Cruise Clothing: Ultimate Guide For Cruise Clothes For Women

When it comes to packing, men can often get away with a few t-shirts, shorts, and sunglasses. Ladies, however, we enjoy bringing more than what we need. And there’s nothing wrong with liking a little variety in our outfits.

Cruise Clothing Ultimate Guide For Cruise Clothes For Women

However, there is only so much that we can bring on a cruise. Mainly because there is only so much we can carry and fit in the cabin. 

We have got you covered! Below is a full guide on what to wear on a cruise. From health care to evening wear. We discuss the particular items you may need and give you some tips on how to dress depending on where you are going. You’ll become a packing expert.

Let’s get into it!

Casual Wear 

Your casual wear is what is going to take up the bulk of your suitcase. We have broken it down to daytime clothing and nighttime clothing to keep things easy to follow. 

Day Time Clothing

Day Time Clothing

During the day you are probably going to spend most of your time lying by the pool or exploring the city where the ship docks. You are going to need clothes that are light, comfortable, and easily removable. 

You may want to pack a few maxi dresses and skirts, linen trousers, plenty of shorts, and extremely lightweight t-shirts and shirts. This is the time to pack your favorite clothes that you would wear back at home.

You don’t want to pack items that make you feel uncomfortable, especially for the days when you are off exploring. 

An extra is to bring a few pairs of cycling shorts of shapewear shorts to protect the inner thighs from the nightmare that is chafing. 

However, if you are going on a cruise that passes colder climates, you may want to pack an extra few layers. Pack warm leggings, jeans, t-shirts, sweaters, and hoodies.

Anything that provides you with extra warmth while remaining casual and comfortable. 

Always check the weather before you go to ensure you’ve packed correctly. You don’t want to be wearing jeans and a sweater in 35° weather!

Evening Clothing 

Evening Clothing 

When it comes to evening clothing, think of giving your daytime attire a little bit of a spruce-up. Evening clothing does not have to be ball gowns and cocktail dresses every single night. Unless you want to. 

Think of packing items that you would wear to a date night or going out for dinner with the family. You want to look nice, feel confident, but most importantly, be comfortable.

We always recommend a few smart casual dresses and skirts to give your look a more sophisticated feel. 

Although, if the sun has completely wiped you out and all you can muster is what you’ve been wearing during the day, that works too! 

Formal Attire 

Formal Attire 

The majority of cruise ships will host at least one Formal Night. This is where everyone can get dressed up and feel like a million dollars to spend a night enjoying delicious food and entertainment. 

It is also one of the most stressful nights to pack for. 

Before you begin packing and stressing yourself out, take a look at the dress code supplied by the Cruise Line itself. This will give you a general idea of what to pack. 

Typically for Formal Night, you want to opt for something a little more dressed up than your regular evening wear. You may feel like bringing an evening gown or a ball gown. And this is perfectly acceptable. Go all out!

Or, you can take it down a notch and go for something like a cocktail dress or even a jumpsuit. Whatever makes you feel your best is what you should pack. Many women will also opt for a chic pant suit or a skirt and blouse. 

Remember this cruise is yours and you can wear whatever you want! As long as it’s appropriate of course. 

Beach Wear & Activewear

Beach Wear & Activewear

If you are going on a tropical cruise then beachwear or swimwear is essential. Bring your favorite swimwear whether it is bikinis or one-pieces, and make sure you feel comfortable enough to wear it both on and off the boat. 

You are also going to need to bring some cover-ups. A loose dress or even a sarong skirt to give you some coverage when moving from poolside to the restaurant or walking through the towns to explore. 

And believe it or not, your cruise ship will most likely be equipped with a gym. So, if you fancy getting in a good workout while on vacation, make sure to bring a few pieces of activewear.

Athletic shorts and loose t-shirts or even just your sports bra will be your best friend to help you remain cool while getting a sweat in. 

Although, no one will blame you if you never even step foot inside the gym on board! 



After a long day of soaking up the sun and exploring, you are going to want nothing more than to fall into bed. And to make the experience even more bliss, you are going to want to pack comfy pajamas. 

The amount that you bring will depend on the length of your cruise. For a week-long cruise, we recommend bringing at least 2-3 pairs of pajamas. 

You want your sleepwear to be light and breathable. While you will have air conditioning in your cabin, it can still become hot and stuffy. Especially when cruising through hotter climates. 

Bring sleepwear that is made of linen or cotton to ensure it will keep your cool throughout the night. 



Footwear is what can really derail your packing. Even if you only bring a few pairs, shoes take up a lot of space and are much heavier than swimwear and clothing. 

For extended port excursions, bring along a set of comfortable walking shoes, such as sneakers or flats. For pool and beach days, sandals and flip-flops are a must, while dress shoes are required for fancier nighttime dinners on board.

Essentially you should bring:

  • Flip-flops or Sliders
  • Flats and/or sneakers
  • Comfortable heels

One pair of each will ensure that you have footwear for every occasion on your cruise. 

A quick look at the weather forecast will ensure that you bring footwear in the event of sunshine or rain. 



You may want to pack another case for this section. Accessories are where you can really go wild. 

We highly recommend not bringing your best pieces of jewelry on the cruise as it can easily be misplaced, damaged, and even fall off the side of the boat. So, bring jewelry that you can live without if something does happen to it. 

Each cabin is fitted with a safe if you decide to bring expensive items. 

Next up, are hats and sunglasses. Again, bringing your designer sunglasses is probably not the best idea. But you definitely want to bring a pair to protect your eyes from the blazing sun as you lounge by the pool.

A hat is essential for protecting your scalp and parts of your shoulders. 

There will be plenty of sunglasses and hats for purchase on board but they will have a higher price tag so bringing your own is always the best option. 

Hygiene Products 

Carry any necessary items like medications (including seasickness remedies, as required), painkillers, vitamins, feminine hygiene products, and birth control, as well as a simple, individualized first-aid kit to ensure your health and safety.

You are also going to need plenty of heavy-duty sunscreen and aloe vera for sun protection and sunburn relief. Especially when venturing to tropical areas. 

You may want to pack hand wipes and hand sanitizer to keep with you when on the go. 


Although your stateroom will be equipped with high-quality bathroom supplies, you might want to pack travel-sized packages of your favorite products as well.

A facial cleanser, moisturizer, deodorant, shaving equipment, lip balm, Q-tips, and cotton balls/pads are other essentials for your ship shopping list.

A toothbrush, toothpaste, oral floss, and mouthwash should also be brought. A set of tweezers, a nail file and/or clippers, and all the necessary equipment for contact lens wearers (such as a case and solution) should also be brought.

Cosmetics & Hair 

After a day in the wind and in the pool, your hair and skin are going to need some extra love. You are going to want to bring all of your favorite products that make you feel your best.

This means packing the full makeup bag with all of your best products. 

Don’t forget skin care. You may find that with the extended time in the sun your skin is feeling drier than usual and a little more congested as you indulge in the treats on board. 

When it comes to hair products, most cabins are equipped with a hairdryer. But be sure to bring along any hairspray, heat protectant, and even hair masks to give your hair some extra moisture. 

Pack your hair styling tools such as curling irons, straighteners, and rollers to have gorgeous hair every night. 


The last item in this guide that will complete the look is bags. Bags are generally overlooked when packing for a vacation but without one, we would often be lost. 

You may want to include a bum bag for days when you are exploring off the trip. This ensures that everything you need is in one place and it is safe for your person in the event of pickpockets or even if you need to go to the bathroom. 

Another bag you may want to bring is a beach bag to pack your towel and any necessities when lounging at the pool or beach. 

And lastly, a small handbag for wearing at night when going to dinner to keep your phone, purse, and lipstick all in one place. 

Final Thoughts 

Packing for a cruise can quickly become an overwhelming task. But it doesn’t have to be. 

We have everything that you may ever need sorted into a simple guide above. From swimwear to health and safety products you can check off each item and know that you have everything you need. 

So, relax, pack, and come aboard!

Alex Kallen

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