Picking out what to wear on a cruise is almost as fun as planning the actual trip. Am I right?! is I have a fantastic trip planned this summer and my kids are absolutely excited about our adventure. We have two cruise formal nights slated and you know I’m already shopping!
Cruise formal wear has a very specific vibe to it and if I’m being honest with you, it really depends on how far you want to take it. I’ve taken about 8 cruises so far and have seen it all. On a Cruise Formal Night, there are prom dresses and pantsuits and then there is everything in between.
As long as you feel comfortable in your outfit, you will do just fine. But just in case you needed a little guidance, I wanted to write up a cruise formal wear post to help set you on the right track.
Cruise Formal Wear – What To Wear On A Cruise Formal Night
Before we go any further, yes it matters on the cruise line. But not in the way you think. I’ve traveled with Disney, Princess, Carnival, Norwegian, and Royal Carribean. So, I have a good number of different brands under my belt. The price of your ticket does not matter. The cheaper ticket doesn’t mean LESS FLARE.
In fact, I would almost argue that it gets glitzier the lower you go. On Carnival, I felt like I was severely underdressed. People were in full-blown ballgowns. This is not a lie. But you know what? I wasn’t and there were plenty of people in my boat – literally. So, let’s just get this out of the way. Do You.
If you want to make formal night an over the top experience. I am here for you. If you want to bring out your favorite little black dress, that will work too. If you want to skip the main dining hall and head to the upper deck and wear your bikini and a beach wrap, girl – do it! Stop stressing about cruise formal wear because it is not that serious. Let’s do some shopping together and let me show you what I am talking about. I will walk you through a few different vibes.
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There’s one important thing to remember when planning what to wear on a cruise. Cruise formal wear is about showcasing your best outfit from the vacation. But there are a few things you have to consider. Do you want to pack it? And will it get wrinkled while you transfer it? I usually travel with a portable steamer (yes, I do). So, the second part isn’t an issue for me. But if you get stressed out about wrinkles and fabrics, then what to wear on a cruise formal night will really depend on FABRIC TYPE. SO, is chiffon really the best choice? I’m not so sure.
There is no LAW that says that you have to wear a long dress during fancy night on a cruise. You can wear a short dress if that is something you prefer. I tried my hardest to show you a variety of options in this post. Formal wear for cruise dinners vary depending on the body type of the traveler. It’s really about what LOOKS best on you.
I really do love the off the shoulder look, but don’t forget your strapless bra if you do decide to go with this dress. You don’t want to ruin your cruise formal wear pictures with saggy boobs. Yeah, I said it.
I have this dress and I literally wear it all the time. This dress works with almost every occasion. There will be men in black ties, in suits, and in khaki pants. So, don’t worry about being over or underdressed. Make sure you match up with your cabinmates. That’s all you have to worry about.
The next thing you have to worry about is whether or not you will continue to get use out of the dress that you purchase. If it’s this one I can tell you that you absolutely WILL. Cruise formal wear or NOT – this dress is multifunctional.
This style isn’t for me. I’m not going to lie, but I’ve seen plenty of women – thousands of women – walk into the dining room giving it their all in outfits like this. So, I wanted to showcase every option and every style. After all, how many times in your life will you get to participate in a night like this? Whether it’s Disney Cruise line formal wear, Carnival Cruise formal wear or anything in between – HAVE FUN.
This dress is a little bit more up my alley. I could see myself wearing this to a function once docking off the boat. It’s special. It’s different. You will definitely stand out in the crowd. You don’t need any necklace because of the neckline of the dress. What do you think of this one?
I had to add this long-sleeved dress because a lot of cruisers are a bit older and tend to get cold indoors. This is a VERY POPULAR LOOK on fancy schmancy night. You will see this look a billion times. Trust me.
If you are wondering what the 60/70s folks are wearing when it comes to cruise formal wear – if they decide to take it over the top – this is it. Men in black ties and women in sequin black gowns. Elegant and simple.
Here is a great plus size option that I found. I love the cut of the dress and the flow of the base. The cutouts on the shoulder make it a bit sexy and again – no need for a necklace. That is always a win for me.
Like I mentioned in my intro, there are no RULES when it comes to cruise formal wear. You don’t have to wear a fancy dress. I’ve seen plenty of women rock it out in a smoking hot jumpsuit. Just make sure you wear red heels or something fabulous to really stand out.
I really adore this last dress because it reminds me of a vacation, is really beautiful and understated and I know that I could wear it again in a nanosecond.
A Few More Options For Cruise Formal Wear
Personally, if you wanted a more feminine look that wasn’t completely over the top formal, this is a great dress. Keeping with the same simplicity, I think this dress falls within that same vein. I do NOT have the body for this dress, but it’s plain, simple, and to the point. Looking for a little glitter and glam? Here you go. Lastly, if you have all the money in the world, go big or go home.
Well, what do you think of my Cruise Formal Wear Options? Did I help you figure out what to wear on a cruise formal night? I hope so! Use this post as a jump off point and then go from there. You are overthinking it. I promise! It’s just another day in your vacation. Enjoy every second and take lots of pictures.