Do fashion laws on land apply to the sea? That depends whom you ask. According to cruisecritic.com, every cruise line has a different dress code, so it’s best to check their websites for detailed information. However, here are a few general guidelines to follow.
Day at Sea
If you’re out on the deck during the day, a bathing suit is more than acceptable. If you plan to move in and out of the lunch buffet and other areas on the ship, be sure to either have a cover-up or for a more conservative cruise line, an outfit you can put on over your bathing suit. Men should have khaki shorts and polos to throw on when heading indoors. Also consider athletic gear if you plan to take advantage of the gym.
Day on Shore
On the days when you port, let the activities you’ll be doing on shore determine your outfits. Generally you’ll want both a bathing suit and an outfit you can wear when getting off the boat and in case you go into town.
Cruises typically have certain dinners that are more formal than others. Women should be fine with a few dress options ranging from knit casual to satin formal. Men should pack khaki pants, a navy sport coat, ties and button downs. A cruise line will let you know if anything more formal is required.
As for shoes, you should be fine with a pair of casual flip-flops, nice flip-flops, dress shoes, and tennis shoes. Pack a nice jacket and comfy pullover for breezy nights on the deck.