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How to pack to look ageless on a dance cruise

#travel #cruise #fashionover40 #packingForCruise
fashionover40 mature woman in silver pleated skirt with floral blazer
ZR&ZR pleated skirt, Rebecca Taylor floral bomber, Prada bag, Festina watch, and charm bracelet (all own). The bomber can serve as wind breaker, the skirt can do double-duty for sightseeing on shore with the bomber, and dressed-up for social dances

Fascination of cruises

Ever since the German TV series Traumschiff (Dream Ship), I was fascinated by cruise-ships. Cruise-ships often permit to reach places that can’t be reached by car like Glacier Bay, for instance, or adventures like an Arctic cruise thru the Northwest passage.

What to pack for a dance cruise

Back in the 70s, cruises were for the rich only. Lately, some cruises have become affordable for middle class people who save for a once-in-a-life-time memorable cruise. Wedding anniversaries or turning 50 or entering retirement are often the occasions.

It’s a vacation, not a move, limit what you pack

Be aware of the space limitations of the small closets in cruise-ship cabins. When you fly a leg of your cruise vacation take into account that airlines limit the weight and number of free baggage.

Be prepared for baggage mishaps

Having the right clothes for your cruise saves you money. It also permits feeling your best from the very first day on board. Delays or erroneously shipping your baggage on another trip can ruin your vacation when you have to spend the first hours on board finding some suitable essential items. You may end up with clothes that are not a good flattering fit and/or color, that are not so you and/or that you will never wear again.

fashionover50 mature woman in bomber jacket and skirt
Back view of outfit suggestion with Rebecca Taylor bomber jacket with ZR&ZR skirt, Prada bag, Via Spiaga slingbacks

Thus, wear essential clothes on the travel to the port-of-call and/or have them in your carry-on baggage. In case of a dance cruise, pack a wrinkle-free dress, swimwear, extra socks, bra, and a set of underwear in your carry-on. On the travel, wear jeans or casual pants, T-shirt or sweater and a jacket. see example outfit with jeans and floral bomber jacket.

Outfit inspirations

#styleover40 woman in dance cruise outfit Star denim jacket over Karina dress styled with smoky quartz statement necklace, Gucci belt, Chanel quilted bag (all own), Leiza Musse&Cloud sandals c/o coolway and wood watch c/o Jord. The dress can be worn for sightseeing as shown, without jacket for dancing, and styled with pearls for dinner.

40+ woman in tutu Dance outfit with Neo Tango shoes, Cuddle Doo top, BCGC belt, and 7 layers tutu (all own)

leopard print cotton leggings Gym outfit. Leopard print cotton leggings c/o No nonsense and own sequin top under printed T-shirt with Dansz House dance shoes

#maturefashion cruise outfit suggestion with floral bomber and flared jeans Rebbeca Taylor floral bomber with Brooke Brothers top layered over sequin top, DIY necklace, Loft flared jeans, Coach bag, and L.K. Bennett wedge pumps (all own). The sequin top can be worn for fancy dinner and dancing. The jeans can serve for the travel and sightseeing on cloudy/rainy days.

maturefashion summer outfit Sundress to enjoying the view sitting on the deck in the Sun

LBD with zipper details You can never go wrong with a LBD. Ellen Tracy LBD, Madonna True or Dare floral pumps, and Dolce and Gabbana Madonna sunglasses

Facts to consider when packing

On the ocean or sea, there is always a breeze. This fact translates into the need of a wind jacket. The splash from waves asks for one that is permeable for moisture from inside, but doesn’t let the water in.

styleover50 mature woman in silver pleated skirt with denim jacket and pumps
Star denim jacket, ZR&ZR silver pleated skirt, T-shirt, and black pumps (all own)

When you take dance lessons and test the new moves in the evening on the dance floor, you need casual dance attire for the classes and upscale social dance attire for the evening social dances, and if there is a final dance you need a party or cocktail dress. Fit-and-flare skirts and dresses like shown in this post are great options for the classes and styled up for social dance events. Go for items that won’t wrinkle easily. I like these skirts and dresses and bought several of them for dancing. They twirl nicely and they can do double-duty on land for sight-seeing and for dinner on board.

fashionover40 woman in a dress styled for the weekend
Karina dress styled with sun hat, Chanel bag, and Gloria Vanderbilt open toe pumps (all own). A fit-and-flare dress can be styled for dance lessons, and on shore sightseeing or walk, and dinner by swapping the accessories.

Plan for attire for other events on board that you may attend

What – besides dancing – will you do on board? When you like to exercise, visit the spa, swim in the pool, tan or read at the pool, or however you intend to spend some of your cruise time pack for these activity. Thus, ask yourself whether you need gym wear, a robe and flip-flops, swimwear, you get the idea.

What is the itinerary and medium range weather forecast?

Google what kind of attire the cruise-line company recommends for your destination, check the medium range forecast, and pack accordingly. On an Alaska cruise to Glacier Bay, or other glacier-viewing destinations like Tracy Arm, you need cold weather gear (sturdy shoes, jeans, sweater, water-proof wind breaker, hat, sunglasses as glaciers may be glare) for glacier and wildlife viewing on board. Southeast Alaska is often humid and rainy.

Don’t forget what you need for your health and well being

No matter what is in the forecast make sure you pack sunscreen, sunglasses, reading glasses, a first aid kit, pain killer, nausia medication, anti-histamines when you are allergic, and your prescription medicine.

maturestyle woman in beach dress for a Tropical cruise
Sun dress c/o Hawaiian Tropic with own Dr. Scholl wedges for comfortable strolling on land when taking a Tropical cruise

Caribbean and Tropical cruises

When you are on a Caribbean cruise, swim-wear, sunglasses, sundresses, a cover-up for chilly evenings on board and at land, sandals, and flip-flops are on your list. You get the idea.

styleover50 woman in dance cruise outfit
Front view of outfit suggestion with Rebecca Taylor bomber jacket, Moda International top, ZR&ZR skirt, Prada bag, Via Spiaga slingbacks (all own), and Akoya pearl necklace c/o The Pearl Source

Essential items to pack for all (dance) cruises

Don’t forget these pieces:

  • Casual clothes like preppy pants, jeans, or Bermuda shorts suitable for the destination
  • A pair of walking shoes, dance shoes, and/or sandals for on shore and onboard activities
  • Two bikinis or bathing suits or a bikini and bathing suit. Over the ocean, items take longer to dry than in Interior Alaska or the Utah desert because of the higher humidity of the air.
  • Casual and fancy tops for exploring on land and dancing, respectively.
  • Fit-and-flare dresses for dance lessons and social dances, party dress for the final ball
  • Stockings, socks, lingerie, (multi function adjustable) bras
  • Cover-ups like a jacket, coat, as needed depending on the destination
  • Sunglasses, hats, scarf, a clutch for dances in the evening and dinner, a cross-body bag for sight-seeing on land, accessories to style a fit-and-flare dress from casual to feminine to glam
  • Sunscreen, beauty items, medicine, reading glasses

Have you been on a dance cruise or cruise before? Are you planning to do a cruise? Where would you go? What are your style challenges? Let me know so I can help you.

When you found this post helpful please tell your friends about it by tweeting see this packing list for cruise vacation. You may be also interested in reading what to wear for sight seeing.

Are you interested in such tips for other dressing situations? If your answer is yes, you may also want to get my book “How to Dress for Success in Midlife”. Buy your copy now.

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Photos: G. Kramm

Copyright 2013-2017 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved

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