cruise dress codes

Don’t let Dress Codes put you off!

Dress Codes

cruise Dress Codes

Dress Codes can be a big issue and one that could really discourage people from even going on a cruise. I love dressing up and it’s probably one of the main reasons I love going on cruises. You can wander around in your casual clothes during the day and then make a real effort in the evening. However, I know this isn’t for everyone.

There are so many options with different cruise lines that it really doesn’t need to be as big an issue as some people care to make it.

I have cruised on very formal cruise lines to ones which weren’t formal at all and you never needed to dress up for the entire cruise. I personally really like being able to dress up and making an effort on a few nights of my holiday, so there are the types of cruises I tend to go for.

Go Formal!

Even if you pick a very formal cruise, for example, we sailed with Cunard in November, you can choose to dress down if you want. People do have a tendency to get really dressed up and go very formal on the Queens but, if one evening you don’t fancy it then you are welcome to head to the buffet restaurant where you can wear what you want. There will still be people wandering around in floor length dresses and tuxes and there will always be people who will tut, but really I just ignore them! After all, it’s my holiday too.

Cunard decided to change things this year when they announced that they would be relaxing their dress code. There were a lot of traditional Cunard goers that were in an uproar about this. However having sailed with Cunard twice in the last year, all I could tell that had changed was they had made thing less formal for the day that people were boarding the ship. This worked for us as our bags hadn’t arrived when we needed to start getting ready for dinner.

Which Cruise Line is Best for you?

If you really don’t fancy getting dressed up at all on your cruise, then you could go for a Cruise line like NCL as you could spend your entire holiday in casual clothes and that would be totally fine and you wouldn’t be breaking any rules and hopefully offending people too much.

There are so many choices now with different cruise lines and what they offer, there really is something for everyone whether you really like to go all out or you just want to relax because you are on holiday. So do your research before book so you know whatever you are going for will really suit you. And most of all whatever you choose just enjoy your holiday and don’t worry about what other people are wearing when they walk into the restaurant, just wear what you feel comfortable in.

cruise Dress Codes

I would say though, not to let a cruise line that has a stricter dress code totally put you off booking a holiday. You may miss out on some amazing destinations and beautiful ships just because you don’t fancy dressing up. There are always ways around it!

If you are thinking about going on your first cruise read my tips here for what to do on board. Or here for essential items you should think about packing to make your trip even better.

If you are thinking of booking a cruise take a look Princess Cruises.

What do you think about Cruise Line Dress Codes? Do you like dressing up or would you rather be more relaxed on your holiday? Let me know what you think in the comments below.


  • Sarah

    August 9, 2017

    We always book Queens on Cunard but I suspect our next Transatlantic will be our last as my husband absolutely despises dressing up – to the point where it ruins his holiday and therefore mine. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was just dressing for dinner but on QM2 most of the public areas are closed to casual dressers on formal nights. I think it would be helpful for Cunard to trial some informal only sailing dates and see if there is a real demand – I know we would definitely book one.

    • Katie

      August 9, 2017

      Yes, I totally agree. We found The Queen Victoria extremely formal when we sailed on her last year. I love dressing up but while we were on board I was ill with the flu, so one night we decided we would just go the buffet restaurant as I didn’t really fancy the whole formal night. We got funny looks just getting into the lifts to go for dinner and then in the buffet resturant as well, and we were allowed to be dressed down in there, but there were people who obviously thought we shouldn’t be! I’ve always found that P&O offer similar holidays but I don’t feel the need to dress up and would definitely travel with them for longer holidays.

  • Sanna Vegancruiser

    October 25, 2017

    We hate formal… Celeb evening Chic is created for us really 😉 Royal Caribbean is even more casual but do prefer people to party dress, rather than the whole ballgown & tux effort. Hubby hates suiting up – reminds him of interviews and funerals, I think. Thankfully there are so many cruise lines where you don’t have to do traditional formal. Cunard would be our idea of hell…. 😉


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