How to dress sharp onboard: Packing for a cruise

How to dress sharp onboard: Packing for a cruise

MIAMI — A cruise vacation is all about relaxation but trying to figure out what to pack can be a source of major stress for passengers. Between daily activities, shore excursions, themed nights and of course a few extra ‘just-in-case’ outfits, suitcases soon tip the scales.

Cruise lines such as Princess Cruises, Holland America Line and Carnival Cruise Line all offer plenty of packing advice on their websites and in printed materials. First-time cruisers can also get inspiration from friends, Pintrest and Instagram.

For passengers who like to dress up, cruise lines such as Princess Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Seabourn and P&O Cruises UK provide lots opportunities on formal nights. Passengers should always feel comfortable, no matter what they wear, said Fern Mallis, founder of New York Fashion Week.

“Something sparkly is always a good bet,” says Mallis. “I recommend for travellers to stay focused, stick with one colour and maybe accent with a shawl or some bold jewelry.”

On Princess Cruises ships passengers can check out fashions from The Shops of Princess, as modelled by the guests, during The Runway fashion show held in the atrium. All passengers can sign up to be a model. The fashion show is part of the line’s Style at Sea program, offering fashion and beauty tips in partnership with TLC.

When it comes to accessories, more is better, says Mallis. “Most people don’t leave the house without lipstick on. I don’t leave the house without accessorizing.”

Here are a few more packing tips for cruise clients:

  • Consider the destination. Weather is key.
  • Always have a sweater or shawl. Even in the tropics, air conditioning and nightly breezes can be chilly.
  • For every voyage, always remember the Triple S: Sunglasses, Sun hat and Sunscreen.
  • Along with a fancy pair for gala events, bring comfortable shoes or sneakers to wear on shore excursions.
  • If you’re flying, be aware of weight restrictions, go with lightweight fabrics to get more items in those suitcases.
  • Check the cruise line’s website pre-sail for what-to-wear recommendations, including mention of any themed nights.
  • Once onboard, take note of suggested nighttime attire for gala events and certain restaurants from the daily newsletter.
  • Save space in luggage by skipping items such as pool and beach towels, which are provided shipboard.
  • Check the cruise line’s list of prohibited items, and leave them at home!
  • Keep essentials including passports, medicine, glasses and cruise documents close at hand in carry-on.
  • To keep clothing items fresh and wrinkle-free, pack with tissue paper or plastic dry-cleaning bags. Rolling clothes such as t-shirts and underwear helps save space.
  • Cruise ships provide onboard dry cleaning, pressing and laundry service and many also have self-serve facilities with washers, dryers and irons, making it easy to perk up clothes.
  • Plan a family or friend photo ahead of time. Bring matching outfits or dress up and have the onboard photographer snap a memory.
  • Buy local jewellery and accessories from the ports, a memorable way to add colour and something unique to every outfit.

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