Going on a Caribbean cruise is fun and exciting, but knowing what to pack for your cruise can be stressful sometimes. While many cruises are 7 nights, others could be 2-3 nights. Depending on how long your cruise is, it is crucial you pack just enough clothes for your trip.
When you’re traveling, you want pieces that pack easy and transition from activity to activity easily. Here is a list of must have items on a cruise that every woman needs to have in her wardrobe. Every piece is versatile and can be worn on a cruise, vacation or even when you’re out and about during the summer months. Of course, each piece will help you to build a great foundation that allows you to establish a better vacation wardrobe from here.
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Floral maxi dresses
When you’re out in the Caribbean, you want to wear something free and flowy. Maxi is great for this. Maxis are comfortable and flattering, so age-appropriate and the best part is they come in different designs. This just means you can play around with the different designs based on your taste and choosing a colorful one is great for a cruise.
Opt for dresses that have a defined waist, figure-hugging silhouette, etc. This is going to allow you to play around with different maxi lengths without the dress completely swallowing you up!
Bright color sundresses
Dresses are generally easy to wear when you are on a trip, being that they’re just one piece (no matching required). Sundresses are cruise wear must. Since you are out on the sea in the Caribbean, this is your best chance to enjoy any bright colors you don’t get many opportunities to wear in your daily life.
When you think about an exciting trip like a cruise, it’s hard to resist a statement-making sundress. Something about the warm weather always has us drawn to bold colors and prints. Sundresses are an opportunity to have a lot of fun with colors, patterns and prints.
The trend of neutral colors have been going on for a long time. While it is true neutrals are easy, bright colors can actually lighten up our mood. If you are a colored person, wearing a bright sun dress can bring you an even better mood on your cruise!
In the meantime, you will want to make sure the sundresses you are choosing are versatile. There’s nothing worse than having a gorgeous cruise wear dress that can only be worn one way or on one occasion. Focus on colors that mix into your existing wardrobe seamlessly to maximize versatility.
A little white dress
A little white dress is ever so versatile and is definitely a piece you should carry with you on your next Caribbean cruise. These dresses can be dressed up for a date or just worn on a day when the sun’s too hot and you just want to feel pretty while enjoying the cruise.
It’s such an easy way to look cute and since it’s white, you can accessorize with several different pieces you have with you on the cruise such as earrings of different colors, straw hats, to name a few.
Cotton cami dresses
Cami dresses are so feminine considering they let you show off your shoulders and collarbones in such a nice way. Cami dresses are particularly great in warm or hot weather. They’re perfect for a cruise and you can pick them in different lengths. Lace cami dresses look dressier but you can always pick them in other light fabrics.
With these dresses, you don’t have to worry too much about the styling since they are very minimalist at the top, and as long as you get the right fit and pick your favorite design, you’re good to go.
Wide leg jumpsuits
The thing about cruise wear is you want pieces that are really easy. Jumpsuit is another type of one-piece garment that can make your packing so much easier. When you are on the Caribbean cruise, you definitely want to make sure your jumpsuit is comfortable enough for you to move around in it. In the meantime, you want to make sure the jumpsuit is well-fitted.
I want to clarify that being well-fitted does not mean being tight. In fact, the best jumpsuits for cruising are probably the wide-leg ones, which make sure you are comfortable and not too hot during your trip. Those made with linen, cotton, or other lightweight fabrics are perfect for you to wear on the cruise because they are breathable and flowy.
In terms of color, you can never go wrong with a pastel or neutral hue. If you want to up your style one step further, then opt for tropical prints, which will fit the theme of your cruise like no other!
If you don’t want to wear a dress every single day on the ship, rompers are a great alternative. One of the things I love about rompers is they really give you the same ease of a dress being just one solid piece. Plus, rompers can easily be transitioned from day to night. Hence why you will definitely want to add a romper into your vacation wardrobe.
Rompers come in all different shapes, styles, etc. but the most flattering are those with a defined waistline. If there is no definition in the waist it’s going to be shapeless and, in turn, won’t be very figure-flattering on your shape. Plus, when there is a defined waistline on a romper it makes the look feel much more put together.
Linen palazzo pants
Palazzo pants are also very comfortable especially if you’re going to be out in the heat thanks to the super wide legs. As such, consider packing a pair or a few for your next Caribbean cruise. While you can get them in solid colors, bright ones, and printed palazzo pants are more fun for such a cruise.
Flowy maxi skirts
Another great way to look all dressed up during your Caribbean cruise is by wearing a maxi skirt. They are just as flowy as maxi dresses, except they give you the option of picking a different top in your most preferred style. You can pick warmer colors for your top and the skirt while on the cruise if you prefer a punchier outfit.
As is expected, it’s bound to get very hot when you’re out on a Carribean cruise, which is why a flowy piece such as a kimono works great if you’re looking for a cover-up. Whether you want to wear a pair of flowy pants, a swimsuit, a dress, skirt outfit, you name it, a kimono will work great for the look you pick.
You can wear a pair of shorts with a tank and then add a brown printed kimono to the look. She also went for a pair of sandals to complete the outfit. You will feel more confident in a kimono as it gives you just the right amount of coverage without making you feel too hot.
When you’re out on a Caribbean cruise, you are likely to have those date night moments or just a nice lunch date that will need you to dress up.
A kaftan or a kaftan dress is one of the best pieces for this. They are light, very flattering, and classy, but most of all you can get them in different fun prints for the cruise.
Sandals are a clear must-have for cruise wear. When you’re selecting sandals for your vacation wardrobe, it’s essential that you choose a neutral color to have as one of the foundation pieces.
Now, neutral sandals can mean a lot of things because there are a lot of different colors that are associated with being a neutral color. I believe every woman needs to have a neutral sandal that’s close to their natural skin color.
Why? When you have a sandal that matches your skin color it gives the illusion of a longer line on your legs, instead of your leg getting cut off by the shoe. Regardless of your height, the longer the lines the more flattering it is for us!
Everyone’s neutral sandal is going to be a different color. Some women are confused when they hear the word ‘nude’ in relation to a shoe color and often think it’s a very light beige tone. This just isn’t the case, and it’s the reason I stress focusing on finding a color that matches closely to YOUR skin tone.
When you are on a cruise, comfort is key.
You will be walking to explore local excursions and perhaps dance as well. So, you want to avoid heels that are too high.
You want to choose shoes that can add a couple of extra inches but can also sustain some walking without killing your feet.
Wedges, block heels, and padded sandals are great choices to bring to your cruise.
Spending time on a beach, outside, or on a cruise means you will be outside in the sun. Obviously you want to enjoy the beautiful weather while you can but it’s important to protect your face from the strong sunshine. That’s exactly why wide brim hats are another cruise wear essential. Well that and because they’re SO cute. One of my favorite style hacks is throwing a hat on. Even if you have a pretty simple outfit on, adding a hat to the mix instantly transforms the look and makes you look put together.
The reason you want a wide brim hat is to keep yourself a bit more covered from the sunshine. Now, just how wide brimmed the hat is up to you and your personal style preferences. However I find panama hats to be one of the more wearable type of wide brim hats. When you start to get into hats that are very large with extreme brims it gets harder to wear them on an everyday basis.
In terms of choosing the right color for hat to wear on a cruise, I suggest sticking to neutral colors – for obvious reasons.
Think tan, beige, black, or brown for your cruise wear hats.
The only thing I’ll say to consider when selecting a neutral color that is how often you will be in the sun.
Black can make you feel TOO hot, particularly when it’s on top of your head, when you’re spending a lot of time outdoors.
If you’re thinking about what you should wear on a cruise, I’m going to assume you will be spending a great deal of time outdoors, which is why you may want to skip an all-black hat. If you like black, think about choosing something like a Panama hat in a beige color with a black ribbon around it. This gives you the best of both worlds!
Even if it’s hot during the day, nighttime temperatures can drop no matter where you’re traveling to. That’s why you won’t want to leave home without making sure you have a pashmina (or something similar) in your cruise wear line-up.
Pashminas are ideal to wear on a cruise because they’re so easy to pack, they barely take up any space, and they’re fuss-free when you need a little added warmth. Those nights that get a bit chilly and you just need a little something…enter: pashmina.
When you’re shopping for a pashmina, make sure it’s not made of a fabric that’s really heavy. What you should wear on the cruise is light in colors and fabrics because it’s for warm weather locations. It’s not likely you’re going to need a wool pashmina.
Instead, stick to something that’s flowy and soft instead. I also recommend choosing a pashmina that’s not too oversized so that it isn’t too much when you’re a petite. Chances are you will want to try on a few different pashminas to find the right fit, but keep the general petite style tips in mind when selecting the one for you.
Beach Tote Bag
A beach tote bag is going to be a necessity for your upcoming Caribbean cruise. Tote bags are great for cruise wear needs because of their size and ease. You don’t want a bag that feels fussy or is hard to get into. Plus, when you’re in vacation mode, you’ll likely be carrying more than you do in your typical daily life. Totes have an adequate room without a ton of fuss.
Opt for a neutral color for your beach tote bag. Similar to selecting a hat to wear to the cruise, you want your tote bag to go with everything you wear so you don’t feel like you need to have 10 different bags for each outfit. Light toned neutrals are a great option for beach tote bags.
Another thing to take into consideration when choosing a beach tote bag is the fabric it’s made of. The reason most beach-specific tote bags are less fussy is because of the lightweight fabric they are made of. Keep that in mind when choosing yours! You don’t want to feel weighed down by your back when you’re enjoying a vacation.
Cruise wear can’t be completed without at least one swimsuit on the list.
As much as so many women dread the thought of shopping for swimsuits, it’s a necessity to round out your summer wardrobe.
Personally, I like to have at least a couple go-to swimsuits that I always feel comfortable wearing.
It’s important to feel as comfortable as possible in your swimsuits – I know it’s hard but it allows you to enjoy the moment so much more when you are!
To find the best swimsuit(s) for your body shape, I suggest trying on a bunch of different styles, colors and fits. There’s a little trial and error to finding the suits you feel the most comfortable in but once you find it, it makes wearing a swimsuit so much more enjoyable.
Now that you know the foundation pieces you need for your vaccation wear, happy cruising!