Fascination of cruises
Ever since the German TV series “Traumschiff” (Dream Ship) in the 70s, 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.
Back in the 70s, cruises were for the rich only. Lately, some cruises have become affordable for middle class people who saved for a once-in-a-life-time memorable cruise. Wedding anniversaries, turning 50 or entering retirement are often the occasions for a memorable cruise to a scenic destination.
It’s a vacation, not a move, limit what you pack
Don’t stress out about what to pack. It’s a cruise ship. This means there are shops. Moreover, the cruise-ship will berth here and there. There are stores too.
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. You best bet is to pick items from your closet that can do double duty, i.e. serve for more than one purpose. Tweet this tip.
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 great flattering fit and/or color, that are not so you and/or that you will never wear again.
Thus, wear essential clothes on your travel to the port-of-call and/or have them in your carry-on baggage. Tweet this. 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 the example outfit with jeans and floral bomber jacket.
Outfit inspirations for a cruise vacation
Star denim jacket over Karina dress styled with smoky quartz statement necklace, Gucci belt, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Ray Ban aviator sunglasses, 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 on shore as shown, without jacket for dancing, and styled with pearls for dinner.
Dance outfit with Neo Tango shoes, Cuddle Doo top, BCGC belt, and 7 layers tutu (all own)
Gym outfit. Leopard print cotton leggings c/o No nonsense and own sequin top under printed T-shirt with Dansz House dance shoes. The sequin top can also be worn at dinner and for social dancing. The leggings can be worn with a tunic for sightseeing in warm destinations
Rebbeca Taylor floral bomber with Brooke Brothers top layered over sequin top, DIY necklace, Loft flared jeans, Coach bag, Hermes collier de chien bangle, and L.K. Bennett wedge pumps (all own). The sequin top can be worn for a fancy dinner on board of the cruise-ship and social dancing. The jeans can serve for travel and sightseeing on cloudy/rainy days.
Sundress c/o Needham Lane with own Ray Ban Jackie O. sunglasses, and Dr. Scholl wedge sandal to enjoying the view sitting on the deck in the Sun or sightseeing on a hot day
You can never go wrong with a LBD. Ellen Tracy LBD with zipper details, Madonna True or Dare floral pumps, Dolce and Gabbana Madonna sunglasses, Hermes enamel and collier de chien bangles (all own)
Facts to consider when packing for a cruise
On the ocean or sea, there is always a breeze. This fact translates into the need of a wind jacket. The splashes from waves ask for one that is permeable for moisture from the inside, but doesn’t let the water in from the outside. Tweet about this.
Pack clothes for exercise/dancing
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. If there is a final dance or ball, 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 triple-duty on land for sight-seeing, and for dinner on board.
Plan for attire for events on board
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.
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.
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.
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
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