If the thought of meeting a cruise ship dress code is a little intimidating, you’re not alone; no one wants to be the only person who didn’t know that “formal night” calls for a tie, for example.
The good news is that while most cruise ships have a dress code, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert will help you interpret the code so that you’ll know what to pack. In fact, if a dress code – or the lack of one – is important to you, your cruise expert can guide you to specific cruise lines and ships that match your wish to dress up or down.
“Cruise casual” clothing is predominant on many ships – think of sportswear and what you’d wear to play golf or tennis in at a sports club. Men will be comfortable in polo shirts, sport pants or shorts; women in the same, as well as blouses, skirts and casual dresses. With this dress code, bare feet, tank tops, and very short shorts are generally not included. Shorts are fine during the day, but are usually not welcome at dinner. Jeans and t-shirts are often acceptable if they don’t have holes or tears. Also, having lunch at the Lido deck buffet in your swimsuit and cover-up is fine, but swimwear is not acceptable in restaurants or dining rooms.
There are variations on cruise casual, which include Smart Casual and Resort Casual. They are generally a step more formal that cruise casual: jackets for men and dresses for women may be required at dinner. But, dress code terminology and meaning vary between ships and cruise lines, so let your cruise expert be your guide.
Regardless of the overall dress code, formal nights mean suits and ties for men, dresses for women. However, on some luxury cruise lines, that’s the definition of informal; formal nights require tuxedos and gowns. If the very thought of formal night fills you with dread, don’t worry – there are many cruises with no formal nights.
One more bit of advice – you can’t go wrong by dressing up on a cruise. On the other hand, if you show up underdressed for the dining room, the worst that will happen is that the crew will direct you to another venue. So, check with your cruise expert on dress code expectations, and then pack with confidence!