What do people wear on Mediterranean cruises?

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!

Cruise Fashions & Beauty

Deck yourself out for your next cruise! What clothes should you bring, and what should stay at home. Offer up packing tips, and savvy shopping info, too
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 06:31 PM.
#1
125 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Hi everyone,

I've been lurking here for awhile reading all the wonderful fashion advice and seeing the lovely dresses that are posted.
I've been on six cruises, mostly to the Caribean, which I love. Mid May my DH and I are doing the Classic Med. cruise. I have my on board clothes bought, but I don't have any clue as what to wear in Spain, France, Rome and Italy off the ship while sight-seeing.
Has anyone done cruised to the Med? Just a note, I am not a jean and tennis shoe type of woman.
Can anyone help me please.
#2
Central Mass.
938 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
You will love the med. We did it two years ago and my husband wants to do the same cruise again soon. Barcelona, Florence, Naples, Rome, Athens, Santonini, Kusadasi. I always wore simple skirts or dresses and he wore good pants and regular long sleeve shirts. Pretty much what we would wear to work. And we both wore good walking shoes. We were hoping not to stand out as American tourists and it might have worked because we were mistaken for French or English in Turkey and once they thought I was Italian in Rome. We dressed this way becuase it was how we felt comfortable, but I don't think you can go wrong with nice slacks, blouses and jackets either. We dressed the same for our trip to Paris and Milan last year. I would not feel comfortable in jeans or shorts in the med but I did see them worn a lot.

Carolyn & David
#4
Central Mass.
938 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
One great piece of advice I got from other travelers was to bring some kleenex or toilet paper. (I buy the tiny tiny little travel rolls that Charmin sells) Bathrooms in Europe can be inconsistant and although we were lucky enough to always find one with an actual toilet and usually a toilet seat there was not always toilet paper available.
#6
1,437 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Having been to Italy many times before our cruise this past July, I will tell you if you are NOT doing an excursion and want to "blend" with locals, wear skirts. Italian women do not wear shorts or capris, especially in the summer. If you are on an excursion, by all means, wear the shorts or capris.

I wore shorts and capris on the excursions because we were with other tourists, but when we flew back to Rome to spend time with our Italian friends, I wore summery skirts. I just felt like I wanted to blend in with the Italians when walking around the villages.

JMO.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Norweigan Jewel, Western Med, July 2007
Dawn Princess, Mexican Riviera, April 2008
Carnival Ecstasy - September 11, 2008 - the Hurricane Ike Cruise that lasted 8 days instead of 4!!
RCCL Majesty of the Seas - Bahamas - January 2009
Norweigan Jewel, Western Caribbean, April 2009
Carnival Sensation, Bahamas, July 2009
Crown Princess - Transatlantic May 2010
Carnival Conquest - Thanksgiving cruise - 2010
Ruby Princess - Transatlantic May 2011
Carnival Magic- Overnight Travel Agent Inaugaral Party - Galveston -Nov 2011
Carnival Magic - Thanksgiving Cruise - Eastern Caribbean - Nov 2011
Carnival Triumph - May 17, 2012 - Birthday Cruise!
Carnival Triumph - November 1, 2012 - TI and Friends cruise
Carnival Triumph - February 7, 2013- Yep - the cruise that had the fire!!

#7
125 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
I will have to check out shoes like that. I have bunions and a bad back, so comfortable shoes are an absolute must. I worry about the cobblestone streets, so heels probably aren't a good idea.

I went shopping today and found a lovely tunic top at Chico's. A black and white outline floral with a heavily jeweled V neck line that was $80.00 on sale for $24.99. Also, a black formal with a white jeweled deep plunge neckline with a slit up the front, $189.00 marked down to $86.00 and another formal that was $200.00 marked to $26.00 at Macy's.
I found a nice casual dress at the White and Black on sale for $69.99 and a fun colorful jersey dress at Yonkers for $6.00. Found jewlery to go with each too. A very successful day of shopping for evening clothes.

Now, hopefully I can get just a lucky looking for touring clothes! Husband does not make any noise about bringing so many things home, as he knows it's part of the cruise and he enjoys the fashion show.
#8
1,777 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by Corvette Girl
I will have to check out shoes like that. I have bunions and a bad back, so comfortable shoes are an absolute must. I worry about the cobblestone streets, so heels probably aren't a good idea.

I went shopping today and found a lovely tunic top at Chico's. A black and white outline floral with a heavily jeweled V neck line that was $80.00 on sale for $24.99. Also, a black formal with a white jeweled deep plunge neckline with a slit up the front, $189.00 marked down to $86.00 and another formal that was $200.00 marked to $26.00 at Macy's.
I found a nice casual dress at the White and Black on sale for $69.99 and a fun colorful jersey dress at Yonkers for $6.00. Found jewlery to go with each too. A very successful day of shopping for evening clothes.

Now, hopefully I can get just a lucky looking for touring clothes! Husband does not make any noise about bringing so many things home, as he knows it's part of the cruise and he enjoys the fashion show.
You might want to shop for some broomstick skirts. They pack easily, just twist them up and stuff them in the edges of your suitcase and they are comfortable and cool in the hot Med sun. And you can wear them more than once with different tops. Just a suggestion that works well for me.
#9
New York City
9,515 Posts
Joined Sep 2001
Originally posted by want2cruiseagain
Having been to Italy many times before our cruise this past July, I will tell you if you are NOT doing an excursion and want to "blend" with locals, wear skirts. Italian women do not wear shorts or capris, especially in the summer.
Totally agree!

Originally posted by want2cruiseagain
If you are on an excursion, by all means, wear the shorts or capris.
Why? If you're going to dress to blend, why not blend with the locals rather than poorly dressed tourists?


To the OP....

Make sure you have a lightweight shawl with you if you're wearing a tank top, so you can cover your shoulders to visit churches. Many churches, especially in Italy, require that shoulders and knee's be covered.

Dress like you're going to large cities filled with well dressed people because you will be going to large cities filled with well dressed people! Comfortable and chic are not exclusive of one another.
If you like skirts, a casual skirt w/ a "nice" tee is a good choice and as cool as shorts. Or if you prefer pants, linen is a great fabric for europe - casual cool and elegant. Wear comfortable sandals or flats and you're good to go!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Everyone brings joy to a room. Some when they enter, some when they leave.
#11
1,437 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by Jane110
Totally agree!



Why? If you're going to dress to blend, why not blend with the locals rather than poorly dressed tourists?


To the OP....

Make sure you have a lightweight shawl with you if you're wearing a tank top, so you can cover your shoulders to visit churches. Many churches, especially in Italy, require that shoulders and knee's be covered.

Dress like you're going to large cities filled with well dressed people because you will be going to large cities filled with well dressed people! Comfortable and chic are not exclusive of one another.
If you like skirts, a casual skirt w/ a "nice" tee is a good choice and as cool as shorts. Or if you prefer pants, linen is a great fabric for europe - casual cool and elegant. Wear comfortable sandals or flats and you're good to go!

The reason I say to wear the shorts or capris on excursions is that you are with a tour group who probably are dressed in shorts or capris, you have your little sticker on your shirt, the locals will know you are a tourist, so don't worry about it. If you are going on a land tour on your own, try to blend in. Our Italian friend said he can spot an American by the baseball cap, shorts, and tennis shoes. Although... come to think of it, that was what HE was wearing the day he took us to Orvieto! LOL.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Norweigan Jewel, Western Med, July 2007
Dawn Princess, Mexican Riviera, April 2008
Carnival Ecstasy - September 11, 2008 - the Hurricane Ike Cruise that lasted 8 days instead of 4!!
RCCL Majesty of the Seas - Bahamas - January 2009
Norweigan Jewel, Western Caribbean, April 2009
Carnival Sensation, Bahamas, July 2009
Crown Princess - Transatlantic May 2010
Carnival Conquest - Thanksgiving cruise - 2010
Ruby Princess - Transatlantic May 2011
Carnival Magic- Overnight Travel Agent Inaugaral Party - Galveston -Nov 2011
Carnival Magic - Thanksgiving Cruise - Eastern Caribbean - Nov 2011
Carnival Triumph - May 17, 2012 - Birthday Cruise!
Carnival Triumph - November 1, 2012 - TI and Friends cruise
Carnival Triumph - February 7, 2013- Yep - the cruise that had the fire!!

#12
FL
14,110 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
Originally posted by Jane110
Totally agree!



Why? If you're going to dress to blend, why not blend with the locals rather than poorly dressed tourists?


To the OP....

Make sure you have a lightweight shawl with you if you're wearing a tank top, so you can cover your shoulders to visit churches. Many churches, especially in Italy, require that shoulders and knee's be covered.

Dress like you're going to large cities filled with well dressed people because you will be going to large cities filled with well dressed people! Comfortable and chic are not exclusive of one another.
If you like skirts, a casual skirt w/ a "nice" tee is a good choice and as cool as shorts. Or if you prefer pants, linen is a great fabric for europe - casual cool and elegant. Wear comfortable sandals or flats and you're good to go!
Ditto what Jane said. I am fortunate to been able to visit Italy many times since my first visit in the mid 70s. I wear skirts or dresses in summer and occasionally linen slacks.

Capris and shorts are best left for the beach resorts and these are the only time I wear them when in Europe. As want2cruiseagain says, the Italian women do not wear them and IMO they simply do not fit in.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
142 cruises since 1964, 14 on the river.

Our river cruising history:

Avalon Luminary B2B- Christmas Markets, 2009
Avalon Affinity - Christmas Markets 2010
Avalon Panorama - Danube New Years Cruise, 2011
AmaDante -Vineyards of the Rhine and Moselle 2012
AmaCerto - Budapest to Nuremburg, 2013
AmaBella - Tulip Time, 2014
AmaDagio - Provence, 2014
AmaReina - Holiday on the Rhine 2014
SS Catherine - Provence 2015
AmaSerena Christmas on the Rhine, 2015
Scenic Diamond, Bordeaux, April 2016
AmaVida, Douro, August. 2016
AmaSonata, Romantic Danube - Oct. 2016

Looking forward to:
Joie de Vivre, Paris and Normany - April 2017
Le Lyral, The Adriatic, September 2017
Amadeus Silver II - Magic of Advent, December 2017
Oceania Marina, South Pacific, March 2018
AmaKristina, Christmas Markets, December 2018

#13
New York City
9,515 Posts
Joined Sep 2001
Originally posted by want2cruiseagain

Our Italian friend said he can spot an American by the baseball cap, shorts, and tennis shoes.
I'll amend that to say your friend can spot SOME Americans - ie, the ones dressed in the "american touristo" outfit. Those of us that dress well, your friend would not spot as a tourist.

I'm always taken for one of the local wherever I travel. It's a constant source of amusement to my husband. No matter where we are, locals speak to me in their language. Of course, when I can't answer, they know I'm american.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Everyone brings joy to a room. Some when they enter, some when they leave.
#14
New York City
9,515 Posts
Joined Sep 2001
Originally posted by want2cruiseagain
The reason I say to wear the shorts or capris on excursions is that you are with a tour group who probably are dressed in shorts or capris, you have your little sticker on your shirt, the locals will know you are a tourist, so don't worry about it.
Well, just because others around me are dressed poorly, doesn't mean I'm going to do the same. Besides, I'd have to buy a whole new wardrobe of tourist clothes!

I'm not big on group tours, but for some places, it does make sense. But I've never been asked to wear a sticker and I never would, even if asked. Nor would I ever carry a bag with the ships logo. I've seen people in port cities carrying them. Besides looking silly, it screams to all the pickpockets, "come and get me!".
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Everyone brings joy to a room. Some when they enter, some when they leave.
#15
134 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
When the ship docks on port day, you and 2000 or more of your new best friends will descend on that particular city.

The local shopkeepers know in advance that you are there. They are not that interested in how you are dressed. More interested on how you will boost the local economy. If you have European style clothes, by all means bring them. If you dont, Im not sure if I'd go shopping. Especially, if its not your style when you get back to the good ole US of A

BTW, a few hour port visit is far different that a week in local economy.

Just my opinion...
#16
30 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
linens, slacks, skirts, short sleeved shirts (to be respectful in religious buildings, although most weren't)
saw tons of jeans, tons of sneakers
The only difference in my cruise... I did not wear shorts as in the Caribbean
take a rain wrap, a hat, and be prepared for extreme heat and humidity (we were in early June - Rome to London)
#17
1,437 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Our Med cruise last July, got the best tan. I wore sleeveless scoop neck knit shirts and lots of sunscreen. We did not have one bit of rain on that cruise!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Norweigan Jewel, Western Med, July 2007
Dawn Princess, Mexican Riviera, April 2008
Carnival Ecstasy - September 11, 2008 - the Hurricane Ike Cruise that lasted 8 days instead of 4!!
RCCL Majesty of the Seas - Bahamas - January 2009
Norweigan Jewel, Western Caribbean, April 2009
Carnival Sensation, Bahamas, July 2009
Crown Princess - Transatlantic May 2010
Carnival Conquest - Thanksgiving cruise - 2010
Ruby Princess - Transatlantic May 2011
Carnival Magic- Overnight Travel Agent Inaugaral Party - Galveston -Nov 2011
Carnival Magic - Thanksgiving Cruise - Eastern Caribbean - Nov 2011
Carnival Triumph - May 17, 2012 - Birthday Cruise!
Carnival Triumph - November 1, 2012 - TI and Friends cruise
Carnival Triumph - February 7, 2013- Yep - the cruise that had the fire!!

#19
134 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Corvette Girl,

There is another thread "Italy in October" going on right now on this board.

I dont want to repeat the answers there, but there is some good infor.

I recommend you take a look.
#20
FL
14,110 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
For mid May and summer trips I pack mostly below the knee skirts and dresses because I find them feminine and comfortable. "Sundresses" to me implies a tropical look and this is not what I would choose. Linen blends and silk twill are two fabrics I like for warm weather travel in Europe. Smart walking sandals/flats and you will be comfortable and ready to go anywhere.

If you prefer capris, wear them. Remember you will need to have knees and shoulders covered to gain entry to many churches and religious sites. A cap sleeve works well and is still cool. And you can throw a lightweight shawl or large scarf in your bag as well if you prefer.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
142 cruises since 1964, 14 on the river.

Our river cruising history:

Avalon Luminary B2B- Christmas Markets, 2009
Avalon Affinity - Christmas Markets 2010
Avalon Panorama - Danube New Years Cruise, 2011
AmaDante -Vineyards of the Rhine and Moselle 2012
AmaCerto - Budapest to Nuremburg, 2013
AmaBella - Tulip Time, 2014
AmaDagio - Provence, 2014
AmaReina - Holiday on the Rhine 2014
SS Catherine - Provence 2015
AmaSerena Christmas on the Rhine, 2015
Scenic Diamond, Bordeaux, April 2016
AmaVida, Douro, August. 2016
AmaSonata, Romantic Danube - Oct. 2016

Looking forward to:
Joie de Vivre, Paris and Normany - April 2017
Le Lyral, The Adriatic, September 2017
Amadeus Silver II - Magic of Advent, December 2017
Oceania Marina, South Pacific, March 2018
AmaKristina, Christmas Markets, December 2018