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What to Wear on a Disney Cruise

If you haven’t been on a Disney Cruise lately, you may wonder what to wear and pack for your Disney Cruise Line sailing. It can be challenging to pack when you aren’t entirely sure that you are packing clothes that are either too dressy or not dressy enough.

While you may be able to find some clothes in the shops on board, there isn’t a large selection. It’s best to pack whatever you think you may need.

Disclosure: We’ve been on a few media sailings at lower/no cost, but have also paid our own way. This post contains affiliate links and a purchase/click through one of these links may result in a commission paid to us at no cost. All opinions are my own.

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Entrance to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique on board the Disney Wish with mannequins in the window.

What to Wear on a Disney Cruise

Disney cruises are very kid-friendly and are therefore pretty casual overall. During the day (for warm weather destinations) many people will be in very casual clothing if they aren’t on the pool deck or an excursion.

I try to bring a few items that can be mixed and matched, with either a neutral or set color scheme. Since I’ll often be in a bathing suit for most days at sea, I can usually wear the same item more than once. I do, however, bring at least two bathing suits so I never have to put on a wet one.

You’ll also want to consider the excursions you have booked. There may be specific requirements of what you’ll need to bring, like closed-toe shoes. If you are going to be doing a lot of walking, you’ll want to bring along comfortable walking shoes.

There are lots of photo opportunities in the evenings, especially on dress-up or formal nights, so that could be a great excuse for some more formal family photos.

On the first evening, it’s not a guarantee that your checked luggage will arrive in time for dinner (especially if you have early dining time). That day is always cruise casual, so wear something on board that you’ll want to wear to dinner or pack something appropriate in your cruise day bag.

Dining Dress Codes

Some general dinner dress guidelines are provided by the Disney Cruise Line. These vary by the length of your sailing. You’ll want to check with them, however, before relying on this information because it’s always subject to change.

Regardless of the dress guidelines, swimsuits or tank tops shouldn’t be worn at dinner.

Woman taking photo in elevator

Cruise Casual: This is the most casual of the guidelines. The first dinner of your sailing on embarkation day is cruise casual, and if you have a longer sailing, you’ll likely have more cruise casual days. This is when you can “come as you are” and wear pretty much whatever you’d like.

Pirate Night: Pirate Night is a unique event on the Disney Cruise Line. While dressing up for pirate night is entirely optional, you will see lots of families taking part wearing pirate attire – including the adults.

During the day on a pirate night, the ship’s Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique turns into a Pirates League so your little one can get a full pirate makeover. This costs extra and should be booked in advance.

Dressing up in pirate costumes is optional. Some guests opt to go cruise casual, some will only wear a bandana, some wear pirate t-shirts, and others will choose an entire costume (Captain Jack Sparrow is especially popular). It’s up to you.

Pirate night on the Disney Cruise Line with LCD monitor

Dress-Up Night: This optional dress code is where you’ll pull out your most formal items. These would include suits for men and dresses/pant suits for women.

This is optional on the Disney Cruise Line, which is great for families with kids who may not want to dress up for dinner. There will be lots of photo opportunities in the lobby on the evening of dress-up night. But there isn’t a strict dress code.

Formal/Semi-Formal Nights: Longer sailings offer formal and semi-formal nights. These are also optional and are similar to dress-up nights. Like on dress-up nights, photo opportunities will be available.

1923 on the Disney Wish: New on the Disney Wish is 1923, one of the three main dining rooms that are part of the rotational dining experience. Some of the guests on the Disney Wish have started dressing up in 20s apparel for their dinner in 1923.

This is unofficial and completely optional, but you will see some guests dressed up each night. This isn’t one of the themed nights on the cruise, however. Guests will have their dinner rotation at 1923 on different nights, so you’ll see people in 1920s attire on different evenings.

Adult-only restaurants: If you are planning on dining at Palo, Remy (on the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream), or Enchante (on the Disney Wish), there is an additional dress code you’ll need to consider. Disney recommends formal or semi-formal clothing, and there is more detail on these dress code guidelines on their website.

If you want to eat at one of these locations, reservations are recommended. These can be made on the app or website when your booking window opens.

They are often fully booked in advance, especially when cruising on a sold-out sailing. If you don’t get a reservation, you can ask on embarkation day when you arrive on the ship.

On a three-day sailing, expect to have a cruise casual night, a pirate night, and an optional dress-up night. Four-day sailings have the same, with an extra cruise casual night, while seven-night cruises also have a formal night and a semi-formal night.

What To Pack

Your cruise packing list will vary, based on the length of your cruise, your specific plans, and the weather/location of the cruise. I try to bring a separate outfit for each dinner, and then some casual attire for the daytime. If I’ll be in the pool for much of the day, I won’t need as many casual outfits.

Don’t forget the shoes! I always pack flip flops, beach shoes (if sailing on a warm-weather itinerary), dress shoes, and sneakers. Check with your excursions to see if you’ll need any specific footwear like water shoes and/or closed-toed shoes.

Pool decks can be slippery, so consider packing shoes with some grip on them.

A Note on Laundry and Ironing

While none of us want to do chores on vacation, sometimes it’s necessary. All of the Disney Cruise Line ships offer self-service laundry facilities with irons. There is a fee to use the machines, but they are connected to the app so you’ll get an alert when the cycle is done.

If you are going to iron your clothes, I recommend doing it on the first day. Then, you’ll be able to enjoy your vacation without having to iron. It’s a good idea to unpack and hang up clothing as soon as your checked bags arrive.

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