Packing Souvenirs from your Cruise Travels
Packing Souvenirs from your Cruise Travels

6 Caribbean Vacation Wardrobe Packing Tips

Craft A Stylish Cruise Outfit For Everyday Of Your Caribbean Travels.

By Amanda Mesa | Published on July 4, 2022

A practical, well-thought-out packing list is a key part of any vacation, no matter where in the world your wanderlust takes you. If you're planning a cruise getaway to the tropics, you can expect warm or hot sunny weather any time of year. This makes building a winning Caribbean vacation wardrobe pretty straightforward. Five-day Caribbean cruises simplify this process even further, as you only need to unpack once when you climb onboard the ship. However, beyond the standard beach getaway, you need to be prepared with a Caribbean cruise wardrobe fit for days wandering port cities and nights dining at the upscale onboard restaurant.

Follow these expert tips for how to put together the perfect vacation attire.

1. Build Looks That Go From Brunch To Beach

For five-day cruises from Florida or island-hopping through the Caribbean, you're likely in for plenty of sunshine and high, tropical temperatures during your getaway. Plus, most of the best activities and excursions take place outdoors. Think: snorkeling, catamaran tours, long hikes through the jungle and even quests for secluded cenotes. To avoid feeling too hot throughout your trip, focus your packing list on lightweight, breathable fabrics — linen and cotton are great options for Caribbean outfits for ladies and men alike.

Dial up the boho-glam factor with an airy maxi dress, or go for the perfect blend of comfort and style with loose fitting duds like linen pants and a casual top. You can also add a dash of preppy posh by pairing a smart polo shirt with Bermuda shorts. Any of these outfits can take you from brunch onboard to beach clubs onshore and back to the ship for a romantic sunset dinner and drinks.

2. Stick To Light Colors And Fun Patterns

Here's something to keep in mind: When selecting day-to-night pieces for your Caribbean cruise, it's a good idea to stick to lighter colors. They reflect sunlight and absorb less heat than darker fabrics. Consider opting for bright whites and pastels. Not only will these paler shades keep you feeling cool under the warm, Caribbean sun, but they'll also pair beautifully with the candy-colored colonial buildings that characterize most Caribbean port towns, such as Basseterre, Nassau, Bridgetown and Georgetown. Perfectly coordinated vacation photos? Yes, please.

3. Make Swimwear A Style Staple

One of the biggest selling points of five-day Caribbean cruises is the easy access they offer to some of the world's most stunning shorelines. Make sure you pack a few swimsuits for dips in the surrounding crystal-clear waters in this must-visit region. You'll get plenty of use out of them at the pool onboard the cruise ship during sea days, too.

Because they're quick to dry, they serve as the perfect base layer. Pair them with casual tops or comfy bottoms while you're soaking up the sun or exploring each port, then dress them up with a billowy sundress or a short-sleeved linen button-down for some late-afternoon or early-evening cocktails onboard the ship.

4. Add A Few "Fancy" Outfits To The Mix

A Caribbean wardrobe is laid-back and casual by nature. After all — you're probably spending most of your time outdoors at the beach, by the pool or exploring easygoing island towns. That said, most cruise ships offer a variety of experiences, such as upscale dining, dance classes, and elegant bars that you may want to dress the part for. Pack a long-sleeved button-down shirt and some nice chino pants, a breezy dress and some pretty sandals or a flowy silk blouse and chic trousers. You can also use accessories like scarves, wraps and jewelry to add a touch of sophistication to a casual look; it's a simple way to go from daytime activities to after-sun fun without changing into an entirely different look.

Here's an expert cruiser tip: Most ships don't offer or allow clothing irons. Keep your threads looking freshly pressed by bringing some wrinkle-removing spray.

5. Master The Art Of Mixing And Matching

A simple way to pack less and still have a fresh outfit each day is to master the art of mixing and matching your clothes. Use a scarf as a cover-up on the beach and then drape it over your shoulders to add a pop of style to your outfit for your night out. That sleek, off-the-shoulder one-piece you plan on rocking to the pool can also be paired with some flowy white palazzo pants and wedges to create a modern, sophisticated ensemble for pre-dinner drinks. For men, a brightly colored polo shirt paired with Bermuda shorts gets an instant boost of elegance when you trade the shorts for crisp white chinos and classic loafers.

6. Pack The Right Footwear

One of the most important components of a great Caribbean vacation wardrobe is footwear. Shoes can make or break your trip — painful blisters, cuts and aching feet can ruin any getaway. Consider the shoes you'll wear as you board your cruise, and try to pack two other pairs you can't go without. While you're packing, think about the kinds of activities you want to participate in on your trip. If you're planning a hike through the jungle, bring some lightweight hiking boots (as well as any packable camping gear). If you're hoping to kick off every day with a session in the onboard gym, don't forget to pack your sneakers. Water-resistant shoes and flip-flops are essential, especially on five-day cruises from Florida where it's all about the beach. And if you're looking forward to fine dining or all-night dancing, step up your look with comfortable wedges that could work during the day, too.
Now that you have a better idea of how to build your Caribbean vacation wardrobe, it's time to start that fashion mood board. Keep in mind that any outfits for a Caribbean vacation should be versatile, comfortable and — above all — fun! Soon, you'll be set for the getaway of your dreams.


6 Caribbean Islands With Delicious French Cuisine


Family Weekend Getaway Survival Guide


My Life-Changing Island Hopping Cruise Adventure In The Western Caribbean


Previewing: Promo Dashboard Campaigns

My Personas