What to pack for a cruise????

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 04:17 PM.
Ontario, CA (The one WITH the Palm Trees!)
22,598 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
I found this list that I give our daughters when we are cruising. This is a good start.

Cruise Packing List 7 days
(Mix and Match please. Let’s try to fit it into the 22" suitcases.)

bathing suits

Day Wear
two pair jeans, UNRIPPED (including what you wear the first day)
two shorts
6 short sleeve tops
Camisoles/Tank tops
Light Jacket/ Hoodie
Rain Jacket?
water shoes
Night Wear
5 Casual Nights.
Can wear UNRIPPED Jeans with nice tops (tops worn at night, then worn during another later day)
nice shoes, no ugly flip flops, no rubber flip flops, no ugly obvious sneakers
Two Fancy Nights.
(Can wear the same thing for both nights.
Dresses/ skirts and blouses)
nice dress shoes (try to do the same shoe for both nights.)
3,619 Posts
Joined May 2007
If you're going somewhere hot (like the Carribbean in the summer), leave the jeans at home, and bring a couple of skirts instead. You can wear these to dinner wit ha casual top.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
7/99 Carnival Imagination
6/01 Carnival Paradise
6/03 RCI Sovereign of the Seas
7/06 RCI Adventure of the Seas
12/08 Holland America Westerdam
6/10 Carnival Glory
6/12 Carnival Ecstasy
6/15 Carnival Victory
7/16 Carnival Magic
1/17 Carnival Conquest
3,677 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
I always bring jeans on my Caribbean cruises, I'm from Arizona & to me the ships are always cold at night~ I would freeze without jeans and a light sweater!

Pretty much during the day you'll be living in a bathing suit so bring as many of those as you have! Just make sure you have cover ups for when you go into the buffet~
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

NCL ~ Jewel 10/30/16 ~ #8
NCL ~ Jade 11/28/15 ~ #7
NCL ~ Getaway 6/20/15 & 6/13/15 ~ B2B ~#6 & #5
NCL ~ Getaway 6/14/14 ~ #4
NCL ~ Sky 6/9/14 ~ #3
NCL ~ Sky 7/15/13 ~ #2
NCL ~ Sky 7/8/13 ~ #1

CCL ~ Inspiration 11/3/2014 #9
CCL ~ Spirit ~ 15 night RT to Hawaii 12/2/2011 ~ #8
CCL ~ Conquest 10/9/2011 ~ #7
CCL ~ Conquest 10/10/10 ~ #6
CCL ~ Splendor 3/14/10 ~ #5
CCL ~ Paradise 1/8/10 ~ #4
CCL ~ Conquest 10/11/09 ~ #3
CCL ~ Conquest 3/26/2006 ~ Dinner With Captain Marino ~ #2
CCL ~ Victory 4/29/05 ~ #1

RCCL ~ Monarch of the Seas 11/2/2007 40th birthday cruise #2
RCCL ~ Monarch of the Seas 6/2/1999 #1
North Carolina
3,571 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Hello! Here are my observations from my recent Spring Break cruise to the Caribbean:

If you are a pool person...and think that you will be hanging out by the pool quite a bit on sea days...bring a bathing suit...it seemed to me that most younger ladies were wearing two piece suits (regardless of how fit or unfit their physique was...). You may want to bring more than one suit if you are also going to be doing shore excursions that would involve a bathing suit.

You will want a cover up so that you can walk around the ship and/or eat in the buffet restaurant for lunch while you still have your suit on. I observed that most younger ladies seemed to wear a pair of shorts and some sort of tank/halter/t-shirt.

You will want appropriate pool shoes...I saw a lot of flip flops. Sunglasses.

There will probably be two formal or elegant nights. You can be as formal as you like...but most young ladies were wearing what I would call a "party dress." Like a youthful cocktail dress. If you plan on participating in the youth program, plan to bring something to change into after formal dinners for going to the youth program. This is what the young lady at our table in MDR did. She did not wear her party dress to the youth program events. I think one night, she hung out with her family and went to the theater entertainment...and she didn't change that night. You can certainly wear the same outfit for both nights.

For dinner in the dining room, you can wear something fashionable and fun. To save packing space...remember that your table mates will not see much of your outfit beyond your shirt because you will be sitting down for most of the meal...so if you have a favorite pair of dress pants or skirt that goes with several tops...this would be an ideal time to mix and match that "go with a lot" bottom with a variety of tops. Also this is true of any other occasion on ship...IF people remember what you wear, they most likely remember your shirt...so in your mix and match wardrobe...be heavier on tops than bottoms.

Our young lady table mate (similar in age to yourself) met some other young ladies early in the cruise at the youth program that she was friendly with for the rest of the cruise. They decided together whether they would do what was on schedule for that night, or if they would do something else together, or if they were do a family thing...the point I am making here is that you may or may not want to adjust what you wear to smart casual dinners for your evening plans. Especially your shoes...depending on what you wear.

By and large, what I observed young ladies wearing on the cruise was not much different than what they would wear to school. Maybe the hemlines were shorter (knowing how school dress codes are)...and if your dress code prohibits sleeveless, well...they wore tanks, halters, and sleeveless shirts for sure...so maybe it would be more appropriate to say that they were dressed the way I envision you might dress to go hang out at the mall...yes...definitely...they looked like the young ladies look walking around the mall...dressed casually but with an eye to the fact that they would see and be seen.

You will need to know what you are doing on port days to know what is appropriate for those days.

Beyond formal nights and shore excursions, there isn't anything special about packing for a cruise versus what you might normally wear. The only other suggestion I have is to think about how you will carry your sea pass card. I like pockets, personally, and choose that most everything I bring has a pocket for that card. Lanyards are fairly common as well. Carrying your sea pass card is definitely a consideration in your clothing selection.

Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

Some people celebrate their 20th anniversary...
But we know the real party is at 21 years!!!
Fredericksburg, va. USA
83,781 Posts
Joined May 2001
Bring your summer clothes, bathing suits and stuff to wear to dinner (no shorts, on most lines!)... add undies and shoes, and you're all set!
368 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
Okay, this isn't fashion, but one of the most important things to bring is sunscreen. None of your clothes will go well with bright red skin and your clothes will hurt to wear, too.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

Majesty of the Seas----August 2003
Carnival Inspiration-----March 2004
Norwegian Sun --------December 2007
Majesty of the Seas ---August 2008
Serenade of the Seas --January 2009
Monarch of the Seas ---April 2009
Jewel of the Seas ------January 2010
Adventure of the Seas--January 2011
Freedom of the Seas----January 2012
Liberty of the Seas-----November 2012
Vision of the Seas------January 2013
Serenade of the Seas--November 2013
Celebrity Summit------January 2014

3,619 Posts
Joined May 2007
Bring things that you love and feel good in, that are comfortable and fit you well. (think of the things you like to wear over and over again and think of their color, style, and fit - these are the features you will want in the clothes you bring)
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
7/99 Carnival Imagination
6/01 Carnival Paradise
6/03 RCI Sovereign of the Seas
7/06 RCI Adventure of the Seas
12/08 Holland America Westerdam
6/10 Carnival Glory
6/12 Carnival Ecstasy
6/15 Carnival Victory
7/16 Carnival Magic
1/17 Carnival Conquest