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If you’re having trouble figuring out what to wear on a cruise, don’t worry, we’re here to help. Packing a suitcase for your upcoming vacation onboard shouldn’t be difficult—in fact, it can even be fun.

The key is to know exactly what to expect onboard and to familiarize yourself with the Celebrity Cruises dress code, which can vary according to the time or place you find yourself on the ship. Here are some tips that will help you decide what to wear on a cruise to get ready for smooth, stylish sailing.

What clothes should you wear on a cruise?

What to wear on a cruise depends on what kind of cruise you’re embarking on. While many of our cruises sail to warm beach destinations such as the Bahamas and the Caribbean, we do offer cooler weather cruises to places like Alaska and the Mediterranean during shoulder season that require warmer clothes like jackets and waterproof wear.

If you’re traveling to a warm and sunny destination, here are some things you should wear on your cruise:

Couple drinking cocktails by the pool

Swimsuits

While onboard, you’ll be spending a lot of your time in the pool or lounging nearby on the sun deck. You’ll also be wearing swimsuits at many of the ports you visit during your trip. Therefore, it’s a good idea to pack a handful of swimsuits in your bag. We like to recommend you bring at least three if you’re going on a seven-day cruise.

Swim coverups

While it’s perfectly acceptable to stay in your swimsuit while lounging beside the pool, you’ll need a cover-up to walk from your stateroom to the pool, and vice-versa. Keep in mind, depending on where your stateroom or suite is located, you may go through other common areas of the ship (in addition to the elevators) on your way to the pool. Make sure your swim cover-up is something you will feel comfortable in while walking around others.

Girl wearing sweater on the beach

Sweater or fleece

Even if you’re taking a cruise around the Caribbean, it’s smart to take a light sweater or fleece to wear at night when the temperature tends to cool down. After all, you won’t want to get chilly while enjoying the starry sky from your stateroom veranda or on one of the ship’s decks.

Scarf or pashmina

This is an easy clothing item you can drape over your shoulders to dress up an outfit, or to warm you up if you’re outside and there is a chill in the air.

Jewelry

Bring some fun pieces to accessorize your outfit. You may also want to buy some new items while shopping in the ship’s boutiques, so remember to leave a little extra room in your suitcase just in case.

Woman smiling while wearing a sun hat

Sunglasses and sun hats

Aside from lathering up on the SPF, protect yourself from all that sunshine by bringing a sun visor, baseball cap, or wide-brimmed straw hat on your cruise. We also recommend bringing at least one pair of sunglasses on board.

Watch

Even if you typically use your phone as a clock, we suggest bringing a watch on board to keep a more accurate eye on the time throughout the day. You’ll want to get to all of the ship’s daily activities on time, and a watch can be extra helpful during your port stops to make sure you get back to the ship on time before it departs.

Couple using binocular while sightseeing on a cruise

Casual, comfortable attire

T-shirts, tank tops, shorts, sundresses, and skirts are all acceptable clothes to wear on a cruise ship to have lunch in the Oceanview Cafe and other restaurants with a casual dress code. You can also dine in casual pool clothes at the snack bar located next to the pool deck.

Dinner or “smart casual” attire

If you’re having dinner in the main restaurant or any meal at one of the specialty restaurants, you’ll follow a “smart casual” dress code.

Women’s smart casual dress code: Skirt, pants, or jeans with a casual top.

Men’s smart casual dress code: Pants or jeans with a short sleeve sport shirt.

We want our guests to feel comfortable, so Celebrity Cruises’ dress code for smart casual is fairly flexible, though there are some restrictions. T-shirts, swimsuits, robes, bare feet, tank tops, baseball caps, and pool wear are not allowed in the main restaurant or specialty restaurants at any time. In addition, shorts and flip-flops are not permitted during the evening hours.

The smart casual dress code works for all areas of the ship in the evening, including in bars and lounges and during shows and events at the ship’s theater.

What kind of shoes should you wear on a cruise?

Yellow luggage with shoes, bag, and other essentials

Footwear should not be an afterthought when packing your suitcase for a cruise. While you might have the urge to throw in a pair of flip flops and call it a day, there are a few other essential shoes you’ll need to bring along on your trip.

Flip flops, sandals, or waterproof slides

These shoes will take you back and forth from your stateroom to the pool and vice versa. They also come in handy if you choose to visit the onboard spa.

Sneakers or comfortable walking shoes

If you’re planning on doing a lot of walking around the ship during days at sea, we suggest packing a pair of sneakers or other comfortable walking shoes. Sneakers will also be useful if you try out a fitness class or use the gym equipment in the ship’s state-of-the-art fitness center.

Shoes or sandals for dinner

Since flip flops are not allowed in the evening, make sure to bring comfortable shoes or sandals to wear during dinner in the main room.

Do you have to dress up on a cruise?

While it might be tempting to stay in your swimsuit all day long on a cruise, there are certain occasions when Celebrity Cruises dress code dictates otherwise.

If you’re wondering what to wear on a cruise during dinner in the main dining room, meals at specialty restaurants, or shows in the theater, the Celebrity Cruises dress code for these occasions is smart casual.

People in smart casual attire following Celebrity Cruises dress code for dinner

For women, this means skirts, pants, or jeans with a casual top. For men, they are required to wear pants or jeans with a short sleeve sport shirt. Shorts and flip-flops are not permitted in the evenings.

On Evening Chic nights, the dress code is dressier than smart casual but less so than a traditional formal night.

What do you wear on formal night on a cruise?

Lovely couple in Evening Chic outfit following Celebrity Cruises dress code

Our formal nights are called Evening Chic nights because they’re all about guests looking their absolute best. These are the nights when you want to dress up in your most fashion-forward and stylish clothes, while also being elegant and sophisticated.

The Celebrity Cruises dress code for Evening Chic nights is cocktail dresses, skirts, pants, or designer jeans with an elegant top for women. For men, the dress code is pants or designer jeans with a dress shirt, button-down shirt, or sweater, and an optional sport coat or blazer.

Friends in Evening Chic attire walking in Tuscan Grille, Celebrity Cruises

Our Evening Chic dress code leaves a lot of room for you to show off your personal style. However, this is not the moment to wear ripped jeans or your favorite college sweatshirt. You can wear anything from designer denim paired with a blazer to a cocktail dress with a killer set of heels.

If you were looking forward to wearing a tuxedo or formal gown on Evening Chic nights, you can absolutely do that as well. There is no such thing as being overdressed on Evening Chic nights.

All cruises that are seven nights or longer will feature two Evening Chic nights. Shorter cruises feature one Evening Chic night. On all other nights of the cruise, guests are expected to wear smart casual attire.

If for whatever reason you choose to skip Evening Chic nights, you can always dine in one of the specialty restaurants (in smart casual attire) or at the snack bar located next to the pool deck.

What do you wear on cruises during the day?

People hanging out onboard Celebrity Cruises

On Celebrity Cruises, we want you to feel as comfortable as possible while onboard. During the day, we encourage you to wear casual attire such as t-shirts, tank tops, shorts, sundresses, and skirts.

If you’re spending the day at the pool, you can also have lunch or dine in casual pool clothes at the snack bar located next to the pool deck.

Just remember that while walking from your stateroom to the pool and vice versa, you’ll need to wear a swim cover-up.

Now that you know how effortless and stress-free it is to choose what to wear on a cruise, book your cruise and start planning out your perfect cruise vacation outfits. Browse itineraries, shore excursions, and staterooms, then book your cruise along with airfare and activities all in one convenient spot.

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