What to Bring On a Cruise

Thanksgiving has come and gone and winter break is upon us. As we’re all finishing up our holiday shopping, it’s also time to start getting excited about what the vacation ahead of us has in store.

One popular winter break getaway for collegiettes is jetting off on a cruise. But if you’ve never been on one of these luxurious sea voyages, it’s difficult to know what you should pack. Don’t worry; check out our guide for what to bring on your next cruise vacation and you’ll be ready to go in no time!


A major mistake that many cruise-goers make is severely over-packing for their trip. If you’re flying to the starting destination of your cruise, you have to be aware of airlines’ 50-pound limit for checked baggage and also the size limit for carry-on baggage. This means you’re going to want to make sure that you’re only bringing the essentials.

When packing clothing, the most important thing to remember is versatility. “My tip for packing clothing on any trip would be to only take a few basic outfit elements that you can mix and match to create other outfits,” says Ashley, a junior at West Virginia Wesleyan College. “Pack pieces that you know you'll wear, not pieces that you think you might wear.”

Before you start packing, check the dress code of the cruise line you’re going on. Dress codes for cruises tend to vary, and to ensure you don’t end up being either over- or underdressed, you’re going to want to verify your cruise’s dress code (which can normally be found on your cruise line’s website). Here are some general clothing ideas:


Of course, you’ll want to pack a few of your favorite bathing suits. But for lounging on the pool deck, you should bring a few extra outfits that are both casual and comfortable. A pair of denim shorts paired with a tank top is fine if you’re only planning on staying by the pool, but a nice cover-up is much more flexible.

Here are a few of our favorites:

Blouson Romper Cover-up, Victoria’s Secret, $46

Reef - Gypsy Love Dress, SwimSpot, $37

Tie-waist Cover-up Dress, Victoria’s Secret, $45.50

Since most cruise ships require that you wear more than a bathing suit in the dining rooms, throwing on one of these cover-up pieces will ensure that you’re dressed appropriately to go straight from the pool to lunch and back again.