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Best Cruise Wear for Men (Outfits + Tips)

Best Cruise Wear for Men (Outfits + Tips)

Are you looking for the best cruise wear for men? In this guide we give you plenty of inspiration for the best men’s cruise wear outfits alongside our tips for how to pack for a cruise for men.

Important Note: This post may contain affiliate links which means if you click through and make a purchase I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

Whenever we put together a cruise packing list, we recommend packing light and using a cruise capsule wardrobe where possible.

In this guide we will give you an overview of the best things to pack for a cruise for men without overpacking no matter the destination. However if you would like more regionally specific cruise packing lists then do check out the below posts:

Our specific location packing lists for cruises include:

Considerations for What to Wear on cruise for men

Pack Light

For those of you who are first time cruisers it it worth pointing out that cruise cabin staterooms are not renowned for being large. You want to not overpack so your luggage and packing will take up less space in your cabin.

One way of ensuring you pack lightly for a cruise is to pack a cruise capsule wardrobe. We like to use either the sudoku packing method or the 54321 packing technique to put together our men’s cruise capsule wardrobes.

Click here for what we think men’s travel essentials are.

Cruise Line

The cruise line you are traveling on will greatly influence the essential items on your men’s cruise packing list.

For instance, Cunard is renowned for being a much more formal line, and therefore you will see people wearing more formal and smart casual attire in the dining room.

Whereas, Norwegian Cruise Line on the other hand operates free style dining. This means that you are not set to a set dining room time and there are not formal nights or formal dinner to worry about.

Some cruises such as Disney also run theme nights, which require specific packing items.

Be sure to check out our cruise line specific dress code posts for information.

Cruise Itinerary Length

The length of your cruise ship itinerary will greatly impact your packing depending on whether there are laundry facilities on your ship, and whether you are happy to do laundry on your cruise vacation.

We have packing lists for specific cruise lengths below to help guide you on the quantities you need to pack.

Formal Nights

As I mentioned above cruise formal nights take place in the main dining room but it depends on the length of your cruise and the line you are sailing with as to how many you can expect.

Although some lines still recommend formalwear such as black tie tuxedos for formal nights, many places now will see men wearing chinos and a sports jacket instead.

If you have 2 or more formal nights we recommend packing just one jacket and trousers and using different button-down shirts and ties to style them differently.


Whether you are traveling on warm weather cruises such as to the Caribbean, Mexico, French Polynesia or Fiji or a cold weather cruise i.e. Alaska, Iceland or the Baltics will affect how many layers you need.

However we always recommend packing a top layer for on the cruise ship where the air conditioning can be very strong.

Shore Excursions

The type of shore excursion you plan on doing will also affect the type of clothes you will need to pack. If you plan to do a lot of snorkelling and water activities then you will need more swimwear and snorkeling equipment with you.

Whereas if you are traveling to just cities, then comfortable walking shoes will need to be top of your list.

How to Put Together a Men’s Cruise Capsule wardrobe

Now capsule wardrobes are great not only for cruises but for other types of travel and for those who want to minimise their wardrobe more generally.

As such there are a few main capsule wardrobe rules or principles that you should try to abide by when putting together your cruise capsule wardrobe

The main rules for putting together a cruise capsule wardrobe are:

Only take beloved items

By this I mean only take items that you are absolutely 100% sure that you want to wear.

If you don’t wear it at home it is unlikely it will be come a go to item on a cruise ship.

Everything must work in more than one outfit

Don’t pack anything that can only be worn in one way.

Color schemes

Now this isn’t necessary in all capsule wardrobes but picking a color pallete so that everything complements each other is a great idea.

So now we have discussed why you should pack a capsule wardrobe and the basics about packing capsule rules we will turn our attention to how to put together a cruise capsule wardrobe and the best men’s wear for cruises.

Best Cruise Wear for Men (Outfits + Tips)

In this section of the guide we will look at the best cruise wear for men, and put together some men’s cruise outfit ideas for your to give you inspiration for what to wear as a man on a cruise.

Note: although this aims to be a universal guide for the best cruise wear for men we have indicated the optional items which are weather dependent.

Casual Cruise Outfits for Men

MAn in shorts and shirt on a cruise ship
Best cruise wear for men (men’s cruise outfits)

For a week’s cruise you will likely need around 3-4 casual outfits. These can be used on the day on the ship both on port days and sea days and can also be used on shore excursions and days in port.

Therefore we recommend packing the following items as part of your men’s cruise capsule wardrobe.

T Shirts

No matter the destination you are traveling to a t shirt is a great pick for a man on a cruise. These work no matter the destination and can be used in port and on shore excursions as well as on the cruise ship during the day.

Also if you have a casual night in the main dining room, then t shirts will be appropraite attite.

And plain smart t shirts or even polo shirts will work on smart casual nights in the main dining room. Note: in the buffet restaurant on cruise ships you can wear t shirts for both lunch and dinner any day of your cruise.

Click here to shop men’s t shirts on Amazon

If you decide to wear tank tops these will not be permitted in the main dining room at night.

Note: I often find that people tend to have a bit more humor on a cruise ship than they do on land. Therefore you will often find people especially men wearing comedy cruise related t shirts.

Click cruise pun shirts here.


Shorts are an essential on any hot weather cruise. If you plan on heading to any beaches or sticking poolside, then we recommend packing quick dry shorts.

It can be hard to dry shorts in humid conditions so we recommend quick dry ones in the Caribbean and Mexico etc.

Click here to shop quick dry shorts for men.

However it is also worth bringing smarter chino shorts or classic fit shorts with you like the ones below for in European cities for instance, and for using on casual nights on the cruise ship.

If you are traveling to Europe we also recommend avoiding cargo shorts where possible. This is because they will likely mark you as a tourist.

Click here to shop smart cruise shorts for men.


Even if you are traveling to a cold weather destination, such as going on a Baltic or an Alaskan cruise we recommend taking swimwear with you.

That is because even if the swimming pools aren’t heated (although many are heated on Alaskan cruises) , there are still lots of hot tubs for you to enjoy.

The only exception to this may be if you are traveling on a river cruise in Europe as most but not all of these have hot tubs. It is worth checking before travel so you know what to pack.

Also the good thing about cruises is that you will see all sorts of swimwear. On my cruises from America you will find most men wear swimming trunks. However on cruises with more European passengers you will also find that some men wear speedos.

Click here to shop men’s swimwear for cruises.

Rash Vest (optional)

A rash vest is an optional for most but is something that my husband always has on his cruise packing list. He likes to wear it out on the pool deck but I know not all men do.

However if you are traveling to a location where you plan to snorkel and do water sports it is good to have as extra protection from the sun.

Click here to shop men’s rash vests.

Sun hat (optional)

Only required if you plan to go on hot weather cruises. When I have cruised in the Caribbean the most common type of hat I see being worn by men is a baseball cap.


Required on cruises no matter the destination in my opinion.

Smart Casual Men’s Cruise Wear for Men

Man dress in smart casual men's cruise outfit with Alaska in background
Best cruise wear for men (men’s cruise outfits)

Smart casual will be what you see most men wearing on a cruise at night. The best smart casual cruise wear for men in our opinion are:

Polo Shirts

If you don’t like wearing shirts then polo shirts are a great compromise for smart casual wear on cruises.

Click here to buy polo shirts.

Shirt (long or short-sleeve shirts)

Shirts both long and short sleeve will commonly be seen in the restuarants on cruise ships.

In hot weather destinations you tend to see more short sleeve shirts however it is worth noting that the air conditioning in the dining rooms can make you feel chilly.

On top of regular shirts you will also see many men wearing on cruise ships is

Hawaiian shirts

Hawaiian shirts are very popular on hot weather cruises, not just on a Hawaiian cruise.

Click here to shop Hawaiian shirts for cruises


Note: on many cruises shorts are not allowed in the main dining room so even on a hot weather cruise you will need a longer length pant if you want to eat in a main dining room or a specialty restaurant.

Chinos are a great choice for smart casual cruise wear for men, and can also be used as part of a formal cruise outfit on most cruise lines.

Linen pants are another great pick for men’s smart casual cruise outfits.

Click here to shop men’s chinos.

Smart Jeans

We are most commonly asked “Are jeans OK on a cruise?” And on most cruise lines smart jeans are acceptable for the main dining room.

However if you are not allowed jeans in the main dining room on your cruise it is still worth packing jeans for cooler days.

Reversible Belt

To ensure you have a belt for various colored chinos, shorts and jeans we recommend packing a reversible belt. This way you will only need one belt with you.

Click here to shop reversible belts.

Formal Cruise Wear for Men

Formal nights are not as common as they once were on cruises and the formal night dress codes are not as strict anymore.

It is worth checking your cruise lines policy regarding formal attire before packing but generally speaking the below will meet most (but not all) cruise formal night dress codes.

Note: Norwegian Cruise Line does not have formal lines and Cunard still tends to be the most formal.

Sports Jacket

My husband tends to find a sports jacket the perfect cruise outfit for formal nights.

Other good jacket choices for cruise formal nights include linen jackets. If you are worried about traveling with linen because of creases check out this post.

Click here to shop sports jackets.


As we mentioned above. These transition from smart casual to formal outfits depending on how you style them.

Tie (optional)

My husband hates wearing a tie, and a tie is not required on most cruises. Therefore it really depends on whether or not you wear ties as to whether you should pack one.

Tuxedo and dress shirt (optional)

A tuxedo and dress shirt shirt are really optional on most cruise lines (check your cruise line before travel). Therefore you would only need to pack this on a few cruise lines. However if you want to wear one then feel free to pack one.

Best men’s shoes for cruises

When I create any of my packing lists I recommend trying to limit the number of shoes you pack to 2 -3 pairs.

No matter where you are traveling you should pack:


These work no matter the destination you are traveling to whether cities, beaches or countryside. Great sneaker brands for cruises are Hoka and All Birds.

Depending on the time of year and destination you are traveling to you may need to buy a pair that has some water resistant qualities or that are light weight to cope with the heat.

Smarter Shoes

Sneakers often allowed in main dining rooms so you will need smarter shoes or dress shoes for smart casual evenings or formal nights on cruise ships.

Flip Flops

Although I don’t recommend wearing these for walking around European cities, they are an essental on cruises for the pool deck and on beach excursions.

Hiking Shoes (optional)

These will only be required if you are doing lots of walking on excursions.

Water shoes (optional)

Only required if you plan on doing excursions involving snorkelling or water sports.

Click here to shop water shoes.

Men’s Cruise Packing List checklist

  • Passport and Identification
  • Documentation (including Covid 19 paperwork, test results and insurance to name but a few)
  • Medication 
  • Sea Sickness Remedies 
  • Lanyard
  • Waterproof phone case for in the pool and on shore excursions.
  • Luggage Tags
  • Toiletries – for a full toiletries packing list click here.
  • reusable water bottle
  • Sun screen
  • Lip Balm with SPF
  • Razor / Shaving Kit
  • Hair Brush / Comb
  • Cufflinks 
  • Camera
  • Charger
  • Universal Travel Adaptor 
  • 1 Formal Outfit per person.
  • 3 Smart Casual Outfits (can be made up of repeat pieces that make 3 looks). 
  • 3 Casual Outfits (can be made up of repeat pieces that make 3 looks). 
  • 2 items of Swimwear
  • Sun Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Coat (optional)
  • Sneakers
  • Sandals – (or ankle boots in cold weather places)
  • Hiking boots (optional depending on the destination and itinerary).
  • Smarter Shoes – optional depending if you want to dress up for formal nights.

FAQS about men’s cruise wear

Hopefully we should have answered your main questions about men’s cruise wear however here are some of your frequently asked questions. And please let us know in the comments below if you still have a questions as we would be happy to answer.

What should a man wear to dinner on a cruise?

What a man should wear to dinner on a cruise will depending on whether it is casual, smart casual or formal night.

Casual nights tend to be on embarkation day. And it will depend on the length of cruise you are on as to how many formal nights you have.

We have outlined what each of these dress codes constituent on a cruise above.

Should I take a suit on a cruise?

There are very few cruise lines where suits are a requirement. Therefore it is not essential to take a suit on most lines. However if you like to wear a suit there is nothing stopping you.

What do men wear on a Mediterranean cruise?

It really depends on the month you are traveling as to what men should wear on a Mediterranean cruise. Please check out our dedicated post for more information.

Do men wear Speedos on cruises?

On most American ships men tend to wear trunks on cruise ships. However on most European cruises you will see men wearing speedos.

Can men wear shorts on a cruise?

Yes men can wear shorts on a cruise, however some ships will not permit shorts in the main dining room at night. Therefore it is essential to have shorts and some longer length pants with you too.

What’s your favorite cruise wear for men? We’d love to hear in the comments below.