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Video: What to Wear on Your Cruise

Summary: The overview of cruise fashion includes information about what clothing to pack and what to wear on various functions on different cruise lines.

Video Run Time: 3:04

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Video Transcript:

Packing light for any vacation has always been a challenge. And considering most cruise lines now offer a mix of formal, informal and casual evenings at sea, it has become that much harder to pack light for a cruise.

What exactly does resort casual mean? How formal is formal dress? Do you really have to bring an evening gown, cocktail dress or tuxedo on a cruise? Is there any place on board where you can dine wearing sun dresses and sandals, shorts, t-shirts and bathing suits?

Here are some answers.

For women, formal attire means evening gowns, cocktail dresses and dressy resort wear-at a minimum, think a sparkly top and black pants. Formal attire for men refers to a tuxedo; a suit and tie; or sport coat, tie and slacks.

Business Casual, Resort Casual or Country Club Casual all mean similar things: slacks and shirts for men. Polo shirts are OK on most lines, though some like to see button-down shirt. For ladies, skirts/dresses, slacks and sweaters.

Casual basically means that pretty much anything goes.

It's a good idea for women to plan to mix and match separates to create different outfits to avoid over-packing. A simple black dress can also be dressed up with a jacket, jewelry and accessories. The little black sandals with a casual skirt and a white blouse easily transform into cocktail attire with jewels on the sandals and a fancy blouse or top and more jewelry, so do bring your sparkly jewelry.

Proper dining attire varies from ship-to-ship, depending on the itinerary and length of the voyage. Typical one-week cruises usually have 1 or 2 formal nights. All major cruise ships issue a daily bulletin to update their guests on what to wear during the evening hours.

Most cruise lines offer various dining options so you never have to dress up if you do not want to. Fabulous food is offered on deck, and little cafés and restaurants throughout the ship. Plus you can always get room service--24/7 on most lines.

Some guests will wear tuxedos and evening gowns on formal nights, though most guests wear suits and cocktail attire. Others will do the minimum required-slacks, a sport coat and a dress shirt. Guys, you might not want to hear this but your gal would love to see you in a tux whether she tells you or not. Note that you can rent a tux right on board.

Most areas of the ship you can wear pretty much anything you want. But do remember that flip flops, tee-shirts, jeans or tattered clothing are still not allowed in the dining room on any of the lines.

Dress requirements for children in the dining room are generally the same as for adults, but you do have more leeway here-especially with the little ones.

As with any vacation planning, cruise travelers should check with their travel agent or the cruise lines web site to determine the specific dining attire requirements for the ships they are traveling on.

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