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What to Wear on a Cruise: How to Pack for Comfort & Style

Packing for any trip can be tricky, but what to wear on a cruise presents a unique challenge. You'll go from pool to land excursions to formal dinners and more. With all the different activities a cruise vacation has to offer, you'll need to pack more than you think. We've surveyed our favorite fashion bloggers' wardrobes for cruise-ready outfits to get you started!

One-Piece Swimsuit

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It goes without saying you'll need a couple of swimsuits for your cruise! Most cruises have "at sea" days—days with no stops—which means a day at the pool for you. A feminine one-piece swimsuit like this one on Lindsey of Saucy Glossie is perfect to lounge in all day long. Just slip on a pair of shorts or wrap skirt to go to lunch.

Photo: Saucy Glossie

Romper Coverup

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Along with an array of swimsuits, you'll need a few good coverups to wear on a cruise. Rachel of Pink Peonies wore this romper as a coverup on vacation. The one-piece is easy to slip on over any swimsuit and can also be worn alone with sandals for a day on shore! Accessorize your coverups with a floppy hat for extra sun protection.

Photo: Pink Peonies

Crocheted Coverup

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What to wear on a cruise depends on the occasion as much as the itinerary. If it's a honeymoon or an anniversary trip, we love the idea of this sexy crocheted coverup. Take a styling tip from Jessica of Tuula Vintage, and rock it over a simple black bikini.

Photo: Tuula Vintage

Casual Dress

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For days of exploring and touring, what to wear on a cruise should be casual and comfortable. Try a flowy sundress like this one on Samantha of Could I Have That. Pair it with sandals for an effortless look. Stow essentials in a lightweight tote roomy enough for any souvenirs you pick up along the way.

Photo: Could I Have That

Open-Knit Sweater

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Another easy answer to what to wear on a cruise is a pair of cute shorts that you can wear with a mix of tops. One of those tops should undoubtedly be an open-knit sweater like Julia's of Gal Meets Glam. It can be slipped over a tank or swimsuit and is the perfect extra layer for chilly evenings.

Photo: Gal Meets Glam


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Choose different swimsuit styles like a one-piece and a bikini. This scalloped bikini on Nicole of Gary Pepper Girl just moved to the top of our shopping list. The retro high-cut bikini bottoms are super-flattering, too!

Photo: Gary Pepper Girl

Striped Tees

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With closets full of stripes we might be biased, but we think a striped tee works for nearly any occasion, including cruisewear. Wear it with denim shorts, as Julie of Sincerely Jules did for touring activities. Then dress it up with a pleated or full skirt for dinners.

Photo: Sincerely Jules

T-Shirt Dress

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By now you'll have noticed a theme in our advice for what to wear on a cruise: versatility. It's the key to avoid overpacking. While evenings on a cruise tend to be more formal, the attire for daytime activities, whether on board or off, is comfort. We're not ones to sacrifice style for comfort, and neither is Arielle of Something Navy. To get her chic relaxed look, slip on a T-shirt dress with a Panama hat and sandals. This combo is great for off the ship, too.

Photo: Something Navy


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If you don't have one of these one-piece wonders in your wardrobe yet, a cruise is definitely the right time to invest in one! A jumpsuit like this one on Courtney of What Courtney Wore is your best option because it can be dressed up or down. Look for a jumpsuit in a pattern or a solid color that will match the accessories you plan to bring, like pumps for dinner or a cross-body bag for daytime.

Photo: What Courtney Wore

Wrap Dress

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Don't pack your bags for a cruise without a classic wrap dress. An effortless piece for island touring or dining room dinners, a wrap dress can also work double duty as a coverup. This outfit on Aimee of Song of Style is ideal. Accessorize with strappy sandals and fun jewelry you find on the trip.

Photo: Song of Style

Wide-Leg Pants

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Switch up what to wear on a cruise from typical sundresses to a dramatic pair of wide-leg pants. We love these on Zina of FashionVibe. A light-colored pair, like cream or pastel, looks great in the hot sun. Wear them with a silky top or that open-knit sweater in the evening.

Photo: FashionVibe

Cocktail Dress

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You should have at least one formal dress for the fancier dinners (the itinerary will clue you in if you'll need more than that). Krystal of This Time Tomorrow pulled out all the stops with this fitted dress. Be sure to pack accessories like a statement necklace, clutch, and heels!

Photo: This Time Tomorrow

Maxi Dress

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You'll a few want options to wear for evenings. A feminine maxi dress steps up your look while maintaining the effortless appeal of cruisewear. Add a few boho pendant necklaces, as Olivia Palermo did here!

Photo: Olivia Palermo

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