Cruises are usually a laid-back affair, but despite being a way to relax and take a vacation, it’s fun to dress up once in a while. If you’ve never been on a dinner cruise before, you’ll probably want to make sure you know what to wear for formal attire.

Formal Night Out on a Cruise: What to Wear

Cruises are usually a laid-back affair, but despite being a way to relax and take a vacation, it’s fun to dress up once in a while. Formal nights allow for just that. If you’ve never been on a dinner cruise before, you’ll probably want to make sure you know what to pack for the formal night out.

Dressing up on a dinner cruise

It’s normal to dress semi-formal for dinner on a cruise, especially if you eat in a nicer dining room, rather than ordering or eating in a more casual area. A nice dress or slacks and a blouse for women are appropriate for these dinners, a suit or slacks and a button-down shirt work well for men.

Another opportunity to dress up a bit would be when you hit the dance floor on the cruise. Many people prefer to wear nice clothes and shorts are generally frowned upon in this case.

These are the normal situations you would dress for on a cruise. Nothing terribly formal and the atmosphere is still relatively casual. Not so on Formal Night.

What to pack for the formal night on a cruise

Formal night on a cruise ship is meant to be unique and it shows. While a nice suit may be acceptable for a man, tuxedos are now the norm on many cruise ships. Just think about what you would wear to a good wedding. . . if it happened there, then you’re probably good to go.

Women have many more options when it comes to what to wear. Formal dresses are definitely an option, but your dressiest “little black dress” can also be very appropriate. Again, imagine wearing it to a wedding and you’ll know if it’s formal enough. Women can choose to wear brighter colors, like red or emerald green, but when in doubt, stick with black or white to make sure it will fit.

For women, matching shoes and jewelry are a must. Whether you have a fancy gold chain or something more formal like a pearl necklace, that will dress up any outfit. Matching earrings also add an extra touch of elegance to the ensemble. Add a touch of more formal makeup and style your hair for the ultimate in elegant looks.

Can you rent?

Often cruise ships will have a tuxedo and dress rental where you can pick up something for the evening that is appropriate. However, these rentals are usually booked well in advance, so make sure you book as soon as you board, or even earlier if possible. This requires you to be aware of the option, of course, so you’ll need to speak to your cruise representative about the Formal Evening.

If you find that you are really stressed about the dinner cruise event, make it easy on yourself. Call the cruise line ahead of time to find out what is needed. Are you offering rentals? Will there be a theme for the Formal Night? Preparing for this event will keep stress levels to a minimum and allow you to truly enjoy the cruise.

Formal Night is a night meant to be super romantic and beautiful. Although not everyone likes to dress up, it is still a wonderful occasion to enjoy your partner and have fun in a more exclusive environment where you can be the queen of the dance or the prince of the hour for a while. Just prepare and organize everything in advance to make sure you won’t be thinking about the event all the time.