Cruise Wear for Women

Updated April 17, 2017

Cruise wear for women is a streamlined, more classic version of spring attire. A cruise can have a variety of weather conditions based on the time of day and ocean conditions. Women should bring casual clothing, dresses, swimwear and cover-ups on a cruise ship. Clothing that women can mix and match will suit most on-board activities as well as allow a woman to be prepared for the weather of the day.

Types of Attire

The key pieces that a woman should bring on a cruise ship are also garments that are important in a spring wardrobe. Women should bring cotton twill trousers in several colours, jeans, multiple pairs of cotton twill shorts, a variety of T-shirts with long sleeves, three-quarter sleeves and short sleeves as well as tank tops.

Dresses are great to have on a cruise ship since the ship will have special events during the evening hours. Women should bring one cocktail dress, one semi-formal dress and two sundresses.

Benefits of Accessories

Cruise ships offer a variety of activities that call for different types of attire. The easiest way to dress up or dress down an outfit is through accessories. Women should bring casual shoes such as flip-flops, sandals and athletic shoes for daytime activities. The evening activities will call for a more formal look. Women can dress up an outfit for a semi-formal or formal event with high heels.

Jewellery should be casual during the day. Wear a small pair of earrings, one bracelet and a wristwatch every day. Women should bring one set of formal jewellery for evening events such as large gemstone earrings and a cocktail ring.

Importance of Swimwear

Swimwear is important to have on a cruise since many cruise ships have swimming pools and hot tubs on-board. A cruise might also make a stop in a city or town that offers a place to swim in the ocean. This makes swimwear an essential part of cruise wear. Women should consider packing three or four swimsuits since there may be multiple opportunities for wearing swimwear.

Features of the Cover-Up

Cruise ships are susceptible to the weather regardless of the season. Women can bring a cardigan sweater in a neutral colour for cool evenings. A wrap, such as a pashmina, will also come in handy on a cruise. The pashmina can double as a cover-up for an evening dress or work well for evenings spent lounging on the cruise ship deck by the pool. Use a cover-up during the day, tied around a woman's waist as a sarong. This is convenient for walking around the cruise when dressed for the pool.


Cruises take place on the ocean or in large bodies of water where guests are subject to the elements such as strong wind and sunshine. The sun reflects off the water, which can make the ultraviolet rays stronger. Ultraviolet rays cause sunburns and skin discolourations. Cruise guests can avoid skin damage by wearing sunblock and a large-brimmed hat. A large-brimmed hat is also a nice complement to a woman's cruise attire.

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About the Author

Cathy O'Brien is a San Francisco/Bay Area native. She has 15 years of experience writing corporate training materials. Her corporate background is in human resources, sales, management and high-tech start-ups. O'Brien has published business and fashion articles on eHow and Answerbag. She earned her Master of Business Administration from Dominican University and her Bachelor of Arts in English/writing from the University of San Francisco.