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How should I dress while at sea? All you need to know about cruise line attire

I made sure to pack my passport, motion sickness medication, a blazer, and a tie as I was getting ready to go on a cruise in October.

There will be certain formal occasions on the transatlantic cruise from the Netherlands to New York, the cruise line Holland America Line had informed me. But when I finally left my cabin, I realised I might not have required them after lint-rolling my jacket and making numerous attempts at a half-Windsor knot.

While many visitors were dressed to the nines in suits, gowns, and trousers, others were on sartorial holiday and wore clothing that ranged from casual to more dressy.

First-time cruisers might not be aware that there are dress codes on ships, from formal nights to occasions that require special clothes, but these restrictions have developed over time.

Valerie Dorsey, a franchise owner and travel consultant for Cruise Planners, claimed that things have become “much more and more casual as we’ve gone along, especially after the pandemic.”

Here are some packing and outfit suggestions for vacationers going on their next cruise.

Are there dress codes on cruise ships?

The onboard experience has become more laid-back, according to Dorsey, despite the fact that some travellers may identify cruising with formal nights, when lines encourage passengers to dress up for dinner in particular settings, originating from grand tradition.

About 2015, according to Dorsey, “smart casual” or “smart elegant” apparel started to replace real formal attire. She also started to hear more from clients about how other travellers weren’t dressing up as much, a development that has displeased some visitors.

Also, passengers have become more laid-back on typical nights.

In the wake of COVID-19, more travellers are working from home, which has exacerbated this change, according to Dorsey. Still, some lines take formal nights more seriously than others, and some passengers still choose to go full out.

She remarked, “I’ve seen individuals dress way up, which includes tuxedos, evening dresses, and exquisite apparel, down to “I’m just going to dinner at Red Lobster today.” “I believe it to be scattered,”

Also, the dress regulations are now less strictly enforced.

Continued below is the story.

“They used to say, ‘I’m sorry, you can’t enter the dining room,’ if you walked in a pair of shorts, but they don’t even stop people now,” Dorsey recalled. “So, it’s incredibly difficult to understand how you’re supposed to dress,”

There are areas of the ship that typically remain more casual, even on dressy or formal nights, if you prefer to forego dressing up altogether. According to Dorsey, passengers can always go to the buffet or other casual restaurants, albeit in shorter lines, more people might be uniformly dressed up.

Every cruise ship has a different dress code, however we’ve compiled the guidelines for the major lines here:

Dress code for Carnival Cruise Line

While the line allows casual attire during the day, smart casual attire is required after 5:30 p.m. in its public lounges and restaurants or as specified in the ship’s newsletter, according to publicist Matt Lupoli in an email.

The cruise line Men are required to wear long dress shorts, casual trousers or jeans (but not cut-offs), collared sport shirts, and casual shoes. Women can dress in casual dresses, blouses, skirts, trousers, dress shorts, and jeans, among other things.

Passengers are not permitted to enter the dining area wearing ordinary shorts, gym shorts, swimming suit clothes, beach flip-flops, or other comparable clothing in compliance with the dress code.

Men can wear dress pants and shirts while the Cruise Elegant Dress Code is in force, and the cruise line suggests a sport jacket.

Cocktail dresses, “beautiful skirts and blouses,” pantsuits, or even evening gowns are suggested for women in the collection. The dining area similarly forbids wearing T-shirts, jeans, shorts, gym shorts, and swimming suit clothing.

According to the Carnival website, the number of Cruise Elegant evenings depends on the length of the voyage. At the main dining rooms and the steakhouse, the Cruise Elegant dress code is in effect. During Cruise Elegant nights, those venues will not bar passengers wearing cruise casual, according to Lupoli.

Dress code for Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean categorises its advised dress into various groups. According to the hotel’s website, casual attire can include polo shirts, jeans, and sundresses, although the line requests that guests only wear swimsuits on the pool deck and shorts for breakfast and lunch.

According to the clothing line, smart casual includes collared shirts, dresses, skirts, and blouses and is “a step above from your typical dinner wear.” Jackets and blazers are also acceptable for passengers to wear.

Make it a night out in your best black-tie appearance, including suits and ties, tuxedos, cocktail dresses, or evening gowns, the clothing label advised on its website for formal clothes. On any given cruise, the line may host one to four formal nights.

Dress code for Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian stated on their website, “When it comes to what to wear, you can go resort casual or get decked out and look your best – it’s up to you.”

In the buffet and the majority of speciality restaurants, cruise casual attire, including jeans and shorts for men and jeans, casual dresses, and shorts for women, is acceptable throughout the day. As long as they are wearing a shirt or cover-up, as well as shoes, guests are permitted to wear swimsuits in the buffet and outdoor restaurant.

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