Packing for Your Cruise Vacation
Whether you're new to cruising and packing for your very first cruise vacation, or an experienced cruiser simply traveling to a new destination for the first time, packing for a cruise can often be a little overwhelming. By following these simple "cruise what to wear" tips and suggestions from the cruise planning experts here at Cruise Network, packing your cruise wear can be fast, easy, efficient and stress-free!
A cruise vacation is one of the most exciting vacation options available today in the travel industry, putting some of the most spectacular and breathtaking destinations in the world right at your fingertips! From Alaska, the Caribbean, Mexico, Europe and Canada to Hawaii, Asia, South America, Australia, Africa, and even Antarctica-with cruise lines today sailing their biggest and most luxurious cruise ships to more incredible places all around the world than ever before, your options for the cruise vacation of a lifetime are truly endless
Once you've chosen a cruise and anxiously counted down the months and weeks, as your departure date approaches, eventually you will have to pack your cruise wear! Depending the cruise itinerary you select, your cruise vacation could last anywhere from just a few nights to several weeks or more! Especially for longer sailings, making the right decisions when packing your cruise wear is extremely important and can make your vacation a lot more pleasant once you are on board!
Cruise Wear Tips:
The first thing to take into consideration when packing for your cruise wear is your destination. Obviously a cruise to the Caribbean and an Alaska cruise will have completely different cruise wear requirements.
For warm weather cruises to destinations like the Caribbean, the Bahamas, South America, Hawaii, etc, you will generally need all of your typical summertime essentials, including swimwear, shorts, short-sleeved shirts, sandals, sneakers, etc. For cruises to destinations with cooler and varying weather conditions from day to day like Alaska, Europe, and Canada/New England in the fall, you will need to consider bringing at least one pair of long pants, a jacket, a raincoat, and a warm sweater, as nights out on deck can often get a little chilly. Mixing and matching tops and bottoms can also save you a lot of room in your suite case.
The second thing to consider is the length of your cruise. If your itinerary is 3-5 days long, packing will be a little simpler than a cruise lasting a week or more. Typically, a cruise lasting 5 nights or less has just one formal night, where a 7 night cruise will usually have 2. Shorter cruises also leave a little more room for "over packing," where longer sailings require a bit more planning.
The most important thing to remember when packing is that all you really need to bring is what you need to feel most comfortable. Most major cruise lines today have a very relaxed dress code, and will never force you to wear something you done want to wear. With the exception of formal nights, virtually anything within reason is most always acceptable.
Cruise Wear - Resort Casual
"Resort casual" cruise wear is the primary suggested attire aboard most major cruise lines, as cruise ships today for the most part are very informal environments. Resort casual wear is perfectly acceptable during the day, all day, everyday, as well as during informal evenings. Resort casual day wear can include anything from your bathing suit and a t-shirt on the way to the pool, to a pair or Bermuda shorts and a polo shirt while enjoying a nice afternoon cocktail on deck. If you are participating in any shore excursions while in port, you will need to dress appropriately for your particular excursion.
For example, if you are going to be hiking through a Hawaiian rainforest, be sure to pack some comfortable hiking books/walking shoes. All you have to do is simply dress according to what your plans are for the day, and most importantly, whatever will make you feel most comfortable and relaxed.
Evenings aboard your ship that are designated as resort casual or informal nights, generally call for just nice, everyday casual attire. Most guests will wear a nice pair of khaki pants or skirt with a polo or button-up collared shirt. And although jeans and t-shirts are fine for daytime resort casual wear, most passengers avoid them for evening informal attire-though they can still be more than acceptable if worn in an appropriate manner.
Cruise Formal Wear
Depending on the length of your cruise vacation, you will have at least 1-2 evenings that are designated as formal nights. Your pre-departure cruise documents will tell you exactly how many formal nights there will be, as well as which specific nights they will be, so you can be sure to be prepared.
Now, many cruise passengers have mixed feelings about getting all dressed up on formal night-some like it and some don't-but the important thing to remember is that formal cruise wear evenings are always optional. Most major cruise ships today offer a host of 24-7 casual dining establishments that are always available for all those "anti-formal night" passengers.
If you wish to dine in the main dining room (s) however, formal attire is required. So what is considered cruise formal wear? You will find that people will have varying opinions as to what should be considered formal, but typically cruise formal wear is anything that you would wear to a wedding or any fine dining restaurant.
Most men opt to wear either a tuxedo or nice dark suit and tie. Tuxedo rentals are available aboard most cruise ships. Women will generally wear anything from a simple cocktail dress, to an elaborate, glittering ball gown. The degree to which you choose to dress on formal nights is entirely up to day. Again, it's whatever you feel most comfortable wearing.
Many cruise ships may also have at least one "themed" night, especially on longer itineraries, where you will dress according to a certain theme. Again, participation in these special nights is entirely voluntary, and your cruise documents will specify which evenings are designated as themed. So get all dolled up, go out, and have a good time. It'll be like your prom night all over again!
Happy packing and Von voyage!!
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