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What should I wear? Cruising etiquette for solo cruisers.

Updated: Jul 9, 2023

If you're cruising solo, brushing up on cruise etiquette's always a good idea. Dress codes are an essential consideration, but no need to stress! Here are some tips to help you navigate what to wear on board:

- Casual Attire: Most cruise ships allow casual attire during the day. Think of comfortable pieces like shorts, t-shirts, sundresses, and swimwear. Just double-check if there are any specific dress codes for certain areas of the ship, like dining rooms or specialty restaurants.

- Evening Attire: Many cruise lines have dress codes for evening meals and specific venues after 6:00 PM. These can vary but generally fall into three categories:

- Casual: This usually means resort casual or smart casual attire, like slacks or khakis with a collared shirt for men and dresses, skirts, or dress pants with blouses for women.

- Formal: Some cruises have formal nights where passengers are expected to dress up. Men might wear suits or tuxes, while women might choose cocktail dresses or formal gowns. Check with your specific cruise line to see if formal nights are part of the itinerary.

- Informal/Semi-formal: On nights that are not formal, cruise lines may have an informal or semi-formal dress code. This might mean a dress shirt with slacks or a dress for men and a cocktail dress or nice pantsuit for women.

- Theme Nights: Some cruises have themed nights or parties, like tropical or 80s-themed parties. If your cruise includes these events, you might want to pack appropriate attire to participate and join in the fun.

- Excursion-Specific Clothing: If you plan on participating in any shore excursions, consider the activities involved and pack suitable clothing. For instance, fill comfortable walking shoes and athletic wear if you're going on a hiking excursion. Bring modest clothing covering your shoulders and knees if visiting religious sites.

- Respectful Attire: Regardless of the dress code, always be mindful and respectful of the cultural norms and customs of the ports of call. Research the destinations you'll visit to ensure your attire aligns with local expectations, especially when visiting religious or conservative areas.

Remember, dress codes and expectations can vary between cruise lines. Always check with your cruise line or consult their website for any guidelines or recommendations they may have regarding attire. Have a blast on your solo cruise adventure!

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