I take two cocktail dresses(black both) for formal night. Casual nights; 1 pair of black capris with 2-3 different dressy shirts and a short black silkie stretchy dress from gap(diiferent jewlery for 2 nights). I take 1 pair of black open black sandals to wear for casual nights and 1 pair of high heeled fancier black sandals for formal night. Day stuff is: 2-3 pairs of shorts, 3-4 different tanks/tshirts, 2 bathing suits, nightshirt, coverup(usualyl dh's tshirt), flip flops, 1 pair sneakers(fly in and fly out and workouts on ship), some workout stuff. That's it!
It's actually pretty simple. For a seven-day cruise, I'll pack eight polo/golf shirts (seven to wear plus a spare), eight changes of underwear and socks, a supply of handkerchiefs, three pairs of slacks, three or four pairs of shorts if the cruise is going to a warm climate, a pair of dress shoes (black), moccasins for wear around the ship, my white dinner jacket and tuxedo pants with two shirts and the accessories (cufflinks & studs, vest, cummerbund, and ties), a couple sweaters or sweatshirts, a jacket, a sportcoat, and a "Hawaiian" shirt to wear at the deck party. If the cruise has semiformal nights, I'll bring the appropriate dress shirts and neckties as well. I usually wear a polo/golf shirt, slacks, and shoes in transit, so I have acceptable attire for dinner on the first night if my luggage does not arrive at my cabin in time. Also, don't forget toiletries, grooming aids, cameras, binoculars, etc., and your bible or prayer book.
The polo/golf shirts seem to be the ideal balance, as they are casual enough to wear with shorts during the day and dressy enough to wear to dinner on casual nights.
On our cruise 2 weeks ago on Explorer of the Seas I actually wore everything that I took. We did have 1 night pre-cruise and 1 night post-cruise so you may not need quite as much as I took but here's the list - 6 shorts, 15 tops (mix and match with the shorts and pants), 4 pants/capris, 2 casual dresses, 2 formals, 3 swimsuits, swimsuit coverup, shawl for formal nights, sweater, pjs, and 6 pairs of shoes. On my first cruise I took way too much so this time I really tried to pack lighter. I hope this helps!!
Karen, the only thing I would add to the above replies is that some ships have a guest laundry, and if yours does, you could pack half a week's daytime clothes instead of a full week's. If the ship does have a guest laundry, it will also have a soap dispenser and a change machine, so you don't have to worry about bringing detergent.
Some people will think I'm nuts for doing this, but if I'm on a ship with a guest laundry, I wash all our dirty clothes on the last afternoon. It might take a couple of hours of pool time, but it's a great feeling to come home from a wonderful vacation and not have to deal with a mountain of laundry!
A polo/golf shirt that's worn on a casual night can be "air and wear" for the next day.
Exactly. There's not much point in putting on a clean shirt to wear over a bathing suit on the way to the beach or on a sail/snorkel expedition, or to wear for an active day of sightseeing, hiking, canoeing, or whatever else one's plans might be.
That said, I basically published the gent's version of the list. Ladies will need to make appropriate adaptations -- the polo shirts might become tank tops or blouses, the slacks might become skirts, the formalwear becomes a gown or a cocktail dress (your "LBD"?), etc..