I am planning on using a garment bag and then crossing my fingers that the flight attendants will allow me to hang it in the closet on the plane. I have seen a lot of other people be allowed to do this, so I'll give it a shot. I guess you can ask before you check in or something, I'm not really sure.
You can also bring a travel sized steamer - you can get them fairly cheap at Wal Mart or Target. Or they have irons on the ship's laundry rooms, but that might not be an option depending on what material your dress is made out of.
Victory, here I come!! - October 2, 2004
My suitcase (Kirkland brand from Costco) has a built in garment bag that fit into a zippered compartment separate from the rest of my stuff. I packed a long skirt that I wore on formal nights and brought 2 tops to wear with it–but I could have gotten by with just one if I was a little less vain!. This system of a long skirt and tops worked out very well during a weeklong Caribbean cruise. I never had the skirt pressed, and it is unlined, very lightweight silk taffeta. That being said, I might consider a simple dressy jersey long skirt next time. Bringing anything beaded, sequined, or pofy prom dessish is completely unnecessary. Unless you like that sort of thing, it takes up way too much space for the 2-4 hours you will wear it on a one week cruise. The long skirt and blouse was a very versatile alternative.
we always hang our formals in the dry cleaner's bags in our garment bag. The garment bag gets checked on the plane,no problems, just take them out and hang them in the closet as soom as you can. My beaded halter sheath and the guys suits didn't require ironing. I did however press their dress shirts and that was it.
I have in the past brought a suitcase type garment bag when I travelled, (a Tumi) which I could hang my dresses, husbands suits and shirts. I leave everything in the cleaner's plastic bag. If anything is wrinkled, I hang it in the bathroom, turn on the hot water tap in the tub or shower and close the door. This usually will take out most wrinkles. My husband went on a road trip for his company that went public, and was in a different hotel every night, (no time to unpack). He did the above "shower thing" and it worked like a charm. Good travelling.