night has you covered. Cruise formal night dress exude sophistication, ensuring you ...

  14. What I Wore on a 7 Day Caribbean Cruise (Cruise Outfits with Photos

    Recommended: Floral romper (similar style on Amazon) What I Wore on Formal Night on My Cruise. On our 7 night cruise, we had 2 formal nights. So, for my Princess cruise, I packed 2 fancier dresses and my husband and son each packed one suit, with 2 different dress shirts. Don't forget to pack dress shoes and any accessories you may need like an evening bag, clutch or jewelry.

  15. What to Wear on a Cruise: Cruise Line Dress Codes

    Policy: Holland America has 2 formal and 4 casual nights on a 7-day cruise. Men: Casual: pants, dressy jeans, collared shirts, and button-downs. Formal: dinner jackets, collared shirts, slacks, tuxedos, or dark suits with or without ties. Women: Casual: casual dresses, pants, dressy jeans, skirts, and casual tops or blouses.

  16. What to Expect on a Cruise: Cruise Clothing

    Cruise Critic's experts answer common questions about what to wear on a cruise ship. Effective July 1st. Due to new regulations, prices now include all taxes and fees.

  17. Pictures of What to Wear on a Cruise

    Disney Cruise Line's pirate night is one of the most popular, with kids and adults in costume, although little ones are encouraged to dress up like a princess or their favorite super hero ...

  18. FAQs: Dress Code & How to Dress on a Cruise

    Make sure you bring active wear and sneakers if you plan to hit the gym! Poolside, bathing suits with coverups, T-shirts, tanks, hats, and sunglasses are welcomed. In main and specialty dining, we ask guests to refrain from wearing swimsuits, see-through coverups or robes, bare feet, tank tops, T-shirts, and baseball caps. AT NIGHT. SMART CASUAL

  19. What to Wear on a Cruise

    More traditional cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean also offer a formal night. It's exactly as it sounds: You'll want to wear black-tie if you're heading out to dinner.

  20. What to wear on a cruise formal night :: Cruise packing tips

    Carnival officially now calls their formal night "elegant evening.". Women: Cocktail dresses, pantsuits, elegant skirts and blouses; ladies may also wish to wear an evening gown. Men: Dress slacks, dress shirts, and also suggested is a sport coat; men may also wish to wear a suit and tie or tuxedo.

  21. What to Pack for Your Cruise

    If your cruise includes ports in Europe or Canada, temperatures often vary from day to night and even from one day to the next, so it's especially important to know what to expect and pack appropriately. No matter the forecast, always pack a light sweater to wear on the ship.

  22. Elektrostal

    In 1938, it was granted town status. [citation needed]Administrative and municipal status. Within the framework of administrative divisions, it is incorporated as Elektrostal City Under Oblast Jurisdiction—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts. As a municipal division, Elektrostal City Under Oblast Jurisdiction is incorporated as Elektrostal Urban Okrug.

  23. Elektrostal, Russia: All You Must Know Before You Go (2024

    Elektrostal Hotels Things to Do Restaurants Flights Vacation Rentals Cruises Rental Cars Forums. Europe. Russia. Central Russia. Moscow Oblast. Elektrostal. ... from $42/night. Hotel Djaz. 3. from $31/night. Eat. Can't-miss spots to dine, drink, and feast. See all. Beer Club Tolsty Medved. 65 $$ - $$$ • Pub, Bar, Grill.

  24. Braves Wear Down Zac Gallen in Diamondbacks 6-2 Loss

    The Diamondbacks lost to the Atlanta Braves at Chase Field Tuesday night 6-2. Ace starter Zac Gallen gave up five runs in 5.1 innings. That included a three-run homer to Adam Duvall on his 104th ...

  25. UUDO

    Heliport information about UUDO - Orlovo, MOS, RU. Information on this site may not be accurate or current and is not valid for flight planning or navigation.

  26. Visit Elektrostal: 2024 Travel Guide for Elektrostal, Moscow ...

    Cruises Cruises. Deals. Groups & meetings. Expedia Magazine. Download button with download icon. Get the app. English List ... Tomorrow night. Jun 16 - Jun 17. Check prices in Elektrostal for next weekend, Jun 21 - Jun 23. Next weekend. Jun 21 - Jun 23. Popular places to visit.