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Dressing for a Disney Cruise: Tips from the Disney Parks Moms Panel

Jonathan Frontado

by , Public Relations Director, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney and Disney Vacation Club

What to wear on a Disney cruise is one of the biggest topics addressed on the Disney Parks Moms Panel. For tropical destinations, we all know that swimwear is a must for daytime fun. But what is appropriate for nighttime?

I reached out to the Disney Cruise Line specialists on the Disney Parks Moms Panel to find out what their family wears on nights designated as cruise casual, formal and semi-formal, and here’s what they had to say …

Cruise Casual


“For cruise casual nights, our family dresses in clothing that would be appropriate for a nice dinner out at a casual dining restaurant. That usually consists of khakis and a golf shirt for my husband and capris and a cute top for me. Since our kids are older, we choose the late seating for dinner. Our girls go directly to the Youth Clubs after the meal, so they prefer to wear something comfy and casual that they can wear straight to Edge and Vibe. You’ll probably find them in a cute tunic, leggings and sandals, or capri pants and a fun top.” –Diane W.

“For my husband and teenage son, collared shirts are always easy to pack and go well with his khaki pants or jeans. Boat shoes are a staple in my boys’ closets, since it pairs nicely for evenings out and practically goes with everything. My daughter will usually be comfortable wearing a sundress for cruise casual evenings, paired with dressy ballet flat shoes. I’m usually comfortable with my capri pants and a nice bright colored blouse. Comfy wedge heels are a must for me in the evenings, since we like to stroll along the deck after dinner before heading over to one of the lounges for a cocktail or a nightcap.” –Dolly M.

Formal and Semi-Formal


“On formal and semi-formal nights, you’ll see everything from tuxedos and formal gowns to sundresses. We like to find a happy medium. My husband will wear a jacket and dress shirt (sometimes a tie), and I will wear a nice (but not formal) dress. I do enjoy seeing those who bring ball gowns and tuxedos, and that makes for a precious photo op with the Disney characters in their formal best.” –Diane W.

“For formal night or an evening at Remy or Palo, I like to wear a dress with heels, and my teenage daughter wears a nicer sundress with the same ballet flat she wears on the cruise casual nights. We both bring a shawl or a light sweater to drape over just in case it gets breezy. My husband always packs a pair of dress pants and a jacket if we know we are dining at Palo or Remy, and he’ll bring an extra shirt and tie for formal or semi-formal night. My teenage son packs his Oxford shoes to match his dress pants and long-sleeved shirt. We never run out of collared shirts, since it’s our go-to outfits for the boys in the family.” –Dolly M.

For other tips on what to pack for your Disney cruise, check out my previous posts:


  • I dress up for work all year. When I go on my disney cruise I wear jeans and a t-shirt or shorts and tank tops the entire cruise, even on formal night. I choose to dress down because that is how I feel comfortable on MY holiday. And it shouldn’t matter to anyone else how I choose to dress, I paid for my holiday and will enjoy it how I want to.

  • Thanks, Sarah, this is most helpful as we’re taking grandkids and their dad to Alaska in July.

  • I agree it is way to casual now. I preferred the first cruise we went on the Dream and everyone dress up. The last two cruises a majority didn’t really care what they wore showing up in jeans. Not cool.

  • If you will be going on an Alaskan cruise, be sure to bring along warmer attire for all times of day, including dress-up clothes. We learned this the hard way last summer. While the inside of the ship is mostly climate controlled, light sweaters and sleeveless summer dresses (usually plenty on a summer evening the Pacific Northwest) were not enough to walk the decks (especially if you’re not in port) or sit comfortably in the theater for the evening show. Plan on long pants, leggings, or tights, long sleeves or heavier sweaters, and closed toe shoes for women and girls. Boys and men may want a sweater or nice crew-necked sweatshirt to put over a polo or button-down shirt. Think of what you might wear on a chilly, late fall day and plan for layered options in case it’s warmer or cooler than you anticipate.
    Oh! And a tiara (bought ahead of time at the Disney Store) is a fun way for girls (and maybe moms) to add a bit of magic to their evening outfits.

  • So glad to see this post! It seems like each cruise I take I see the dress become more and more casual, probably to casual for my taste but to each his own. On my last cruise over Memorial Day on the Dream, I was shocked to see T-shirts, flip flops and baggy shorts on men at dinner.

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