How Do You Dress on a Cruise Ship?

By Robert Palmer

Dressing for a cruise ship vacation can be tricky. You want to look stylish and feel comfortable, but still stay within the dress code of the vessel.

Everyone has their own individual style, so it’s important to think about how you want to look before you set sail. Here are some tips on how to dress for a cruise ship vacation.

Daytime Wear

During the day on board the ship, casual attire is typically acceptable. This means jeans, shorts, t-shirts, and other casual clothing items are all fair game.

However, more formal attire might be required in certain restaurants depending on the dress code of the ship. Make sure to check with your cruise line before packing your bags.

Formal Nights

Most cruises will have one or two formal nights during their voyage. On these evenings, more elegant clothing is expected such as cocktail dresses for women and suits or sports coats and ties for men. It’s also important to note that each cruise line may have different standards for formal wear; some may allow jeans while others require more traditional eveningwear.


When swimming or lounging by the pool, appropriate swimwear is expected. This means no cutoff shorts or revealing bikinis; tankinis and one-piece suits are preferred options in most cases. Additionally, many cruises will require that all swimwear must be covered with a wrap or shirt when going from poolside to other areas of the ship.


Comfortable footwear is essential when cruising aboard a vessel. Keep in mind that there might be hours of walking involved depending on your itinerary so pack shoes accordingly! Flip-flops and sandals are good options for days spent by the pool while closed-toe shoes such as sneakers or boat shoes are more appropriate when exploring ashore.


Dressing appropriately on a cruise ship can help ensure you have an enjoyable experience while still respecting the dress codes of the vessel. From casual daytime wear to more formal evening attire and everything in between, make sure you plan ahead so you can look your best during your voyage!