What to Wear on a Caribbean Cruise (bonus packing tips)

A little bit of a fun post for you. I am not a fashion expert, but I do enjoy fashion and putting in some effort to what I wear. 90% of the time I am home in loungewear, so being on a cruise without kids meant I could enjoy taking a little extra time to plan out my looks and it was so fun.

Here’s what I packed outfit-wise for our trip plus some bonus packing tips at the end of this post for anyone new to traveling or new to cruising!

Look #1: It was a bit chilly in Ft. Lauderdale at first for a complete summer-time outfit so that is why this light white sweater worked perfectly with these shorts. I wanted to add a little Old Hollywood glam with an animal print neck scarf. The shorts here are from Grace & Lace and I like them! On my feet are Vionic flip flops*. I have a history of plantar fasciitis and I lived in these flip flops most of the week and did not have any foot problems!
For 15% off your first Grace & Lace Order click here πŸ™‚

Look #2: You don’t have to go crazy spending money on new things just for a vacation. This floral maxi dress (WHICH HAS POCKETS) I scored at a thrift store for 6 bucks. The blue cardigan was something I found on Zulily a couple of years ago. I recommend having a maxi dress for a cruise vacation because you can wear it to dinner and also wear it all day long. When it was time for dinner I added a sparkly necklace and the ‘comfy/casual-ness’ of the dress was not noticeable.

Look #3: Daytime casual. Here are three examples of a daytime casual outfit. Swimsuits could be worn underneath if needed. I love having a large sun hat along in case I want to give my face a break from the intense rays. The far left image I am wearing my Grace & Lace shorts with a light polyester halter tie-back from Forever 21. In the middle picture I am wearing brown Style & Co. shorts (link is to a diff size and color)* I bought from Macys YEARS ago (which I still love) along with a white ruffle tank from Ann Taylor LOFT and a jean jacket from Forever 21 (found at a thrift store). The jean jacket was nice to have along for the rainy days and times when we spent time inside the ship. The picture on the right I am wearing a blousy tank from Target that totally gave me 1950s vibes and I am wearing high waisted shorts from ModCloth. I also scored a nice pair of white bermuda Jag Shorts on Amazon* for $11! Definitely worth looking for sales and sometimes it is the random sizes that are on sale. I’m also wearing my trusty Vionics and a pair of cute Chacos*.

Look 4: Swimwear. I brought 3 swimsuits with me. I did wear each of them once but I probably would have been fine just having 2. It’s nice having multiple in case one or two are wet and still drying or if you want to vary what kind of tan lines you’re going to get. In this picture I am wearing a thrifted bikini top and swim shorts from Amazon*. I LOVE these swim shorts. I am wearing a bikini bottom underneath them but the shorts I like because they are high waisted and give me the kind of booty coverage that makes me feel comfortable and confident. 2 pieces are nice too because it is easy to go to the bathroom!

Look 5: Swimwear part two. This is a one-piece swimsuit from Modcloth (and the shorts are Modcloth as well, but cannot find a link to that style). This swimsuit actually has straps for a halter but for some reason the fit on me was weird. I actually took the straps and tied them around my back and I felt more comfortable and it seemed more flattering that way. My other suit I packed was a black one-piece swim dress also found at a thrift store! The black one was my most modest choice and I don’t actually have a picture of it, but it had a 1950s Audrey Hepburn vibe to it. This red polka dot one is also super retro and I love it.

Look 6: Swimsuit coverups. I did have a black swim cover I wore often but this was my go-to outfit to put on top of my two-piece swimsuit. The high waisted ModCloth shorts are perfect over swim bottoms and on top I wore a loose-fit, flowy crop top from Forever 21.

Look 7: Dinner time attire. When going to the dining room on the ship or any of the specialty restaurants you must dress nice. I would stay away from shorts, jeans, and anything ultra casual. This adorable polyester dress from Express was a great option to have for dinner time. (Oh, thanks sis for this hand-me-down. Or is it a hand-me-up?)

Look 8: Formal night. Double check to make sure you know how many formal nights you will have on your cruise. For our last two cruises we screwed this up twice and I have no idea how. First we only planned for one formal night and there were two. Then, we planned for two formal nights and there was actually only one. Oops.
My husband rented a tux from the cruise line which saved him the hassle of packing a suit and he looked GREAT in that tux, so that was fun. Our friends pictured here brought a nice suit and a stunning black floor-length dress.
For formal night you really get an array of dressiness so I just like to make it as fancy as I want it to be. Some women will wear cocktail dresses or other knee-length dresses while other women (most probably) have a floor-length gown. We went with floor-length gowns, because it’s fun and when else do I get the chance to dress up like that?

And yes, my friend and I planned that we would both have gold sequin dresses and it was a blast. I tried for a 1920s vibe and my friend went with Old Hollywood glam. We felt awesome. My dress was purchased at Macys and my friends dress was actually a unique find on Walmart.com! Did you know Walmart carries formal dresses online? Because before this trip I did not know that. I also got the adorable feathered headpiece off amazon! For the second formal night (which wasn’t actually a formal night, but we dressed up with what we packed anyway) I wore a metallic and lavender gown I found on ThredUp.com.

My husband also did a little pre-cruise shopping and has found a new spark of joy with these athletic water shoes*. He wears them at home for working out and he loves the comfort, versatility, and breathability.

Ready for my bonus/free to you packing tips?

  1. On top of regular sunscreen I like to purchase a special ‘face only’ moisturizing sunscreen that can be used as a makeup primer. I just hate the feeling and smell of regular sunscreen on my face.
  2. Use travel sized bottles and bring Aloe (don’t skip this!), lotion, body wash, and whatever else you like to travel with.
  3. Bring appropriate footwear. I lived in my Vionic flip flops. I also was thankful I had good tennis shoes* and a few options for dress shoes.
  4. Roll your outfits together in small bundles (think Marie Kondo) and you’ll be able to fit more and keep things neat and less wrinkled.
  5. Bring a few extra trash/plastic shopping bags for your soiled laundry or wet things when returning home.
  6. A good hat, sunglasses, and a book or two are also a must.

 If you want to know about what other things we packed or brought, or if you would like anymore details please let me know in the comments!

*This post contains some affiliate links to Amazon. Meaning if you click and make a purchase I will make a commission on the sale. Everything in this post I bought with my own money and was not asked to advertise. I genuinely enjoy sharing what products and merchandise I love and use in real life.*

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Published by Jessica

Wife, mom, homeschooler, DIY-er, blogger

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