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21st September, 2023

What to wear on a cruise

A couple standing on the Promenade deck on Spirit of Adventure wearing summer clothes

Hopping on a cruise adventure is a fantastic way to see an array of incredible destinations on one trip. One moment you’re getting picked up from your front door by our chauffeur service, and the next you’re sipping a drink on the deck enroute to a new, exciting port. But, before you get that far, there’s one thing you will need to consider: what to wear on a cruise?

Working out what to pack for your big trip can seem a little daunting. There are the various locations, the cruise ship dress code and of course the weather to consider.

To help ease the process of packing, we’ve put together a helpful guide of what to wear on a cruise including tips on just what to pack. So, no matter where you’re heading off to, whether it’s the Caribbean, Croatia or Copenhagen – you’ll be pack and ready to take on every element of your exciting cruise experience.

What luggage to take on your cruise

A couple unpacking their suitcase in a cabin on Spirit of Adventure

In general, cruise passengers are allowed up to 20kg suitcases per person, plus one item of hand luggage. One of the many fantastic elements of taking a no-fly ocean cruise is that you don’t have to worry about weight restrictions on luggage.

Saga cruise passengers benefit from an unlimited luggage allowance as standard, which means you are free to pack as many outfit changes as you like! You also don’t need to worry about carrying your own bags as porterage from the port to your cabin is also included.

Something to be mindful of however, is the size of your cases as they need to be able to fit in your chauffeured car. When packing your luggage, it’s also requested that no single piece of luggage is over 25kg, just so our crew are able to carry it safely to your cabin for you.

When it comes to luggage types, a hard suitcase is a good option as they are durable and usually easier to organise you’re clothing inside. The downside of hard suitcases is that they are often heavier whereas soft suitcases will be lighter.

One last thing to take into consideration is the weight allowance of the airline carrier if you are opting to fly to the cruise port from your home address.

Carry-on baggage

It pays to be clever about your carry-on baggage. After you’ve arrived at the port, your luggage will be checked in much like they would be if you were going to catch a plane. Your bags will then go on to be checked by security which means they may not arrive in your cabin for a couple of hours. It’s a good idea to pack a few useful items in your carry-on bag. Think about items that you might like access to straight away, this could be your book, phone charger, swimwear, sun cream and any medications.

What to wear on a Caribbean cruise

With its famously sun-drenched beaches, laidback lifestyle and crystal-clear seas, figuring out what wear on a Caribbean cruise shouldn’t be too difficult. The likelihood is that you’re going to be packing for warm weather so loose, flowing clothing that feels comfortable in the heat is a good idea. Opt for footwear that is also comfortable but breathable such as sandals so you can enjoy excursions on the various Caribbean islands.

Clothing made from natural materials such a cotton shirts and blouses are a good idea for the heat. You may also want to pack some lightweight beach cover-ups that can easily be thrown over swimwear. And don’t forget to protect from the sunshine with sunglasses, hats and sun cream.

What to wear on a Norwegian fjord cruise

When it comes to what to wear on a cruise to Norway, you’ll need to think about packing for all weathers. The weather in Norway can be changeable and you can experience all four seasons in one day. The best advice: wear layers. That means packing plenty of jumpers, tops and even a hat and scarf as it can get quite chilly at times. Keeping warm and dry is important by you will also want to bring along swimwear, a sun hat and sunglasses. Remember the golden rule of dressing in layers and you should be fine.

What to wear on a cruise in June

Cruising in June brings with it the added benefit of long summer evenings, plenty of sunshine and the chance to wear your summer wardrobe. Despite June being the start of summer, you will probably still want to pack a few items of clothing to cover up on cooler days. A few light jumpers and some trousers will be a good idea. And, as always, don’t forget that sun protection!

What to wear on a cruise in October

October is considered a shoulder season in travel terms, that means that the weather is likely to be changeable. Depending where in the world you’re cruising, temperatures can still be warm in October so you will need to pack some breezy summer clothes. Packing layers is a good idea, making sure you’re warm and dry on days when the temperature might be on the cooler side.

What to wear on a cruise in November

Taking a cruise in Europe in November will often mean having to consider the colder winter weather. Knowing what to wear on a cruise that departs from colder climes on its way to warm coastlines is a little tricky. Consider packing a selection of long-sleeved tops, shirts and jumpers for your cruise, as well as shorts, summer dresses and t-shirts for when you arrive at warmer locales. If the cruise is sticking to the coastlines of colder climates such as Iceland then you will need a lot of layers, scarfs, warm hat and wet weather clothing to keep dry!

Cruise packing checklist

  • A selection of underwear and socks
  • Swimwear – so you can take a refreshing dip in the pool and hot tubs on deck and for enjoying the onboard spa
  • Sun hat – Protecting your head and shoulders from the sun is important
  • Sunglasses – The sun can seem a lot stronger when at sea
  • Raincoat or light jacket – A lightweight cover up that’s easy to roll up in a day bag for exploring ashore in both colder climates and tropical destinations
  • T-shirts and tops – A selection of tops that you can change throughout your holiday
  • Warm layers – Pack a pashmina, sweater or caridgans as it can get a little chilly on deck in the evening
  • Trousers – Trousers are worn as part of Saga’s dress code in the dining rooms
  • Shorts – A few pairs of smart-casual shorts to wear on deck or on shore excursions
  • Dresses/skirts – pack a selection of both to suit days out sightseeing and smarter outfits for the evening meals onboard
  • Smart evening wear – Pack some smart shirts, some jackets and ties for smarter occasions or if you want to dress up for dinner
  • Shoes – Bring along a few different shoe options. One pair that are comfortable and with good grip for when you’re on deck or out exploring, a smart pair for evening meals and a pair of comfortable sandals for beach days and city exploring

What to wear for dinner on board

A group of guests dressed in formal attire, enjoying dinner in the Amalfi restaurant on Spirit of Adventure

Enjoying the all-inclusive dining options in the choice of our onboard restaurants is one of the most enjoyable parts of taking a cruise. But, working out wear to wear on a cruise formal night can seem a little daunting. There’s no need to worry, the cruise ship dress code is not as formal as it once was. The Saga cruises dress code is causal during the day, and for evening, smart casual is the main style. That means swapping out flip-flops, t-shirts and shorts for smarter shirts and trousers.

Passengers dressed in formal attire in the Atrium on Spirit of Adventure

That being said, there are fun chances to get dress-up in your finery if you wish. For more formal evening attire, you may want to bring a choice of glamorous evening dresses and dapper suits – the perfect complement for a magical evening at sea.

Browse our cruises today to find out more about cruising with Saga.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.