A practical, well-thought-out packing list is a key part of any vacation, no matter where in the world your wanderlust takes you. If you're planning a cruise getaway to the tropics, you can expect warm or hot sunny weather any time of year. This makes building a winning Caribbean vacation wardrobe pretty straightforward. Five-day Caribbean cruises simplify this process even further, as you only need to unpack once when you climb onboard the ship. However, beyond the standard beach getaway, you need to be prepared with a Caribbean cruise wardrobe fit for days wandering port cities and nights dining at the upscale onboard restaurant.
Follow these expert tips for how to put together the perfect vacation attire.
For five-day cruises from Florida or island-hopping through the Caribbean, you're likely in for plenty of sunshine and high, tropical temperatures during your getaway. Plus, most of the best activities and excursions take place outdoors. Think: snorkeling, catamaran tours, long hikes through the jungle and even quests for secluded cenotes. To avoid feeling too hot throughout your trip, focus your packing list on lightweight, breathable fabrics — linen and cotton are great options for Caribbean outfits for ladies and men alike.
Dial up the boho-glam factor with an airy maxi dress, or go for the perfect blend of comfort and style with loose fitting duds like linen pants and a casual top. You can also add a dash of preppy posh by pairing a smart polo shirt with Bermuda shorts. Any of these outfits can take you from brunch onboard to beach clubs onshore and back to the ship for a romantic sunset dinner and drinks.
One of the biggest selling points of five-day Caribbean cruises is the easy access they offer to some of the world's most stunning shorelines. Make sure you pack a few swimsuits for dips in the surrounding crystal-clear waters in this must-visit region. You'll get plenty of use out of them at the pool onboard the cruise ship during sea days, too.
Because they're quick to dry, they serve as the perfect base layer. Pair them with casual tops or comfy bottoms while you're soaking up the sun or exploring each port, then dress them up with a billowy sundress or a short-sleeved linen button-down for some late-afternoon or early-evening cocktails onboard the ship.
A Caribbean wardrobe is laid-back and casual by nature. After all — you're probably spending most of your time outdoors at the beach, by the pool or exploring easygoing island towns. That said, most cruise ships offer a variety of experiences, such as upscale dining, dance classes, and elegant bars that you may want to dress the part for. Pack a long-sleeved button-down shirt and some nice chino pants, a breezy dress and some pretty sandals or a flowy silk blouse and chic trousers. You can also use accessories like scarves, wraps and jewelry to add a touch of sophistication to a casual look; it's a simple way to go from daytime activities to after-sun fun without changing into an entirely different look.
Here's an expert cruiser tip: Most ships don't offer or allow clothing irons. Keep your threads looking freshly pressed by bringing some wrinkle-removing spray.