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Cruise Humor
Cruise Dress Codes
Mike Blanche

Many of you often have questions about the dress code aboard ships. The vague descriptions and glowing photos in the brochures don't help much, so let me try to clarify the situation for each cruise line.

Cunard Line


Men -- White or black tux, tails, bow tie, wing collar, cumberbund, diamond studs, white gloves, patent leather shoes. Top hat and spats, if you have them. Diplomats should wear sash, royalty should limit crowns to reasonable size, no ermine trim.

Women -- No man-made fabrics. Silks only. Please limit trains to 20 feet. One servant suggested for each 10 feet of train, available by calling the Purser's office. No diamonds under one carat. Natural pearls only. Tiaras recommended for royalty.


Men -- Omit top hats, spats. Royalty omit crowns.

Women -- Limit trains to 10 feet.


Men -- omit cumberbund and gloves.

Women -- Cultured pearls OK.

Holland America Line


Men -- Tux suggested. AARP pins should be diamond only. Canes should be ebony with gold heads, wheelchairs gold plated with black upholstery.

Women -- Silks suggested. Green discouraged, as it clashes with blue hair. Diamond brooches should be smaller than coffee saucer.


Men -- Dark suits OK. Wheelchairs may be silver plated. "No Boundaries" ties discouraged.

Women -- Something like the dress you wore on VJ day would be good.


Men and Women -- Polyester leisure and pants-suits, of course.

Princess Cruises & Royal Caribbean International


Men -- Tuxes or dark suits. White shirts. Ties. Polishable shoes.

Women -- Cocktail dresses or silk pant suits. Limit heels to 3 inches.


Men -- Suits. Shirts of any color. Ties if you can find one to match. (For Princess, no lipstick or rouge on collars, no long blonde hairs on jacket. This "Love Boat" thing can be carried to extremes!)

Women -- Something "dressy but not too." No blue jeans. No navels showing.


Men -- No blue jeans. No navels showing. No T-shirts, unless bought on this ship on this cruise. Shoes.

Women -- Nothing from the Madonna Collection. Wear what you would out shopping -- except for the curlers, of course.

Carnival Cruise Lines


Men -- Tux or suit. Purple tuxes OK. On suits, pants should match jacket. Polishable shoes. Black leather is NOT formal.

Women -- That fancy dress you've been dying to wear somewhere. No bridesmaid dresses. No wedding gowns, for that matter.


Men -- Jacket and tie. Not with blue jeans! No jogging shoes. No jogging suits, for that matter.

Women -- Nothing from the Madonna Collection. All underwear worn under, not over, other clothing. Limit heels to 5 inches.


Men -- Pants. Not short ones, either. Shirts. Shoes. Socks, probably.

Women -- If it's skin tight, don't make it flesh colored. Wear what you would to go shopping at the mall, but without the black lipstick.

Windjammer Barefoot Cruises


Men -- Black bathing suit and matching sandals. T-shirt is OK, but may be too formal.

Women -- White bathing suits, matching sandals.


Men -- Any color bathing suit.

Women -- Any color bathing suit.


Men --

Women --

Mike Blanche is a CompuServe Cruise Forum Staff Member and a frequent contributor to The SeaLetter. He can be reached for comment or boos and hisses at: 76061.2514@compuserve.com.

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