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Cruise Clothing Myth Buster

By HannahFriday 03rd May 2013

Cruise clothing has changed over the years. Gone are the days when ball gowns and tails filled a ship’s dining room, bar and even deck. Today you can take a stroll on deck in comfortable jeans and a T-shirt, but still enjoy all the glamour of dining on the high seas in a dinner jacket or evening dress.
cruise clothing at the chefs table
All this can make picking your wardrobe a little daunting for the first time cruise passenger. But don’t worry, here at Royal Caribbean International we have created a handy guide to ensure you fill your suitcase with everything you need for an enjoyable and stylish cruise.
Modern cruise fashion is more casual than the past, with no need to balance on high heels or match your cuff-links to your tie when dining. We think comfort is an important part of travelling but we also know that getting dressed up every now and again makes us all feel a bit more special.
If all this cruise clothing chat is taking you back to your last Royal Caribbean holiday, we'd love to hear about what your favourite outfits were in the comments below. We asked guests on our Facebook page their thoughts on formal dining wear...
“I Just love dressing up and the evenings are so special.” - Avril Hill
“12 of us sailing on Enchantment in April- all the men will be suited in a tux and were all excited to dress up!” - Gina Lewis
“Love formal nights, and to think, on my first cruise, I said no way I am dressing up. Now when packing, my formal gear is first thing in suitcase” - Terry McHugh
All this can make picking your wardrobe a little daunting for the first time cruise passenger. But don't worry it’s all just a matter of choice and a little bit of forward planning. Let us explain…

How ‘formal’ is formal cruise clothing?

We don’t have strict rules on cruise clothing, so what you wear really is up to you. Even our optional ‘formal nights’ have flexible dress codes. Whether you want to wear a full tuxedo, ball gown or keep it simple with a buttoned-down shirt and tie or a dress, it’s all acceptable. We think it’s the perfect opportunity to do our hair up, slip on some heels and bring out that jeweled clutch handbag that has been at the back of the wardrobe for years.
Men - if you feel your suit won’t cut it, you can hire a tuxedo on board the ship. On a 7-night cruise there are normally two optional ‘formal dining’ nights, but also plenty of other casual restaurants to try to suit your taste.

What is smart casual dining wear?

This can include a blazer/jacket, trousers (including khaki), a tie or just a collared-shirt but you won’t see shorts, jeans or t-shirts for men in the main dining room during dinner. Smart casual looks for women include dresses and trouser suits. A great option is to wear a more casual dress and jazz it up with accessories.

What about casual dining wear?

So you’ve packed your cruise ship casual (long floaty skirts and nautical vests or comfy jeans and t-shirts) but what to wear for a casual dinner? We see women mainly opt for sundresses, casual skirts, blouses or trousers for casual dining, while men choose trousers (no shorts) and polo shirts. Think classic holiday evening wear.
Of course, not every evening meal needs to be such an event and casual dining options can fill that gap. We recommend plates of pizza, a feast of Mexican fare or some tasty seafood snacks fresh from the ocean for a laid-back family meal with no fuss.
For those of us wanting to kick back on holiday, try the Windjammer restaurant where all cruise clothing is accepted. As long as it’s not swimwear and you’ve got shoes on, then wear what you like as long as you’re decent!

Join the conversation...