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What to Wear on a Warm Cruise

Guests laughing out on deck

Headed off to warmer climates, or gearing up for a great summer cruise? Excitement is in the air, but what to wear on a cruise can leave some questions unanswered. All warm weather cruises need a specific wardrobe, but balancing comfort with style can be a bit of a challenge. No need to worry, as we’ve got everything you need to know for relaxing in the sun without breaking a sweat!

Daytime casual cool

Guests on deck in summer

For the majority of summer cruises or other warm weather cruises, you can expect to get quite a bit of sun. This means that lightweight fabrics like cotton and linen are soon going to be your best friends. 

Opt for breathable tops, shorts or loose-fitting dresses. Remember, sun hats and sunglasses aren’t just stylish, they protect you from those UV rays too. And for when you’re lounging by the pool, don't forget some great swimwear and a handy cover-up. 

Casual lunches

Guests ashore

Imagine this: the ship is anchored near a pristine beach and you’re headed out for a relaxed lunch. What to wear? Think sundresses for women and short-sleeve shirts paired with shorts for men. Footwear can be casual, but keep in mind swimwear is not allowed in dining areas. Comfort is key, but style is great too.

Casual Evening Elegance

Guest dining on a casual evening in the main restaurant, Bolette

Many people wonder about the best summer outfits for dinner on board a cruise during an evening where a black tie dress code isn’t present. The good news is that warm weather doesn’t mean toning down the glamour. Ladies can go for flowy maxi dresses or even loose-fitting jumpsuits. Men can pair lightweight blazers with chinos. While ties might be optional, if you’re going for a polished look, it can be nice to go the extra mile. Learning a bit about the dress code on your cruise can make packing much easier.

Pack layers

Surprised to hear about layers? Even on a warm weather cruise, the evenings can get a little breezy and rain is not uncommon. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to pack a light sweater, jacket or a wrap. Pack one or two items of warmer clothing too, just in case there’s a cool spell while you’re at sea.

Adventure awaits

Guests ashore in funchal

If your summer cruise includes excursions on land, it’s best to prepare. Sturdy, comfortable footwear is essential, especially if you're exploring the local sights. Plus, look into moisture-wicking clothes which can keep you cool and comfy if you’re hiking or walking for extended periods.

Formal nights

Guests at dinner on formal evening, Borealis

Many summer cruises have special formal nights that can be a big highlight of the trip. For these occasions, don’t be afraid to wear something extra special. Women can wear cocktail dresses or evening gowns, while men can opt for suits or tuxedos. Remember, these are the nights for your statement jewellery and accessories, too.

Cabin comfort

After a day of fun and excitement comes to a close you will want to have something comfortable to slip into once you are back in your cabin. With that in mind make sure to pack some cosy pyjamas or easy-going loungewear. If you are prone to feeling the cold more than others, a fleece or thick layers are a good choice to ensure you can rest and recharge in comfort.

Footwear fundamentals

On any summer or warm weather cruise, footwear plays a big role. Besides flip-flops for the poolside, consider lightweight shoes for beach activities. For evenings, a pair of dress shoes or elegant sandals will do well. Comfortable walking shoes are a must for excursions, especially if you’re planning on any day-long trips ashore.

Versatility is vital

You might be tempted to overpack for your cruise, but rather think about ways to keep your luggage manageable. To do this, look at options for versatile clothing, like a sarong that can double as a beach wrap or a shawl. Neutral-coloured footwear that matches multiple outfits can also save space and offer flexibility.

Sun protection essentials

Guests sunbathing around the pool area, Borealis

Never underestimate the sun's strength on open waters, as you can burn much faster than you’re used to. So always pack a high-SPF sunscreen for your trip. Lip balm with sun protection is a good idea too. If you're particularly sun sensitive, bring a light, long-sleeved shirt for added protection when you’re out on deck, or enjoying a sunny day on shore.

Of course, you’re going to want to enjoy being outside, and you can do so if you find yourself on Bolette or Borealis at The Poolside Café. Seating is available in the shade under the top deck so you can enjoy the ocean breeze on those warm days but away from direct sunlight. However, even in the shade, remember to apply sunscreen.

Accessorise the right way

Guest at dinner on formal evening

Accessories can give any outfit a great boost or a touch of glamour. For women, statement earrings or necklaces are a great option to elevate a simple dress. Men might consider a stylish watch or a hat. But remember, while on a summer cruise, less can often be more, so avoid over-accessorising. And always keep in mind the practical side. Hats and caps are not just stylish but help shield you from the sun.

Laundry and freshness

Overpacking isn’t ideal, but neither is running out of fresh clothes! Most cruises offer laundry services if you need them. But for a quick freshness boost, travel-sized fabric refreshers can work wonders in a pinch.

The right clothing for a great warm weather cruise

Guests in the Oceans bar, Borealis

When it comes to warm weather and summer cruises, the goal is to relax, unwind and enjoy every moment. Whether you’re headed to the Caribbean, Canary Islands, Mediterranean, or another sunny spot, having the right clothing with you can make the experience just that little bit better. So think ahead and get ready for a memorable and relaxing cruise.

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