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What To Wear On Cruise For Men


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Onida Geier



Embarking on a cruise vacation is an exciting experience filled with relaxation, adventure, and the opportunity to explore beautiful destinations. As you plan for your upcoming cruise, one important consideration is what to wear. Dressing appropriately for different occasions and activities onboard can enhance your overall cruise experience and ensure you feel comfortable and confident throughout your trip.


While specific dress codes may vary depending on the cruise line and destination, there are general guidelines that can help you navigate the world of cruise fashion for men. From formal nights to casual days by the pool, being prepared with the right attire will make you look stylish and sophisticated while fitting in seamlessly with the cruise atmosphere.


In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide on what to wear on a cruise for men, covering different occasions and activities. Whether you’re lounging on the deck, exploring port destinations, or enjoying a gourmet dinner, we’ll help you put together the perfect cruise wardrobe.


So, let’s dive in and discover the essential pieces and outfit ideas that will make you look and feel your best throughout your cruise vacation!


Formal Nights

One of the highlights of a cruise vacation is the opportunity to dress up for formal nights. These elegant evenings often feature fancy dinners, cocktail parties, and live performances, creating a glamorous and sophisticated atmosphere on the ship.


For formal nights, men are typically expected to wear black tie or formal attire. This means a tuxedo or a dark suit paired with a crisp white dress shirt and a black bow tie. You can choose to wear a cummerbund or a vest as well. Make sure your suit is well-fitted and tailored to give you a polished and dapper look.


Accessorize your formal attire with cufflinks, a pocket square, and elegant dress shoes. Opt for a classic style such as oxfords or loafers in black or dark brown. Polish your shoes before the formal night to keep them looking sharp.


Keep in mind that some cruise lines have specific guidelines regarding formal nights. They may require a strict dress code or offer formalwear rental options onboard. It’s always a good idea to check your cruise line’s website or consult with your travel agent to understand the specific requirements for formal nights.


Formal nights provide a wonderful opportunity to capture memorable photos and socialize with fellow passengers. Embrace the elegant atmosphere and embrace the chance to dress your best. You’ll surely impress your fellow cruisers and feel like a true gentleman during these special evenings at sea.


Casual Nights

While formal nights on a cruise are all about dressing to impress, casual nights offer a more relaxed and laid-back atmosphere. Casual nights are a time for comfort and leisure, allowing you to unwind and enjoy the onboard activities without the need for formal attire.


During casual nights, men have more flexibility in their clothing choices. You can opt for smart casual outfits that strike the perfect balance between comfort and style. Khaki or chino pants paired with a collared shirt or polo shirt is a popular choice. You can also go for well-fitted jeans with a stylish button-down shirt or a casual sweater.


When it comes to footwear, loafers, boat shoes, or stylish sneakers are great options for casual nights. Avoid wearing overly casual or worn-out shoes to maintain a polished appearance. You can accessorize your ensemble with a belt, a watch, and some subtle jewelry pieces to add a touch of personality.


It’s important to note that even on casual nights, there are still some restrictions regarding appropriate attire. Most cruise lines prohibit tank tops, swimwear, shorts, and flip-flops in the main dining rooms and specialty restaurants. However, they are typically allowed in the buffet and casual dining areas.


While the atmosphere is more relaxed, it’s always a good idea to dress neatly and presentably. You never know when you may want to explore the different onboard venues or stumble upon impromptu photo opportunities. So, make sure to pack a variety of smart casual outfits to enjoy the casual nights in comfort and style.


Pool and Deck Wear

When it’s time to soak up the sun and enjoy the pool and outdoor spaces on the cruise ship, you’ll want to dress appropriately for the occasion. Pool and deck wear should be comfortable, practical, and stylish, allowing you to relax and have fun while maintaining a respectful appearance.


For men, swimwear is a must-have for the pool and deck areas. Opt for swim shorts or trunks that fit well and flatter your body shape. Choose a style and color that suits your personal taste, whether it’s solid, striped, or patterned. Avoid excessively baggy or revealing swimwear to maintain a modest look.


Aside from swimwear, it’s a good idea to bring a cover-up or a lightweight shirt for when you need to step away from the pool or grab a bite to eat. A stylish linen shirt or a casual button-down shirt paired with shorts or comfortable pants can create a chic and relaxed poolside look.


When it comes to footwear, flip-flops or sandals are essential for pool and deck areas. Choose a pair that offers comfort and support while being water-friendly. Additionally, don’t forget to pack a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun’s rays.


While pool and deck wear tend to be more casual, it’s still important to be mindful of the dress code and respect the guidelines set by the cruise line. Some cruise lines may have specific rules regarding appropriate swimwear and require the use of cover-ups when moving through indoor areas. Be sure to look into these guidelines ahead of time to ensure a smooth and enjoyable pool and deck experience.


Whether you’re lounging by the pool, enjoying a refreshing drink at the bar, or participating in outdoor activities, dressing appropriately will allow you to fully embrace the relaxation and fun of the cruise ship’s pool and deck areas.


Shore Excursions

One of the highlights of a cruise vacation is the opportunity to explore exciting port destinations. Whether you’re visiting historical landmarks, embarking on adventure-filled excursions, or simply strolling through quaint coastal towns, dressing appropriately for shore excursions is essential to ensure comfort and ease during your day ashore.


The clothing you choose for shore excursions will largely depend on the activities you have planned. If you’re going on a sightseeing tour or visiting cultural attractions, opt for comfortable and lightweight clothing. A pair of well-fitted shorts or pants, coupled with a breathable shirt or a polo, is a practical and stylish choice. Don’t forget to wear comfortable walking shoes to protect your feet during long walks or hikes.


If you’re planning more adventurous excursions such as snorkeling, hiking, or zip-lining, make sure to pack appropriate gear. Swimwear, rash guards, and water shoes are essential for water-based activities, while lightweight and moisture-wicking clothes, along with sturdy hiking boots or athletic shoes, are recommended for land-based adventures.


It’s also wise to consider the weather and cultural norms of the port destinations. If you’re visiting conservative countries or religious sites, it’s important to dress modestly and respectfully. Bring along a light scarf or a cover-up to easily adapt your outfit when needed.


Remember to bring a backpack or a small bag to carry essentials such as water bottles, sunscreen, hats, and any necessary documents. Opt for a waterproof or water-resistant bag to protect your belongings in case of unexpected rain or water activities.


It’s always a good idea to research and plan your shore excursions in advance to have a better understanding of the activities and destinations you’ll be visiting. This will help you pack the appropriate clothing and gear, ensuring you have an enjoyable and comfortable experience during your time ashore.


Dinner Wear

One of the most anticipated aspects of a cruise vacation is indulging in delicious meals at the ship’s various dining venues. Whether you’re dining at the main dining room or one of the specialty restaurants, having the right dinner wear is important to create a polished and sophisticated look.


Most cruise lines have a dress code for dinner, with options ranging from casual to formal. The dress code for the main dining room can vary by cruise line and even by specific night, so it’s advisable to check the guidelines provided by your cruise line beforehand.


On casual nights, men can opt for smart casual attire. This can include dress pants or khakis paired with a collared shirt, such as a button-down or a polo shirt. You can also layer your look with a lightweight jacket or a sweater for added style. It’s important to avoid wearing shorts, flip-flops, and overly casual or worn-out clothing in the main dining room.


On formal nights, dressing up is part of the dining experience. A suit or a tuxedo is typically recommended, accompanied by a formal collared shirt, dress shoes, and a bow tie or necktie. If you don’t want to pack a full tuxedo, a dark suit with a white dress shirt and a black tie can be a suitable alternative.


For those who prefer a more relaxed dining experience, cruise ships often offer a variety of casual dining options where the dress code is more relaxed. These casual venues still maintain a certain level of decorum, so it’s best to dress neatly and presentably even in these settings.


It’s important to note that some specialty restaurants onboard may have their own specific dress codes. Upscale specialty restaurants often require more formal attire, while casual dining venues may have more relaxed guidelines. Be sure to check the dress code policy for each venue before making a reservation.


Overall, having the right dinner wear not only ensures that you adhere to the cruise line’s dress code but also makes dining a more enjoyable and elegant experience. Whether you’re indulging in a gourmet meal or savoring casual fare, dressing appropriately will allow you to fully immerse yourself in the culinary delights of your cruise vacation.



When it comes to creating a stylish and well-put-together look on a cruise, accessories play a crucial role. The right accessories can elevate your outfit, add personality, and enhance your overall appearance. Here are some key accessories that can make a difference in your cruise fashion:

  • Belts: A belt not only serves a functional purpose but also adds a touch of detail to your outfit. Opt for a belt that complements your style and matches the color of your shoes for a polished look.
  • Watches: A classy and well-designed wristwatch is a timeless accessory that adds sophistication to any outfit. Choose a watch that suits your personal style, whether it’s a classic leather strap or a modern stainless steel bracelet.
  • Sunglasses: Not only do sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun’s glare, but they also add a cool and stylish element to your look. Invest in a good pair of sunglasses that complements your face shape and offers proper UV protection.
  • Ties and Bow Ties: For formal nights or upscale events onboard, having a collection of ties and bow ties is essential. Experiment with different patterns, colors, and textures to add variety to your formal attire.
  • Pocket Squares: A pocket square is a small accessory that can make a big impact. It adds a pop of color and sophistication to your suit jacket, giving you a refined and polished appearance.
  • Scarves: Scarves are versatile accessories that can be worn in different ways. They can add a layer of warmth or be used as a stylish accent to your outfit. Pack a lightweight scarf for breezy evenings on deck or for exploring port destinations.
  • Jewelry: Subtle jewelry pieces such as bracelets, rings, or necklaces can add a touch of personal style to your look. Keep it minimal and choose pieces that complement your overall outfit without overpowering it.

When it comes to accessories, it’s important to strike the right balance. Avoid going overboard with too many accessories that may appear cluttered or distracting. Instead, choose a few key pieces that enhance your outfit and reflect your personal style.


Remember, accessories are meant to complement your attire, so choose items that coordinate well with your clothing and shoes. By paying attention to the details, you can enhance the overall look and make a stylish statement on your cruise vacation.



As you prepare for your cruise vacation, having a well-curated wardrobe that suits the different occasions and activities onboard is essential. By following the guidelines for formal nights, casual nights, pool and deck wear, shore excursions, and dinner wear, you can ensure that you look and feel your best throughout your cruise.


Remember to pack a mix of formal attire for elegant evenings, smart casual outfits for casual nights, and comfortable attire for pool and deck areas. Consider the activities you have planned during shore excursions and pack accordingly. And don’t forget to accessorize your outfits with belts, watches, sunglasses, ties, and other stylish accessories to add the perfect finishing touches.


While it’s important to adhere to the dress codes set by the cruise line, it’s also an opportunity to express your personal style and showcase your individuality. Feel free to experiment with colors, patterns, and textures to create unique and eye-catching looks that reflect your personality.


By dressing appropriately and thoughtfully, you not only ensure that you fit in with the cruise atmosphere but also feel confident and comfortable during your vacation. The right attire can enhance your overall cruise experience, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the onboard activities, shore excursions, and dining experiences.


So, pack your bags, choose your outfits wisely, and get ready to embark on an incredible cruise vacation, looking stylish and feeling your best every step of the way!