How to pack for a tropical cruise vacation

Cruising is, in my opinion, one of the best ways to travel. You get to see the world, or parts of it, in luxury and style. You visit islands and countries you ordinarily would not, and you get to wake up in a new location every day. What is not to love?

Cruises combine exploration with luxury and it is important that you pack for both, should you want to, when getting yourself ready for a cruise vacation. You will often spend your days exploring islands or relaxing by the pool or on the beach, and your evenings indulging in fine dining and enjoying a beverage or two.


Day time outfits:

You will want to pack for comfort and style when it comes to your days on board or exploring on the shore while on your cruise.

Pack lots of basic style camisole tops and loose t-shirts, they go with anything and will help to keep you cool in a tropical environment. T-shirts are comfortable, airy and will keep you covered up from the sun. Basic vest tops look great with denim shorts and Bermuda shorts, of which you will want a few of each for the daytime.

Top Tip: Take a variety of shoes for all activities. Comfortable sneakers are great for any shore exploring and will support your feet much better than flip flops, which you can save for your more relaxed days around the pool.


Evening’s on board:

Evenings on the ship can be as casual or as formal as you would like (and we will cover formal nights in just a moment), and you can dress up as much as you like. Linen trousers, a smart top or even a summer dress will have you evening ready on board your ship


Top Tip: Dinner in the main dining room is usually quite a formal affair any night of the cruise so be sure to take a number of dresses for women.


Formal night attire:

It is normal on a cruise ship vacation to have a couple of evenings on board where formal dress is required. You will want to check with you individual cruise line what ‘formal’ means and how many nights you will be required to wear formal dress, but on a one week cruise you can expect, on average, two formal nights. Ladies are expected to wear pant suitslong dresses or cocktail dresses.

Top Tip: Smart maxi dresses make excellent formal night attire, pack small and can be dressed up with a great pair of shoes and a clutch purse.



Whether you are relaxing by the pool on board the ship or on the shore with a cocktail the chances are you will need some sort of swimwear on your vacation. You can get into the nautical theme with a striped bikini, or you might be more comfortable and covered up in a polka dot swimsuit. The tropical sun is extremely hot so do not forget a good cover up.


Top Tip: It is not always easy to dry your swimwear overnight so be sure to take a couple of different bikinis.


Image by Skeeze is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 (source: Pixabay)