Everything about a cruise is meant to be relaxing, so don’t worry about figuring out what to wear on board; we have the information you need right here. Overall, cruise line dress codes have become more casual, but there are still opportunities to dress up for special evenings. Here’s a quick summary of current dress codes:
Resort Casual. Also known as Country Club Casual, this style calls for button-down shirts, nice slacks, dresses or skirts and coordinating tops. Don’t bring jeans, shorts, t-shirts, baseball caps or tennis shoes; if you do, don’t wear them onboard after 6 p.m. Cruise lines with this type of dress code include Azamara, Crystal, Cunard, Oceania, Regent Seven Seas, Seabourn, Silversea, Windstar, and Viking.
Smart Casual. Smart Casual is a little more relaxed than Resort Casual; sport shirts, khaki pants, nice jeans, capri pants, and dressy shorts are acceptable. Less common are t-shirts, athletic wear, flip-flops and men’s sleeveless shirts; again, these items are particularly unwelcome after 6 p.m. Cruise lines with this type of dress code include Celebrity, Costa and Holland America.
Cruise Casual. The most casual dress code at sea includes jeans (they can be worn-in, but shouldn’t have rips or tears), shorts, t-shirts, and athletic wear, although you should change into a nice pair of pants and shirt or a casual dress for dinner. Cruise lines with this type of dress code include Disney, MSC, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean.
Formal Evenings. Whatever the dress code, most cruises include at least one formal night, when passengers are welcome, encouraged – and perhaps even required – to get dressed up for dinner. Trust us, it’s a lot of fun when everyone on board puts on their finest.
The exact level of formality varies; expected attire can range from a sport jacket and tie to a tuxedo for men; for women, a cocktail dress, or a ball gown, maybe just the thing. Your personal travel advisor can help you understand what to pack for your ship’s formal evenings.
If your ship has some required formal evenings but you’re just not comfortable getting dressed up for dinner, don’t worry. You’ll find the buffet on the lido deck or another casual venue will still be open for dinner. Room service is always an option, too.
One more tip: Keep in mind that on almost any cruise ship, swimsuits are appropriate only on pool decks and not in dining areas.
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