What to Pack for a Cruise Vacation

Cruise Packing List: The Ultimate Guide to Packing for a Cruise Holiday

by Emma Gray

Emma with Emma’s Travel Tales has just launched Emma on Board dedicated for travelers that love to cruise! Emma shares her own travel experiences and takes you around the world one cruise at a time. If you’re wondering what to pack for a cruise, check out this awesome cruise packing list that she’s put together for Travel Fashion Girl and then check out her new blog. Bon Voyage!

It can be tricky knowing what to pack for a cruise holiday, especially if you’ve never been on a cruise before. Packing for a cruise always involves taking more clothes than you would for a normal holiday. On most cruises there are certain dress codes for evening wear and different dress codes for different nights of your trip.

Guidelines for Daytime Cruise Wear

During the day the main thing is ensuring your cruise clothes are comfortable for relaxing on board or exploring ashore. Normal resort wear is perfectly acceptable during the day.

These are a few examples of Resort Wear for Women:



Guidelines for Evening Cruise Wear

Casual Dinner – On most ships for casual dinner it’s acceptable for ladies to wear a casual resort wear summer dress, pants or dark jeans and a nice top.
Smart-Casual Dinner – Smart dresses or smart pants and a nice top are acceptable.
Formal Dinner – Cocktail dresses and full length gowns are  appropriate cruise dresses. Formal pant or skirt suits can also be worn as acceptable cruise wear options when in dressier fabrics.

Casual Dinner


Smart-Casual Dinner


Formal Dinner


Cruise Packing List

This packing list is based on what I would take for a week long cruise in a warm climate:

1. Three sundresses that can be worn both for casual dinner and during the day
2. Two pairs of shorts for daytime – one denim and one classic
3. Three tank tops for daytime – solid colours
4. One smart-casual skirt that can be worn for casual dinner and by day
5. One long sleeve shirt of light material
6. One tunic – perfect for relaxing by the pool on board or by the beach ashore
7. One light jacket
8. Two bathing suits
9. A Little Black Dress – this never goes wrong for evening wear and would be perfect to for a smart-casual dinner
10. One cocktail dress – cocktail dresses can be a little more fun than formal gowns but are still suitable for formal dinner.
11. One formal gown – a full length gown in a solid colour always looks beautiful. Opt for classic elegance and it’ll never go out of style.
12. One pair of fancy heels – stick to a neutral colour that will match multiple outfits
13. One pair of nice sandals – perfect for smart-casual evenings
14. One pair of tennis shoes or any comfortable walking shoes
15. Complimentary jewellery and bag to match your formal outfits, as well as a practical bag for daytime
16. Mascara, foundation, sunscreen and lipstick for a touch of glamour

Thanks Emma for showing us how to pack for a cruise and for creating this awesome compilation of advice on choosing the right cruise wear for women!

If you’d like to contribute a Packing List, please visit this page for more info! I always love hearing from my readers and are happy when we collaborate together. Please re-post and tweet! Thanks 

Author Bio

Emma Gray is a 22 year old Scottish girl, with a serious passion for cruising and travelling in general. She’s lucky enough to have already been on 13 cruises, with 6 different cruise lines. Emma On Board aims to share tips, advice, information and personal tales on all things cruise, from a young person’s perspective. Her other blog Emma’s Travel Tales shares her general travel stories from around the world. Emma is always busy making memories around the world.

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5 Responses to What to Pack for a Cruise Vacation

  1. P. says:

    Can you update the photos? I don’t see the photos any more. I love your site so so very much!

  2. Rachel Bell says:

    Thanks for showing pictures with your examples! It can get so tricky knowing what clothing falls into what categories.

  3. ashley says:

    Hi i was just wondering where to find the outfit with the white top and green skirt. thanks :)

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