Cruise Wear for Men Guide: Packing Tips and List

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Planning your cruise wear for men wardrobe? Wondering what to pack for a stylish and comfortable cruise vacation? Our top tip: stick to basics, focus on the essentials, and mix and match.

Unlike the myriad choices for women’s cruise wear, men can streamline their packing. Prioritize comfort with basics like tees, polos, jeans, pants, and shorts. Consider versatile footwear—perhaps one pair of nice shoes/sneakers and flip-flops, especially for a Freestyle Cruise on NCL.

They can effortlessly create multiple outfits by creating a capsule wardrobe to mix and match cruise outfits. Factor in the cruise activities, events, and cruise ship dress codes, and don’t forget to check the climate at your port destinations.

Explore the world of men’s cruise wear and men’s cruise packing lists in this guide, covering daytime and evening activities, formal nights, and efficient packing tips.

featured image | cruise wear for men's guide title over a man in blue polo shit, holding binoculars standing by a cruise railingPin

What do men wear on a cruise? Dive into our men’s packing list and guide for tips on packing versatile outfits for your upcoming cruise.

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Cruise Wear for Men

male cruise passenger wearing a t-shirt on a crusie ship looking out into the ocean

I love shopping for my husband’s clothes—it’s more fun and easier than shopping for myself, which he appreciates given his hectic schedule. Right before our trips, shopping for cruise clothes is an enjoyable ritual for him, often adding new items to his wardrobe before we go.

StitchFix has been a game-changer, creating a versatile capsule wardrobe for various occasions. Despite using the service, we still enjoy picking up additional pieces to complete his cruise attire because dressing for work isn’t the same as dressing for a cruise! He’s my playful “StitchFix model.”

Cruise Clothes for Men for Daytime Activities

  • For casual daytime activities like poolside relaxation or ship exploration, choose comfy and breathable options: shorts, tees, polos, sandals, or sneakers.
  • Opt for athletic wear, such as shorts and a moisture-wicking tee, for activities like rock climbing or zip-lining.
  • Dress comfortably and respectfully for port visits, adjusting to the destination. In the Caribbean, wear swimwear and light clothing. In the Mediterranean, opt for pants or jeans with a polo shirt.
  • For visiting European churches, cover your knees and shoulders—no shorts or tank tops.
  • In hot weather, lighter colors keep you cool under the sun.
  • Always check the dress code for restaurants or lounges you plan to visit during the day.


T-shirts are a must-have in your cruise clothes for men’s ensembles—versatile, comfortable, and suitable for any occasion. Pack 4-5, including basic plain ones and those with fun graphics, but avoid anything offensive. Consider bringing shirts that are dry-quick

They pair well with swimwear, shorts, jeans, khakis, and linen pants. For a dressier dinner look, a high-quality t-shirt can be combined with a button-down shirt, blazer, or jacket for a stylish vibe.

Include 1-2 plain dark-colored T-shirts for versatility. My brother opts for multi-pack cotton shirts, keeping things easy and functional for his travels—it works for him.

Fun Cruise T-Shirts for Men


For a hot and sunny destination, include shorts in your men’s cruise wardrobe—they’re comfortable, practical, and ideal for staying cool in the heat.

When selecting shorts, consider the length and fit. Cargo or quick-drying shorts offer a casual look for a day out in port, while linen or golf shorts can be dressed up for a more formal appearance.

Create a laid-back daytime look by pairing your shorts with a comfortable t-shirt or polo shirt. For a chic appearance, dress them up with a button-down shirt.

My husband loves his cargo shorts for their comfort and casual style, plus the convenient pockets for small items. Quick-drying shorts are another favorite—they can double as swimwear if the occasion arises. You never know!


Sea days revolve around the lido deck and pool, while port days are for beach and water activities if in the Caribbean. Pack swimwear even for an Alaskan cruise—you might find a hot tub and indoor pool or be surprised by warm sunny days.

By the pool, my husband goes for swim shorts and a T-shirt. Beach-hopping in the Caribbean means swim shorts and an SPF swim tee for swimming and sunbathing. His favorite is an Amazon Essentials Swim Tee, that we’ve purchased him in multiple colors, and they’ve lasted for years.

Comfortable Footwear

Comfortable footwear is a crucial part of your cruise wardrobe, considering the amount of walking around the cruise ship and in port.

Flip-flops are great for pool or beach days. Just be mindful of walking in them. Crocs and Keens are popular choices among cruisers.

Certain sneakers may be acceptable for dinner on non-formal nights in the main dining room. My husband vouches for the Adidas Cloudfoam sneakers as the most comfortable ever, and I had to get my own pair—now I’m obsessed!


Pack a hat to shield your head and face from the sun, and consider one that covers your neck to prevent sunburn (learned this the hard way once—it wasn’t pretty).

Don’t forget to slather on sunscreen for added protection.

Men’s Cruise Outfits for Evening Activities

  • We suggest more than just a swimsuit as evening approaches, even in a freestyle setting.
  • For men’s cruise attire, my husband’s decades-old advice stands strong: jeans and a polo shirt. It’s collared, casual yet not too formal—a practical and timeless choice for ship activities.
  • On casual nights, go for a sharp pair of jeans or pants, a basic top, and some dressy sneakers or shoes. Aim for smart casual, and you’re good to go.

Jeans and Pants

Opt for breathable cotton jeans and wrinkle-resistant chinos for cruise ship evenings. Jeans are versatile for multiple wear, while chinos can be dressed up or down—pair them with a button-down and blazer for a chic night.

My husband swears by his travel pants—super comfy and suitable for various occasions. They’ve become a staple in his cruise attire.

Polos and Button-Down Shirts

Level up from a t-shirt with a polo or button-down shirt—it instantly elevates your outfit.

With various fits, colors, and fabrics available, opt for breathable and comfortable materials to avoid feeling itchy and sweaty. Choosing a collared shirt doesn’t mean you should be ready to take it off at any moment.

A linen button-down is a nice piece to add to your men’s cruise wear, as it’s light to wear, and you don’t have to worry about it being overly wrinkled.

Since you’re on a cruise vacation, bring 1-2 Hawaiian shirts that scream vacation time.


Bring a hoodie, light jacket, or rain jacket for added comfort. Whether cruising the Caribbean or Mexican Riviera, nights on the ship can get chilly and windy outside. Always be prepared for unexpected rain.

Men’s Formal Chic Night Cruise Wear

kathy and her husband dressed up for cruise formal nightPin
Chic night on Celebrity.

What do men wear on cruises for formal nights?

The days of formal nights when men used to dress up in tuxedos no longer exist, at least not on mainstream cruise lines. The guidelines have been relaxed, and it’s now more of a night where they ask that you dress up – a chic night. You have to be slightly more polished than usual.

You can mix and match for chic nights with these ideas:

  • A pair of chinos, a long-sleeved or short-sleeved button-down collared shirt, a belt, nice shoes, and an optional tie.
  • A dressy sweater, chinos, belt, and nice shoes.
  • A blazer, sportscoat, or nice button-down cardigan sweater with chinos, a button-down or polo shirt, and nice shoes.
  • A blazer or a sportscoat is an article of clothing that every man should have in their closet. It’s one item that easily transforms your casual look into a dressier one.
  • A suit with a button-down collared shirt, belt, nice shoes, and an optional tie.
  • On some cruises, a classic pair of jeans can pass as chic; make sure they are not distressed. Darker colored jeans work best.

Dressy Sweater, Blazer or Sports Coat

A dressy sweater, blazer, or sports coat goes well with a nice pair of pants for a chic night.

Paired with Chinos, Dress Pants, or Dark Jeans

A pair of chinos or dressy pants, and sometimes, even a pair of nice dark jeans, will work well for a chic night. Just pair it with a nice shirt, blazer, or a dressy sweater (if the jacket is required). You don’t want to wear jeans if it’s a full-on formal night on the cruise.

Button Downs or Polo Shirts

Button-downs can be as dressy and as casual as you want them to be. They are versatile and can be worn more than once during the cruise. You are set for a chic night once you pair this with a blazer and nice pants.

The Optional Suit

A nice suit covers you well for a formal or chic night. It’s an option if you want to pack it with you. Wear it with a tie, button down, or no tie, and even a polo shirt.

Dress Shoes

Pack dress shoes or even dressy sneakers to complete your men’s cruise outfits for chic or elegant evening nights on the cruise.

While adding another pair of shoes for limited wear can be frustrating, the enjoyment of dining at main and specialty restaurants makes it worthwhile. With NCL, there’s no need to worry about specific shoes for evening chic.


  • Nice Belt: Start with a stylish belt as a chic accessory.
  • Classic Watch: Add a classic watch for a touch of sophistication.
  • Subtle Cufflinks: Consider subtle cufflinks to enhance the refined look.
  • Sophisticated Pocket Square: Complete the ensemble with a sophisticated pocket square.
  • A tie: Include a tie to elevate the outfit.
  • Coordinate Colors and Style: Ensure accessories complement your outfit’s overall color scheme and style for a polished appearance.

Men’s Cruise Packing List

The exact quantities will depend on your personal preferences, activities planned, and whether you plan to do laundry during the cruise. However, here’s a suggested quantity for a 7-day cruise:


  • (5-7) T-shirts
  • (2) Button Downs
  • (3) Polo Shirts
  • (3) Shorts
  • (2) Swim trunks
  • (1-2) Chinos/Dressy Pants
  • (1-2) Jeans
  • (1-2 pairs) Gym Clothes
  • (1) Suit or Blazer (if planning a formal or chic night)
  • Underwear and socks – Enough for each day, plus 1-2 extra days just in case
  • Sleepwear


  • (1) Light jacket, sweater or hoodie
  • (1) Rain jacket or windbreaker
  • (1) Hat with brim
  • (1) Sunglasses


  • (1 pair) Comfortable walking shoes/sneakers
  • (1 pair) Dress shoes (if planning formal or chic nights)
  • (1 pair) Flip Flops / Sandals


  • Tie (optional)
  • Belt
  • Cufflinks (if needed for formal night)
  • Pocket Square (if needed for suit or blazer)
  • Watch


  • Travel documents (passport, cruise documents, ID)
  • Travel-sized Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.)
  • Medications – As needed
  • Sunscreen
  • Travel-sized laundry detergent
  • Power strip/adapter
  • Reusable Water Bottle
  • Camera/phone and chargers, including portable charger
  • Travel Backpack
  • Snorkel Gear
  • Reading material (book or Kindle)

Feel free to adjust these quantities based on your specific needs and preferences. Keep in mind if you plan to reuse some items or if you plan to do laundry throughout the cruise.

Tips for Packing Men’s Cruise Wardrobe Efficiently

man stuffing clothes into suitcase
  1. Pack versatile pieces in complementary colors that can be mixed and matched to create different outfits. You want to create a capsule wardrobe.

    This can help you save space in your luggage and ensure that you have enough clothing options without overpacking.
  2. Learn to roll or fold your clothes to save space.
  3. Buy compression packing cubes.
  4. Check the weather forecast for your itinerary and pack accordingly. Bring lightweight clothing for warmer climates and layering pieces for cooler temperatures.
  5. Bring comfortable shoes for walking and exploring in port and dress shoes for formal dining nights.
  6. Don’t forget swimwear (we have done this): Pack swim trunks or board shorts for pool and beach days.
  7. Pack accessories: belt, ties, watch…etc.
  8. Pack clothing that meets the dress code for each venue on board, including casual, smart casual, and formal attire.
  9. Bring laundry detergent sheets to wash some items yourself in the cabin and consider your other options: Do they have laundry on the ship? (Princess, Carnival, and Disney cruise ships sometimes do) Are there mid-week specials for laundry? Sometimes, the cruise has a special promotion.
  10. Don’t forget to add wrinkle-release spray to your packing list. It will come in handy.

Read more: What Are Must-Haves to Pack for a Cruise

Cruise Attire for Men: FAQs

male cruise passenger wearing a polo shirt on a cruise

How much clothing should I pack for a cruise?

As a general rule, you should plan to bring enough clothing to last for the duration of your cruise and include a few extra items in case of unexpected events or changes in weather. Of course, you should also consider whether you can do laundry.

Do you have to dress up every night on a cruise?

Dressing up every night on a cruise isn’t necessary. Most cruise lines have varying dress codes, allowing casual attire during the day and a more casual or “smart casual” look in the evening. Save the swim trunks for the daytime and wear nice pants at night.

Do you bring a suit on a cruise?

Bringing a suite on a cruise is optional. Dress codes on cruises vary by line and occasion. Mainstream cruise lines have shifted from formal to chic nights, permitting chinos, a button-down shirt, and dress shoes. Check your cruise line’s specific dress codes before packing.

What do men wear on a cruise for dinner?

Wear casual daytime cruise attire for buffet dinner—shorts and a t-shirt. If dining in the main or specialty restaurant, switch to long pants and a nice shirt based on the dress code policy.

Are jeans okay on a cruise?

YES. You can wear jeans on a cruise. We suggest leaning towards darker-colored jeans with no rips or holes in them.

Can I wear shorts to dinner on a cruise?

Men’s shorts are typically not permitted in main dining or specialty restaurants. If worn, you may be turned away and asked to change. Some exceptions may apply, such as on the first or last day of the cruise.

Is it okay if men wear Speedo on a cruise ship pool?

The acceptability of men wearing Speedos in a cruise ship pool depends on the specific cruise line’s dress code and policies. Some may restrict revealing swimwear, while others have more relaxed rules. If allowed, be mindful of fellow passengers, especially around children, and respect their comfort levels.

We hope this guide for packing men’s cruise outfits helps with your cruise attire.


Kathy Ava

Meet Kathy Ava, a food, travel, and cruise writer based in Los Angeles/Pasadena, and the owner and main writer of Tasty Itinerary. With over 20 years of experience planning trips and logistics at her full-time job and for herself, she's become a pro at crafting unforgettable tasty itineraries. She's always on the hunt for delicious, fun travel destinations and cruise itineraries. She firmly believes that life is short and we must make the most of it, so always say yes to dessert.

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