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Find out what to pack for a Caribbean cruise to The Bahamas, St. Thomas, and St. Martin, including outfits for the plane, boat, beach, and sightseeing in the islands!
What to Pack for a Caribbean Cruise
Written By: Liz Warren
Cruises are a great way to explore a few different spots all in one trip. You can go jetskiing in the Bahamas one day and get your hair braided on a beach in St. Martin the next.
It’s also the perfect opportunity to show off your lounge wear and dramatic wide-brimmed hats! It’s every fashion-lover and beach-goers dream.
Start by reading these general tips for packing for a cruise:
- What to Pack for a Cruise Vacation
- What’s in My Carry-on Bag for a 2-Week Cruise
- What to Pack on a Cruise: 7 Things to Bring and What to Leave Behind
- Understanding the Cruise Dress Code
- 10 Unexpected Things You’ll Experience on a Cruise
Also, take a look at these tips on what to pack for the Bahamas!
We’ve provided suggested guidelines; remember that you should adapt the visuals and choose clothing that’s more suitable to your own style preferences. Here’s what to pack for a Caribbean cruise so you’re island-ready every day:
Getting to the airport
Unless you live in Florida, you’ll probably have to take a plane to get to the port. You’ll want to dress appropriately for your time in the air (covered up for the inevitably chilly ride, but still fashionable and island-ready!).
You can accomplish this by pairing comfy leggings and layers with bright prints and bold accessories – try oversized sunglasses and a vibrant kimono. All you’ll need is a pina colada (which you might be able to arrange with the flight attendants)!
Check out our list of the best leggings for travel!
Spending the day at sea
Once you’re on board, there are tons of activities to check out all over the boat. You can sunbathe on the deck, play around in the casino, hit up the bars, or even try surfing in one of those crazy wave pools (if your boat has one).
Whatever you decide to check out, you’ll want your bathing suit handy. Nothing kills a good time like having to go back to your room to change!
Wear your suit under a cute coverup, whether it’s a flowy dress or loose-fitting lounge pants. And of course, don’t miss your opportunity to wear a wide-brimmed hat, which was basically designed for cruise ship getaways!
These are the best swimsuit coverups of the season!
Dinners on the boat
Here’s where you can dress up and wear your flashiest outfits. Many cruise ships pull out all the stops when it comes to dinnertime, offering top-notch cuisines in the most romantic settings. It’s the perfect time to pull out your dramatic maxi dress or classy jumpsuit and heels.
Don’t forget, though: you’re still on a boat, and it’s bound to get cool and windy at night. Tie your hair back into a low ponytail and make sure you have a light jacket or shawl to put on when it gets chilly.
We’ve got a roundup of our favorite beautiful summer maxi dresses!
Strolling around the island
Ah, yes: what you came for. When you’re docked at each of the islands, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got all your layers within close reach so you don’t have to go back to the boat to change. A big beach bag keeps handy your towel, coin purse, sunscreen, and a pair of dry clothes to change into.
Sundresses are perfect for these days to keep you cool and comfortable during the sweltering heat (after all, you’re visiting an island in the summer…it’s going to be pretty hot!). Alternatively, opt for light capris and a breezy top with comfortable footwear to match.
As you plan what to pack for a Caribbean cruise, remember to bring shoes appropriate for any land-based activities.
Here are the best beach bags and totes for a pool or seaside trip!
Playing on the beach
The Bahamas, St. Thomas, and St. Martin are home to some of the most pristine, gorgeous beaches in the world. They’re essentially massive, natural playgrounds, with jet skis, banana boats, surf boards, and skim boards available for anyone who wants to take a ride.
Opt for a bathing suit that will stay put while you’re cruising along the shore, and wear shoes that were designed to be worn in the water. You’ll also want to pick a hat that’ll stay on tight, even with huge waves crashing alongside you.
Check out our list of the best one piece swimsuits of the season!
What are your tips on what to pack for a Caribbean cruise? Share in the comments below!
For more Caribbean packing tips, please read:
- What to Wear in Turks and Caicos
- What to Wear in Grand Cayman
- What to Pack for Aruba
- What to Wear in Bermuda
Suggested travel resources:
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Author Bio: Liz is a Boston-based writer with a severe case of wanderlust. She loves that her job allows her to combine travel and fashion, and she’s always dreaming up her next trip (and wardrobe to go along with it). Follow her stylish adventures on Instagram & Twitter.