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How to Pack Your Formal Clothing for a Cruise

Updated on January 9, 2010
how to pack formal clothing for cruise, penywise,
how to pack formal clothing for cruise, penywise,

Perhaps one of the biggest highlights for some passengers are the formal nights scheduled by most cruise ships. A formal night gives passengers the opportunity to dress up in their finest elegant attire and shine for one unforgettable evening of superb dining and entertainment. A long lasting memory of a formal night is then captured by a professional photographer.

A formal night is reminiscent of the good old days when great grandpa and great grandma had to dress formally each evening during their long transatlantic cruises. Those were the times when cruising had a whole different appeal of prestige and wealth. Today, couples are particularly eager to attend a formal night because it may rekindle romance and offer the opportunity to look their best. However, attending a formal night requires some advanced preparation and this often means carefully packing your clothes for the gala event.

How to Pack Formal Clothing for a Cruise

1) A good place to start is by purchasing a hard sided suitcase. This hard shelled luggage will protect the contents and minimize the risks of unnecessary crushing and wrinkling. 

2) To get a fresh start, the formal night attire should be pressed and free of wrinkles before the departure. Of course, the closer to departure day the formal clothes are pressed the better. 

3) After being pressed, the formal clothes may be placed in a roomy garment bag or carefully wrapped in dry cleaning bags. 

4) Passengers may also bring along a de-wrinkling product to use in case of need. Of course, such de-wrinkling products should be tested first  to ensure they are safe to use on certain fabrics. Nothing may be more frustrating than dealing with a ruined dress right on the formal dress evening!

5) While, this will help ensure clothes with little wrinkles, passengers should keep in mind, that realistically in most cases, some wrinkles will eventually form due to packing. For this reason, most cruise lines offer a service that will press your clothes on board. As an alternative, for minor wrinkles, passengers may always take advantage of laundry facilities on board that may offer the possibility to use an iron and an ironing board.

6) More and more stores equipped with travel accessories offer special fabrics that are granted to be less prone to getting wrinkled. Some of these stores may even carry some formal wear clothing that should offer these qualities. Good fabrics less prone to wrinkling are polyester blends. 

By following the above guidelines, your formal attire should suffer the least amount of self inflicted injuries. 

If packing your formal clothes however appears too complicated or if you worry about traveling with expensive clothing, the cruise line may offer men and women the opportunity to rent tuxedos and formal clothing on board. It is always wise to ask in advance before relying on these types of services. If these services are available then, passengers so stop by early to have an idea of what styles and sizes of clothing are available.Other services of interest on board for those interested in attending a formal night are beauty salons offering facials, manicures and special hair do's and spas. Often great discounts are available for multi-treatments. 

Superb dinners,  elite events, spectacular wardrobes... a formal night will ultimately  turn out to be an unforgettable evening. So pack your polished shoes, your most elegant gowns and your most gleaming pieces of jewelry for this most attended event.


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    • profile image

      Formal clothing 7 years ago

      To protect your formal wear from damage that many be inflicted on it during your journey, you may want to consider wrapping it in light plastic bags, such as the type that dry cleaners use.

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 8 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Alexdry I love this article, the picture is so classy. Thank you for all these helpful hints.

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 8 years ago

      Alexadry, What a helpful hub! Great tips! I do luv taking a nice cruise although its been a while... I think the formal nights are great too! Thank you for sharing, Blessings!