What to Pack for a Cruise | Lands' End

What to Pack for a Cruise

You’re going on a cruise? Yay, you! A cruise is a wonderful way to take a vacation—especially if you are going on a warm-weather adventure during winter. Let’s look at what to pack for a cruise.


You’ll not only want to have a couple of great swim outfits for your cruise but also pack one of them in your carry-on luggage so you can hit the pool as soon as you arrive on the ship. That way, if it takes a bit for your luggage to find its way to your stateroom, you can already be lounging poolside and soaking in the sun.

The number of swimsuits you pack will depend on how much you like to swim and lounge and how long your cruise will be. A good start is two suits so you can have a dry suit ready to go while you have a wet suit rinsed out and hanging to dry. Be sure to pack a beach coverup to go with them.

It’s also fun to go shopping for new swimwear! Why not bring one of your go-to favorites and try a new style like a tankini or a swim dress? When shopping for swimwear, think about your individual needs. Would an underwire swimsuit be a better fit for you than one without? Perhaps you prefer a bit more coverage and a high-neck suit in order. Start early, and free to shop the whole store to find what fits you best. Shopping online gives you the advantage of trying on swimwear options in the privacy of your own home and on your schedule. If you shop online, make sure the swimwear retailer has a great return policy in case something doesn’t work out.


Cruises have all kinds of fun options for exercising and hanging out, so you’ll want to pack some comfy “play clothes.” Women’s activewear (/shop/womens-activewear-clothing/S-y23-xez-y5c-xec), from yoga pants to workout shorts to T-shirts and cotton tank tops, are all good candidates. You can take advantage of a fun Pilates class or yoga class or just enjoy hanging out in your comfiest clothes while enjoying your morning coffee and a gorgeous blue sea.


For a warm-weather cruise, stick to lightweight fabrics that breathe. Cotton is a great choice. Capri pants are both cute and practical in warm weather. A pair of white capri pants is a great cruise staple to pack. You can coordinate them with anything from a cute navy and white striped T-shirt to a short-sleeved blouse to a tank top.

Whether you are staying aboard or enjoying excursions in port, keep sun safety in mind. If you will be walking around in port, a big hat and sunglasses, along with some sunscreen, will keep you stylish and comfy. Be sure to have a tote bag handy for your essentials (and perhaps some shopping!).


The nightlife on cruises is half the fun! Whether you opt for dining, dancing, or trying out the casino in your favorite new dress and heels, you’ll want at least one chance to dress to the nines. When packing special occasion wear, it’s a great idea to keep it all together in the same garment bag for easy dressing. Just be sure to protect any delicate fabrics such as silk, satin, or lace.

When in doubt, your little black dress will take you far. It can also be fun to break out of your regular routine and flaunt a new fashion sense with jewel tones or a head-to-toe one-color outfit. Pantsuits can also be just as dressy as dresses. For a fun twist, go for a black-and-white tuxedo look. Check the cruise itinerary in advance to get a feel for how often there will be formal or semi-formal events.


For best results, start with the basics. Comfy walking sandals, waterproof sandals for the pool and pretty heels or flats for special occasions should be on your list. With this said, it’s easy to overpack shoes (and they can take up quite a bit of luggage space). If you are a fashionista who loves your shoes, go for it, but if you are just as comfortable having a few basics that will work for multiple occasions, stick to neutral colors and styles.

A great pair of black pumps will work with most evening outfits. The right women’s sandals will take you where you want to go for the day. If you want to take exercise classes aboard the ship, have a good pair of sneakers handy. If you will be visiting any beaches while you are on your cruise, a pair of water shoes can be handy, and they pack easily.

With a bit of planning (which is half the fun!), you’ll have everything you need for the perfect cruise. Enjoy your wonderful winter vacation!


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