When packing for the Caribbean, your two most important considerations are comfort and practicality. First, do a little homework and pre-planning:
* Make a list of the ports of call and the activities you plan to participate in at each.
* How many days will you spend at sea? That requires almost no wardrobe. You can spend the entire day in a bathing suit if you wish.
Now that you know your itinerary, you can get down to serious business.
Most things you need are in your closet. Basics are best for both men and women. For men: Slacks and a polo-style shirt are great attire for dinner and the shirt can be worn the next day with shorts. The only night men need a coat and tie is the formal evening, which varies between 1 and 2 nights depending on the length of your cruise.
For women: Don't limit yourself to dresses and heels, however the “little black dress” (or equivalent) is always a good choice for its versatility. Adding or subtracting a little jewelry and it can serve multiple purposes. Dinner wear is actually fairly simple. For most nights, bring a pair of light slacks and a pair of black slacks with blouses or tanks. Formal night is whatever you want it to be but slacks with a dressy blouse are fine.
Footwear: A must have item is a pair of walking/tennis shoes. You will also want a pair of casual sandals and a pair of dress shoes.
Sweater: Even though it's warm and humid in the Caribbean air conditioners can make dining chilly. For ladies, a nice lightweight sweater or wrap will come in handy.
Two bathing suits are all you need to bring (one to wear while the other one dries).
Cover ups are important to remember but towels are furnished poolside and for beach trips in port on cruises.
Lightweight rain jacket, just in case liquid sunshine decides to dump on you. Some rain jackets fold into themselves to make packing easier.
Daytime Clothes to Pack for a 7-Day Cruise
--Walking shorts: 1 per 3 days paired with 1 T-shirt or polo shirt per day
--Casual lightweight slacks: shorts are not allowed in some cathedrals and for horseback riding
--Sandals for days at sea and walking on the beach.
--Bathing suit with cover up (T-shirt works fine)
--Hat with brim to protect ears (don’t forget to include plenty of sunscreen)
--Small backpack or fanny pack
--Sunglasses, ideally polarized
For Evening Wear:
Women: 1 dark dress slacks, 1 light dress slacks (both with coordinating tops) and 1 dressy outfit with a nice pair of dress shoes
Men: 1 pair dark dress slacks with jacket and tie, 2-3 pair Dockers-style slacks, 1 collared shirt for every evening
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