Packing your cruise wardrobe


So you’ve chosen your cruise, but what about the all-important wardrobe?

Oh what I wouldn’t give to be able to have a crystal ball at times, particularly when it comes to packing. If you’re like me and prefer to get dressed ‘in the moment’, it can be daunting to decide on a whole week or more. And that’s before you even consider the challenge of dress codes that cruise lines can request. Throwing up your hands and saying, “Alright then, I’ll just stay at home,” is no fun either.

But I devised a successful strategy when I took Holland America’s 14-day ‘Far Eastern Explorer’ cruise, which I can recommend. These five outfits will keep you ship-shape on the deck, at dinner and everything in between.



White is right
A pair of white pants is the perfect staple for a cruise. Whether a stretch pant or jeans, white will go with almost anything. For the daytime, simply add a navy tee, oversized sunglasses and gold sandals. At night, you can take the outfit up a notch with a pair of wedged heels and a navy or black silk top – just add some striking jewellery.

Super stripes
Stripes are in their element aboard a cruise ship. A simple navy and white striped dress is a great daytime option. Then when the wind picks up and the temperature drops, throw on a neutral-coloured knit and everyone would swear you’re in a skirt and top.

Pants perfection
Printed or plain lightweight pants will save the day in more ways than one. They’re great for relaxing around the ship when the sun goes down and when ashore in a country that requires modesty on visits to sacred sites. Choose a pair that drapes well, in a colour you love. By avoiding black, you can create interesting outfits by teaming said pants with tees or singlets in neutral colours.

Sarong, it’s right
Even if you’re perfectly comfortable parading around in your itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny yellow polka dot bikini, too much flesh on show can be off-putting. A sarong will not only spare your blushes when going from deck bar to pool, but a few well-executed drapes, folds and knots and your sarong can even double as a dress or top to wear with your white pants.

It’s in the bag
Although, you’ll have little need for a bag while on the ship, when going ashore, a great tote will keep you looking chic and organised. Opt for leather in a neutral colour with some funky hardwear to keep you on trend or, if your budget doesn’t stretch to leather, a canvas tote with a little structure will do the trick.

One last tip: don’t forget your sunglasses – they’re the perfect accessory to complete any outfit.

Bon voyage!

Related articles:
Cruising without the crowds
Cruising on a budget
Cruising extras worth the money

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