What To Wear On A Carnival Cruise

Are you eagerly anticipating your upcoming Carnival Cruise but find yourself unsure of what to pack in terms of clothing? Well, worry no more! In this article, we will provide you with some valuable tips and suggestions on what to wear on a Carnival Cruise. From casual attire for lounging by the pool to elegant evening wear for dinner and entertainment, we’ve got you covered. So, sit back, relax, and let us guide you through the exciting world of Carnival Cruise fashion.

Daytime Attire

Casual Wear

During the daytime on a Carnival cruise, you’ll want to pack comfortable and casual clothing that allows you to relax and enjoy yourself. Opt for lightweight materials such as cotton and linen, as well as breathable fabrics to keep you cool in the sun. T-shirts, shorts, sundresses, and skirts are all great options for casual days on board. Remember to pack enough outfits for each day of your trip, as well as a few extras in case of any spills or accidents.


A Carnival cruise is incomplete without taking a dip in one of their refreshing pools or lounging on the deck under the warm sun. Be sure to pack your favorite swimsuits so you can fully enjoy the onboard water activities. Whether you prefer a classic one-piece or a trendy bikini, choose swimwear that makes you feel confident and comfortable. Don’t forget to grab a cover-up or two as well, for when you’re walking to and from the pool or grabbing a bite to eat at the poolside restaurant.


When transitioning from the pool to other areas of the ship, it’s important to have a stylish cover-up on hand. Not only will it provide you with some added coverage, but it can also be a fashionable accessory to complement your swimsuit. Consider a lightweight sarong, a flowy beach dress, or a stylish kimono. These versatile cover-ups can easily be thrown on over your swimsuit and paired with sandals for a chic and effortless look.

Sun Protection

While having fun in the sun is a must during your Carnival cruise, it’s crucial to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Pack a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to shield your face and eyes from the sun. Additionally, sunscreen with a high SPF is an absolute must-have. Apply it liberally and frequently, especially if you plan on spending a lot of time outdoors. If you have sensitive skin, don’t forget to pack a rash guard or a swim shirt to provide extra sun protection.

Shoes and Accessories

When it comes to footwear for daytime activities, comfort should be your top priority. Whether you’re exploring the ship, participating in sports activities, or going on shore excursions, make sure to pack comfortable walking shoes, such as sneakers or sandals. If you plan on venturing into the water, water shoes with good traction are essential to prevent slips and protect your feet from sharp objects. As for accessories, pack a beach bag to carry your essentials, as well as a waterproof phone case to capture memories without worrying about water damage.

Evening Attire

Formal Night

On formal nights, you’ll have the opportunity to dress up and indulge in a more glamorous atmosphere. Men should pack a suit or tuxedo, while women can opt for an elegant cocktail dress or a formal gown. This is the perfect occasion to bring out your finest accessories, such as statement jewelry and elegant handbags. Remember to choose dress shoes that are comfortable enough to dance the night away while still looking sophisticated.

Smart Casual Nights

Most nights on a Carnival cruise are classified as smart casual, allowing for a more relaxed and stylish attire. Men can wear dress pants or chinos paired with a collared shirt, while women can opt for dresses, skirts, or dress pants paired with a nice blouse. A blazer or a cardigan is a great addition for both men and women, particularly in case the evenings get a bit chilly. Choose comfortable yet stylish footwear, such as loafers or low heels, to complete your smart casual look.

Casual Nights

Carnival also has some casual nights during the cruise, where you have the freedom to dress down and keep it relaxed. This is the perfect opportunity to wear your favorite jeans, shorts, or casual skirts paired with a comfortable t-shirt or a blouse. Men can opt for shorts or khakis paired with a polo shirt or a casual button-down. While the dress code is more relaxed, keep in mind that you should still dress in a neat and presentable manner.

Shoes and Accessories

For evening attire, it’s important to consider footwear that is not only stylish but also comfortable, as you’ll be spending a lot of time on your feet. Women can choose from a range of options like heels, wedges, or dressy sandals. Men can opt for dress shoes or loafers that complement their outfit. Don’t forget to pack accessories that enhance your evening attire, such as statement necklaces, elegant watches, or a clutch for your essentials. These little details can make a big difference in elevating your overall look.

What To Wear On A Carnival Cruise

Special Events and Theme Nights

White Night

White Night is a popular theme night on Carnival cruises. During this event, passengers are encouraged to wear all white attire, creating a visually stunning and unified atmosphere. Whether you choose a white sundress, white linen pants, or a white shirt paired with shorts, embracing the all-white theme is a fun way to connect with fellow cruisers and create unforgettable memories. Consider accessorizing with silver or gold accents to add a touch of sparkle to your white ensemble.

Pirate Night

Arrr, matey! Embrace your inner pirate on Carnival’s Pirate Night. This theme night is all about transforming yourself into a swashbuckling buccaneer. Think loose-fitting peasant tops, bandanas, eye patches, and pirate hats. Don’t forget to complete your look with some fun pirate-themed accessories such as skull and crossbones earrings or a plastic sword. This is the perfect opportunity to have some fun and let your imagination run wild as you become part of the pirate crew.

Retro Night

Throw it back to the good old days with Retro Night on a Carnival cruise. This theme night allows you to channel your favorite era, whether it’s the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, or ’80s. Pull out your bell-bottom pants, tie-dye shirts, poodle skirts, or neon leggings and get ready to groove the night away. Accessories like oversized sunglasses, headbands, and chunky jewelry will add the perfect finishing touches to your retro-inspired ensemble. Get ready to bust out your best dance moves and enjoy a blast from the past.

Mexican Fiesta Night

Get ready for a fiesta on Carnival’s Mexican Fiesta Night. Celebrate the vibrant culture of Mexico by wearing colorful outfits inspired by traditional Mexican attire. Ladies can opt for beautiful embroidered dresses, known as “huipil,” paired with colorful sandals. Men can embrace the spirit of the fiesta with a traditional Mexican shirt, known as a “guayabera,” paired with linen trousers. Don’t shy away from accessorizing with sombreros, maracas, or colorful flower crowns. This theme night is all about embracing the lively atmosphere and immersing yourself in Mexican culture.

Shoes and Accessories

When it comes to theme nights, your footwear and accessories can play a big role in completing your look. Consider comfortable shoes that match the theme of the night, such as sandals for Mexican Fiesta Night or boots for Pirate Night. Accessories like bandanas, hats, jewelry, and props are also essential in fully representing the chosen theme. Embrace the opportunity to be creative and let your personality shine through your outfit and accessories.

Excursions and Activities

Active Wear

While on a Carnival cruise, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in a variety of active excursions and activities. It’s important to pack appropriate activewear that allows you to move comfortably. For outdoor activities like hiking or biking, opt for moisture-wicking and breathable clothing to keep you cool and dry. Leggings, workout shorts, and athletic tops are all great choices. Pack enough activewear outfits for each day, as these will likely get sweaty or dirty.

Comfortable Shoes

Whether you’re exploring the ship or going on shore excursions, comfortable shoes are a must. For active or adventure-based excursions, pack athletic shoes with good support and traction. Sneakers or hiking shoes are great options, depending on the type of activity you’ll be engaging in. If you plan on spending time in the ship’s gym or participating in any fitness classes, be sure to pack proper workout shoes as well.

Water Shoes

If you’re planning on participating in water-based activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, or visiting water parks, water shoes are a must-have. These specially designed shoes provide protection for your feet and offer better grip when walking on wet, slippery surfaces. Look for water shoes with a rubber sole and a snug fit to ensure comfort and safety during your aquatic adventures.

What To Wear On A Carnival Cruise

Gym and Spa

Exercise Clothing

For those who enjoy working out or maintaining their fitness routine, Carnival offers fully equipped gyms on their ships. Pack exercise clothing like leggings, shorts, t-shirts, or tank tops that allow for free movement. Opt for moisture-wicking fabrics that will help keep you cool and dry during your workouts. Remember to pack enough exercise outfits for the duration of your cruise so you can participate in activities without worrying about laundry or running out of clean clothes.


After a good workout, a refreshing swim or a soak in the spa can be just what you need. Don’t forget to pack your favorite swimsuit along with your exercise clothing. Whether you prefer a classic one-piece or a trendy bikini, choose swimwear that makes you feel comfortable and confident. You may also want to pack a cover-up, like a soft robe or a towel, to use when accessing the spa or moving between the gym and the pool area.

Robe and Slippers

To enhance your relaxation experience at the spa or while enjoying downtime in your stateroom, pack a cozy robe and comfortable slippers. Robes are perfect for lounging around your cabin, enjoying room service, or getting ready for a spa treatment. Slippers will keep your feet feeling pampered and provide additional comfort during your cruise. These small additions can make a big difference in ensuring a truly blissful and rejuvenating experience onboard.

Onboard Activities

Athletic Wear

Participating in onboard activities is a great way to make the most of your Carnival cruise experience. Whether you’re hitting the basketball court, challenging yourself at the rock-climbing wall, or playing mini-golf, be sure to pack appropriate athletic wear. Choose comfortable clothing that allows for a wide range of motion, such as athletic shorts, leggings, and moisture-wicking tops. These outfits will keep you comfortable and ready to have a blast on all of Carnival’s thrilling onboard activities.

Comfortable Shoes

When taking part in onboard activities, it’s essential to have comfortable shoes that provide adequate support and traction. Sneakers or athletic shoes are your best bet, as they offer stability and protection for your feet during active pursuits. Make sure your shoes are broken in before the cruise to avoid any discomfort or blisters. Comfortable footwear will allow you to fully enjoy all the exciting activities Carnival has to offer without worrying about foot fatigue or injuries.

Casual Wear

During downtime between activities and excursions, you’ll want to dress in comfortable and casual clothing. Choose clothes that allow you to relax and move freely, such as t-shirts, shorts, sundresses, or leggings. Carnival’s ships have a laid-back and friendly atmosphere, making casual wear the perfect choice for those moments spent socializing with fellow cruisers or enjoying a leisurely walk around the ship. Embrace the relaxed vibe and dress comfortably while still looking stylish.

What To Wear On A Carnival Cruise

Dining Options

Buffet and Casual Dining

Carnival offers a variety of dining options, including casual buffet-style restaurants, where you can enjoy a wide range of international cuisine. For these more relaxed dining experiences, dress comfortably and casually. Opt for comfortable and loose-fitting clothing that allows for easy movement. Casual pants, jeans, skirts, and t-shirts or blouses are all suitable choices. You can even elevate your casual attire with accessories like statement necklaces or scarves to add a touch of personal style.

Fine Dining

For those evenings when you prefer a more upscale dining experience, Carnival offers fine dining options where the dress code is slightly more formal. Men should pack dress pants or khakis paired with a collared shirt, and potentially a blazer for a more polished look. Women can opt for dresses, skirts, or dress pants paired with blouses or elegant tops. This is the perfect occasion to wear your favorite statement jewelry and dress shoes to complete your sophisticated ensemble.

Beach Dining

If you plan to enjoy a beach dining experience during your Carnival cruise, it’s essential to dress appropriately for the occasion. Lightweight and breathable clothing is key for comfort in warm weather. Pack breezy maxi dresses, flowy pants, or shorts paired with colorful tunics or shirts. Don’t forget your sandals or flip-flops for easy beach access. You can also bring a beach tote or a stylish backpack to carry essentials like sunscreen, beach towels, and a good book.

Specialty Restaurants

Carnival offers a variety of specialty restaurants where you can indulge in gourmet meals and unique culinary experiences. While the dress code at these restaurants is generally smart casual, it’s always a good idea to check any specific dress requirements beforehand. Men can wear dress pants or nice jeans paired with a collared shirt, and women can opt for dresses or skirts paired with blouses or tops. Consider adding a blazer or a cardigan for a more polished look. Your dining experience at a specialty restaurant is an opportunity to dress up and savor a delicious meal in a sophisticated ambiance.

Port Visits

Comfortable Walking Shoes

When exploring the ports of call during your Carnival cruise, comfortable walking shoes are a must. You’ll likely be spending a considerable amount of time on your feet, so make sure your shoes provide adequate support and cushioning. Opt for sneakers, walking shoes, or comfortable sandals with good arch support. It’s important to break in your shoes before your cruise to avoid any discomfort or blisters. Your feet will thank you as you embark on exciting adventures and wander through fascinating destinations.

Casual Wear

When visiting ports of call, it’s best to dress in casual and comfortable clothing. Choose lightweight and breathable fabrics that will keep you cool in warm weather. Dresses, shorts, skirts, or light pants combined with t-shirts or blouses are all suitable choices. Be mindful of local customs or dress codes, especially when visiting religious sites or conservative destinations. Layering is also a smart idea, as it allows you to adjust to changing temperatures throughout the day.

Light Layers

Even if you’re cruising in warmer climates, it’s always a good idea to pack some light layers for port visits. Weather conditions, especially in the early morning or evening, can be unpredictable. Having a light jacket, a cardigan, or a scarf on hand can help you adapt to changing temperatures or breezy coastal conditions. Layers also come in handy if you plan on visiting museums, churches, or other indoor attractions that may have air conditioning.

What To Wear On A Carnival Cruise

Formalwear Rentals

Tuxedo Rentals

For gentlemen who prefer not to pack formalwear, Carnival offers tuxedo rentals onboard their ships. This convenient service allows you to enjoy the luxury of dressing up without the hassle of bringing your own tuxedo. Simply visit the onboard tuxedo rental shop and choose from a selection of styles and sizes. Renting a tuxedo ensures that you’ll be well-dressed for formal nights and other special events without the need to lug your own formal attire.

Evening Gown Rentals

Ladies who want to feel like a princess on formal nights can take advantage of Carnival’s evening gown rental option. By renting an evening gown onboard, you can choose from a range of stunning styles and designs to suit your taste and body type. This service allows you to wear a gorgeous gown without the added luggage space or worry about dry cleaning after the cruise. Look and feel glamorous without the stress of buying or transporting your own evening gown.

Formalwear Alternatives

If renting formalwear is not your style, there are plenty of alternatives that still allow you to look elegant and appropriate for formal nights. Men can opt for a classic dark suit or a sports jacket paired with dress pants and a tie. Women can choose a cocktail dress or a more formal maxi dress. Just ensure that your chosen outfit adheres to the cruise line’s dress code guidelines for formal nights. Accessorize with statement jewelry and dress shoes to complete your formal look.

Packing Tips

Mix and Match

To make the most of your suitcase space, pack items that can be easily mixed and matched to create multiple outfits. This will allow you to have more options without overpacking. Choose neutral-colored clothing, such as black, white, navy, or beige, that can be paired with different tops and bottoms. This way, you can create various outfits by simply swapping out a few key pieces. Don’t shy away from patterns or prints, as they can add visual interest and versatility to your wardrobe.


Layering is key when it comes to dressing for different temperatures or fluctuating weather conditions onboard a Carnival cruise. Pack a mix of lightweight cardigans, jackets, and scarves that can be easily added or removed as needed. Layering not only provides practicality but also allows you to create different looks out of a limited number of clothing items. This technique is especially useful during port visits, where you may encounter a range of climates throughout the day.

Accessories and Jewelry

Accessories and jewelry can take your outfits from simple to stylish in an instant. To save space and pack efficiently, choose a few versatile accessories that can be mixed and matched with multiple outfits. This includes belts, scarves, statement necklaces, or hats. These small additions can completely change the look and feel of an outfit. Keep in mind that valuable or sentimental jewelry should be kept secure in your cabin safe when not in use to avoid loss or damage.

Laundry Services

Carnival offers laundry services onboard their ships for your convenience. Take advantage of these services to refresh your clothing during your cruise, especially if you’re on a longer voyage. Packing a travel-sized laundry detergent and a portable clothesline can also be helpful for quick and easy handwashing in your cabin. This will allow you to reuse items and keep them fresh for the duration of your trip. Just be sure to check the ship’s laundry schedule and plan accordingly.

By following these tips and considering the specific attire requirements for each occasion, you’ll be well-prepared for an incredible Carnival cruise experience. Remember to pack comfortably, maintain a personal sense of style, and enjoy all the fantastic activities and events that await you onboard. Bon voyage!

What To Wear On A Carnival Cruise