Packing for a cruise is not the same as packing for a regular vacation. Of course, the sun and relaxation aspects won’t change, but if you’re going into a cruise with the same mindset as spending a week in a hotel, you, my friend, will regret it.
Living on a cruise boat for a week is almost like being in Vegas. The casinos never close, the food never ends and the drinks are overflowing, but what do you do when you can’t run across the street because you need another bathing suit?
First time cruising can be nerve-wracking, but you’ll be smooth sailing with these simple and easy tips on what to wear on a cruise and what you should most definitely pack in your suitcase.
Pack a modest and sexy bikini
Nothing’s worse than getting awkward looks from children and disapproving looks from your elders. If you’re headed on a cruise, we can promise you that there will be children around—lots of children!
On the days where you’re hoping to sit out by the pool with a good book, you’ll probably find screaming children running around the deck and splashing each other.
Times like these call for modest bikinis. No one’s telling you to dress up like a grandma, but we’re sure you’ll feel better about not having your cheeks exposed while sitting next to an 8-year-old.
Save that sexy bikini for the beach! When you head off the boat for your tropical destination, you’ll most likely find yourself on the beach, and this is when you should bring out that sexy bikini and turn the sand into a runway.
Invest in a cover up
The setup on a cruise boat is meant to make your life easy. The outdoor pool area is brilliantly placed near a food station, and more often than not, this area expands into an indoor buffet space.
Grabbing a bite to eat after getting out of the water is common, so bringing a cover up will make the transition from wading in the water to dining on pasta a seamless transition.
Choose basic/versatile pieces
Packing clothes for vacation can be one of the most stressful things, especially when you’ll be cruising at sea. Major Key Alert: bring versatile pieces. If your wardrobe consists of only patterned pants and shirts, you might find yourself coming up with different ways to fit more clothes into your suitcase.
Plain t-shirts and solid shorts will give you the chance to recycle any of the pieces to create a different look.
Bring a hat
Cruising in the hot summer sun can lead to heat exhaustion, especially if you’re spending most of your days on the deck or challenging your new friends to a game of volleyball. While a handy pair of sunglasses will help to protect your eyes from the sun, bringing a hat will keep you cool and prevent you from becoming dehydrated. It also goes without saying that it could be the perfect piece to finishing your outfit!
Carry a crossbody bag
Heavy duty handbags are a no-no on cruises. They might be perfect for the airplane ride, but carrying it around the cruise boat gets old very quickly. A crossbody bag is the perfect accessory for any cruise goer.
On a daily basis, the most you’ll need is your room card, ID and some cash if you’re hoping to win big in the casino. All the extras you think you’ll need will be fine right in your cabin.
Layer up for dinner
Dinner is something never to miss on a cruise. The smaller dining areas for breakfast and lunch are great, but if you’re in the mood to be served some steak and lobster, make sure you’re seated for dinner. While you’re marveling at the great food, you’ll probably feel goosebumps rise on your arms.
The dining room and indoor area of the cruise ship are very well air-conditioned. The dining room might be located on the third floor, and we can guarantee that you won’t want to make the trip back to your cabin on the 11th floor. Come prepared with a jacket or sweater to fight off the chill so you can stay long enough to enjoy your tiramisu.
Multi-way bras are your friend
If your wardrobe varies from strapless dresses to racerback tank tops, multi-way bras are your friend. Instead of packing four different bras to go with four different outfits, opt for multi-way bras. These will be perfect for switching out of a plain t-shirt and into a strapless crop top.
Bring a glam dress
Dress to impress. Almost every cruise line will have a Captain’s Night, and this will be your opportunity to dress to the nines. You might think that you’re overdoing it, but you’re probably not.
This night is filled with a speech from the captain, spotlight on the chef and photo opportunities for you and your entourage. Bring a glam dress, and you’ll feel ready to grace the red carpet.
Don’t pack more than two pairs of heels
As much as we love our heels, they take up a lot of space when packing. When you’re cruising to your destination, don’t pack more than 2 pairs of heels. If you live in heels, you might need a few extra pairs, but if you only save heels for when you’re dressing up, two pairs will be enough.
When choosing, pick a pair of pumps and wedges. The pumps will be ideal for Captain’s Night while the wedges can complete a dressy day outfit or dinner look.
Check the cruise itinerary
None of these tips are as important as checking the cruise itinerary. Before you set sail, it should be your manual to live by. This will tell you how many nights you need to be decked out to the nines or if they’re having any events on a particular day. We promise that you won’t want to be the one who shows up to an all-white party in red.
Cruising is fun, especially when you do it the right way. Make sure to take these tips into consideration when packing for your upcoming trip to paradise. So sit back, relax, and have fun!
If you’re headed on a cruise this summer, let us know where in the comments below! We’ll try not to get jealous!