Cruises can get a bad reputation. But with the proliferation of smaller boutique cruises, the prospect of spending your days at sea hopping from place to place doesn't seem so bad. Imagine only having to unpack your suitcase once as you hop the Greek Islands, or getting off the grid somewhere in the Caribbean sea. Some cruises even take you around the world. Not so bad, right?
Mix up your days of excursions with others spent lazily soaking up the sun on the deck, trying cooking lessons, going to cabaret nights, or even attending formal gala nights—on higher-end luxury cruises. Imagine you're on the Titanic (sans iceberg, of course). Lull yourself to sleep with the sounds of waves crashing against the ship. There's something inherently romantic about being on the high seas.
If you're ready to give the cruising life a chance, what comes next is what to pack. With land adventures ranging from excursions to beach days and cities to explore, plus days on the ship spent going from the pool to the buffet, you'll need versatile pieces to take you from one place to the next. Ahead we rounded up our favorite cruise outfit ideas inspired by our favorite fashion girls.
For the Pool Deck
Elevate your simple pool deck bikini outfit with a printed kimono, wide-leg pants, and slides for a look that's both casual and elegant.
The recipe: Bikini + Kimono + Pool Slides
Available in sizes S to L.
For Hitting the Buffet
Wide-leg pants are ideal for a run through the ship's buffet because they'll leave room for you to indulge—as you should. Pair with a white linen shirt and simple sandals.
The recipe: Wide-Leg Pants + Linen Shirt + Flat Sandals
Available in sizes UK4 to UK14.
For Visiting a New City
Unless you are on an Alaskan cruise, city destinations tend to be hot, especially in summer months. Exit the ship in a linen shirt-and-shorts combo, comfortable flats, and Lolita sunglasses (for a dramatic effect).
The recipe: Linen Belted Shorts + Flat Mules + Lolita Sunglasses
For Days At Sea
Cruises notoriously have entire days at sea, but taking advantage of the pool deck is the ideal way to spend a day at sea. Throw on a statement one-piece swimsuit with a wrap midi skirt, and finish it off with a waterproof clear handbag.
The recipe: One-Piece Swimsuit + Midi Wrap Skirt + Clear Handbag
For Going on Excursions
Are you headed off the ship to explore Mayan ruins or Grecian architectural sites? A simple cotton midi skirt with a white T-shirt and espadrilles is the perfect outfit. Don't forget a wide-brim hat to protect your skin from the sun and a camera bag for snapping great shots!
The recipe: Cotton Midi Skirt + White T-Shirt + Espadrilles
Available in sizes 0 to 10.
For the Ship's Cabaret
A simple maxi dress will take you from day to night on the cruise ship—simply swap footwear! Embellished flat mules will help you keep your foot steady aboard while still looking chic.
The recipe: Ruffled Maxi Dress + Embellished Mules + Dainty Jewelry
Available in sizes 5 to 11.5.
For Ocean Excursions
Are you headed out on a catamaran, a jet-ski, a whale watching excursion? Pair a simple black bikini with a white linen shirt for a classic look. Finish off with your white Lolita sunglasses, denim shorts, and practical pool slides.
The recipe: Black Bikini + White Linen Shirt + Pool Slides
Available in sizes S to L.
For Formal Night
Some cruise ships, like Queen Elizabeth II, have a formal night, where everyone is required to wear gowns and tuxedos, so do your research ahead of time. If you do have a formal night planned on your cruise, we recommend an embellished naked gown, a simple crossbody bag, and kitten heels.
The recipe: Embellished Naked Gown + Crossbody Bag + Kitten Heels
Available in sizes UK4 to UK16.
For Beach Days
The perfect beach day excursion starts with a sunny yellow bikini and a snorkeling mask. Bring a simple coverup, flat sandals, and a basket bag to complete the look.
The recipe: Yellow Bikini + Beach Coverup + Flat Sandals
Available in sizes XS to L.
For Date Night
Have a special date night planned on the ship? This stunning yellow seashell midi dress is just casual yet elegant enough for a romantic evening at sea. Pair with comfortable heels and a nautical bucket bag.
The recipe: Yello Midi Dress + Comfortable Heels + Bucket Bag
Available in sizes XXS to XL.
For Sunset Drinks
Even the steadiest of cruise ships can get a little rocky on the high seas, so a block heel is always preferable to a stiletto. For a sunset cocktail, pair an off-the-shoulder top with high-waisted culottes and a simple white block heel.
The recipe: Off-the-Shoulder Top + High-Waisted Pants + Block Heels
Available in sizes IT34 to IT42.
Next up: These are the seven most popular Zara pieces of summer 2018.