I just got home yesterday from my first cruise (HAL Maasdam, to western Caribbean---a week of pure bliss!). I definitely over-packed. I packed one "day outfit" and one "evening outfit" for each day (total 14 outfits, plus a couple of extra tops "just in case" but ended up wearing only about half. As others have said, you really do wear your swimsuit and coverup the most. My coverup kind of looked like a summery short dress, so it was perfect for leaving on at lunch time (I chose to eat in the buffet lunch, but I could have worn it in the nicer dining room). I definitely packed too many really dressy things for evenings (I guess I was influenced by memories of the LoveBoat TV show!). The dressy stuff was overkill for dinners designated as casual or informal (even though the men have to wear a jacket for informal nights, the women did not dress up much--nice slacks outfits for the majority). Here's what I'd pack for my next cruise: 2 dressy dresses for formal night (most people do not wear "evening gowns" just something really classy and pretty). 2 sundresses for informal nights. 3 casual outfits (either slacks or skirts with fun tops) that will work for casual night dinner, yet be comfortable enough for the activities the rest of the night. (these slacks may come in handy if you have a cool day, as we did in Key West). 2 shorts and 3 or 4 tops that all mix and match. 2 swimsuits and 2 coverups that double as a casual dress. (that works especially well for a port of call where you need to be in "real clothes" part of the day but plan to swim at a beach part of the day--just wear swimsuit all day under the coverup dress) Also, if you're married and helping your husband pack, plan for him to wear each dress shirt twice. He won't be in them that long each night, because most of the men change back into comfy things for dancing, shows, lounges, or whatever they're doing after dinner.
Post Edited (12-01-03 19:53)