June 10, 2022
She Knows NOTHING About Packing for a Cruise….
So her plan is to pack a normal suitcase for a trip this long, to the river district of Germany, and then let all of her friends make suggestions!
As always, she’s going to travel in her favorite outfit. There’s no reason to wear anything else; she might have to wear this outfit for a LONG time, depending on the timely arrival of her luggage!
Before she starts packing any other colors or fabrics or styles, she wants to “finish” her black, dressy cluster. Why NOT bring a pretty ruana?
She’s been promised some very warm days – surely shorts will be appropriate for sightseeing somewhere along the way? She loves the way her “deep midnight” clothes contrast with pure white…
She’s never been one to shy away from wearing beige with pure white, so she chooses another handful of light, summery clothes – 6 outfits just from these 5 garments…
She truly feels like she could stop packing now, but she likes the idea of a versatile dress, and a couple of pretty tops, as well as more jewelry and some dressy espadrilles! Maybe she won’t be wearing black tie, but there’s a whole WORLD of prettiness that she can enjoy…
It seems like a lot! But she is gone for 2 weeks, and she will be doing laundry:
Just for fun, she finds 2 weeks of outfits – in almost no time at all:
Okay now – EVERYBODY who has been on a cruise – especially a European river cruise – jump in and give a couple of our friends some good advice! I’ve never been on a cruise, and I don’t see one in my near future…
p.s. Four years ago, our wardrobe was ALSO based on a beautiful seascape painting….
Lois Breedlove says
I would add/substitute a long skirt. Surprisingly some of these tour cruises do have dressy occasions.
I would also make sure I had a long-sleeved shirt and I like a mid-calf elastic waist print skirt (even tiers, although I never wear these at home) for day tours. Some sites, churches for instance, frown on too much skin.
And a swimsuit!
Now I want to go! And I love this color scheme.
Agreed – a long skirt (I have one of those fake Fortuny pleat ones) and maybe a couple of super glam tops – beaded or sequined or something. Cruise-ship dining rooms can be very glamorous, and it’s fun to dress special-occasion-fancy. A cruise is a special occasion, after all.
Linda P says
Hi Janice and Lois! Where is everyone?
I was hoping that this cluster would lean toward teal. The ruana is a must – it’s just the right weight when one needs a little warmth but not get overheated.
I would agree with taking a long(er) skirt, and a long-sleeved top of some sort. With a little planning and accessories, it could be dressy enough for a fancy dinner.
In related news…sometime before the end of the year we will be remodeling our upstairs bathroom, and I have been mulling over color schemes. (for me, it all starts from there). I was playing around with teal…or silver…so your color combo today has got me thinking…
Definitely NOT beige, or anything in that color wheel. For clothes, it’s fine. When we moved into our house 30 years ago it was the House of Beige, and I’d sworn from the 1st day nothing would get painted beige again.
Beth T says
My bathroom tiles are seagrass (teal green) and and seafoam (lighter shade) with a line of black pencil tiles above black and mother of pearl mosaic tiles in the middle. The top edge of the tiles halfway up the wall and around the window are edged in chrome. We have a white suite, off white cupboards with black marble effect top plus chrome accessories and black and white floor. The green is restful. Think Modern Art Deco.
Planning a packing list now for a Caribbean cruise in a couple of weeks, using things I’ve learned from reading this blog. I am planning on bringing lots of mix and match tops and bottoms in navy, white,and blue. Also including two long dresses and a short linen dress, even though I seldom wear skirts at home. Comfortable shoes are essential for touring and I would avoid spike heels on a moving ship (maybe not such a problem on a river). Check the cruise line website for essential information on required vaccinations and testing. Things are changing all the time and no one wants to be denied boarding at the cruise dock. Also, check to see if there are special events that might need a particular outfit. Holland America had a day when everyone was encouraged to wear orange, Disney does a Pirate Night, and I think there’s one that suggests an all white outfit one day. Looking forward to traveling again after so long at home!
I would add a light weight rain jacket as well as a pair of sneakers (I know there’s a pair of loafers but it’s good to change out). There is quite a lot of walking involved, as you tour various sites along the way. This is a good thing so you can walk off some of the delicious meals. Maybe swap sneakers for one of the pairs of sandals.
I really love this color palette!
I have never been on a river cruise but have done several cruises on the big ships. So far they (P&O) have always had a black and white night (black tie) which I love. Probably another 3 black tie nights on a 14/18 night cruise. The other evenings are smart casual but as I find smart casual hard to do I usually wear a long skirt or a cocktail dress which are often worn several times. Booked for the Med in October for an 18 night but taxi from home to Southampton, overnight in a hotel then taxi to the dock the following day means weight isn’t a problem. Just as well as 1 of my dresses is beaded and is quite heavy. I love the dressing up as it’s the only time I get to do it. I do like everything to be as versatile as possible so I do tend to keep to a colour scheme, lots of white (there is a launderette on board) and several shades of blue usually works ok. Next year it’s Norway so jumpers may be a thing.
Only cruise I’ve done was Norway with hurtigruten. First two weeks of august, but it was definitely trousers and jackets weather. My grandmother (who I was accompanying) loves to dress up for dinner though, so a varied range of clothing was a must for her.
Beth T says
I am told by friends and relatives that river cruises are more informal than large ship cruises. The dress code is smart casual. This looks lovely but when it rains in Germany, it belts down so a waterproof fold-up pac-a-mac and trainers for sightseeing are essential. It can be sunny one minute and torrential the next.
Janice Collins Coyle says
I’ve been o two cruises one in the summer to Northern Europe, Scotland, Ireland, etc Be sure to include some warm clothes even in summer for these countries. Also I agree, shorts are frowned on in some places – definitely cathedrals and castles. Also on cruises there are “formal nights” where you wear a cocktail or even evening dress. I always carry a little black dress for this in a non-wrinkle knit with some formal jewelers and my dance shoes – nude color. I wear it with a belt and more casual sandals for other occasions. Also take VERY comfortable waking shoes for the tours available. Definitely take a swimsuit and coverup for the pools on the ships – they are fun. I always wear a sun hat when touring so that I can see things with or without sunglasses. A light-weight cross body purse is great for touring. And bring along a foldable/packable rain jacket when touring.
But mostly have fun!
Love these colors. When son and I went to Hawaii I found a ruana to be incredibly useful. Being a woman of a certain age my body no longer seems to regulate my temperature very well. In the room with the air conditioning on reading in the morning with coffee, or at night when we’d finished for the day I could wrap it around me and still be comfy. Also very useful on the plane and in airports. In fact, this year I’m making myself one as I could not find one in the colors I wanted. About 1/2 way done and road trip is in 3 weeks – I think I can make it! Thank you so much and have a great weekend!
I love the colors! Having never been on a cruise I have no advice… but I’m storing all the information away in case the situation ever presents itself! :)
Cherry Robinson says
Casual during the day, appropriate to the activity, take the opportunity to wear something nicer in the evening. You are “dining out” after all. I find knit dresses in a pretty print work well. You can stuff them any old how in the suitcase and they take up little space.
Love the colors (and the painting). I could live in this cluster. Thinking about purchasing the ruana. The color fits my closet. There are not any river cruises in my future.
Jackie Katz says
I love the colors but they are too cool for my coloring. I have had the lined white linen skirt on my wishlist for awhile. Your featuring it must be a sign that I should purchase it!
I love this painting and the colors! Beautiful!
I just finished a Rhône river cruise (and am still here with COVID). Yes to all who said river cruises are not as formal and recommended adding sneakers. Lots of cobblestone walking.
Add a hat—depending on your destination. Tons of sun in the south of France.
Women here seem to mostly wear dresses (one and done).
Christi C says
Pretty close to perfection! One less pair dressy shoes and a pair of sneaker for all the cobblestones streets! Last year I went on 6 river cruises, this would have served very well for my warm weather cruises! A rain jacket need too and a light sweater in case it’s cool some days. Most river cruise lines can do laundry at a reasonable price. Some lines, like Uniworld, have self serve machines too!
Love the colors, and the bathroom sounds marvelous! Also appreciate the hints on packing for cruises. It’s been awhile since we have planned a just-for-fun vacation… our most recent trip was for a lovely wedding, but we both ended up with COVID. Put a damper in our travel dreams for now. Boo. Still, I can live vicariously through this lovely wardrobe.
Chris in Indy says
Sorry to be the spoiler, but this feels like a lot of clothing, especially consider she would have to add pajamas and underpinnings and toiletries. Five pairs of shoes with no sneakers or walking sandals? I love the color palette and I understand that our heroine will not be moving from location to location, but it’s such a gift to have a tighter wardrobe.
It seems to me that a bottom (the EF black pants for example) could be pressed into duty for a fancy dinner with a black top and pretty sparkly accessories, eliminating the linen dress (although it is adorable). There are two ruched sleeve blue tops – maybe she would only take 1, substitute 1 pair of “hearty” sandals for the slides, add waterproof sneakers, choose between the shorts or the clamdiggers….just as a starter suggestions.
I just returned from a trip to Germany and Switzerland and a raincoat is essential.
I really do love this collection!! It’s just the quantity…
Definitely swap out walking shoes for one of the sandals. Lots of cobble streets, stair climbing, etc. Also rain gear. Would change linen for cotton, particularly no iron blouses–it is not generally particularly hot in that area. Longer skirts instead of the shorts. Do check on special nights–varies a lot by river boat operators. Agree on long sleeved shirt and possibly a light sweater.
With several riverboat cruises under my belt i agree a waterproof raincoat is a must. I always go only with a small carryon bag. No shorts for sightseeing but running shoes for sure. I only pack sandals for on the boat and wear my runners while travelling. I go black pants two pair and several tops, one being a little dressy. I take a couple of light sweaters to wear over black or white tee shirts to change up the look. I find most of the boats were very casual with maybe one night a little dressier. I take three underwear, the quick dry kind and wash one every night. You walk a lot on shore trips and get a little sweaty lol one couple even travelled with only a napsack each and were never out of place. You go on a riverboat to see a lot not to be seen wearing so many outfits. I have never had laundry done on board. So go mix and match, very minimal and enjoy the trip!
I forgot to say, i learned how to pack from you, janice, many many years ago and since then have been a far less stressed traveller.
Consider day dresses or capris instead of shorts especially if there are cathedral tours. Walking shoes are a must. I always change for dinner after a day of walking. Next year, I think I will use your three dress idea for evening. (Four ocean and three river cruises)
I agree with most of the suggestions presented here, with a little clarification between Caribbean cruises and river cruises. For Caribbean cruises, yes, shorts and t-shirts or casual tops during the day, then nice casual up to formalwear for the evening events.
On our Uniworld river cruise, the evenings were less dressy, but it was very nice casual, day or night. For example, casual pants, tops and walking shoes during the day, no jeans or casual T-shirts. Nice pants or skirt with a nice top and or sweater in the evenings.
I’ve been on two European Viking river cruises – one in May and one in June. Loved them and would highly recommend. I also love this wardrobe, for the colors and the versatility. Definitely bring a ‘breathable’ waterproof longer raincoat and waterproof, comfortable walking shoes. I brought two casual dresses but wished I had also packed leggings. The long button down dress here reminds me of one that I brought, and I wore it open as a topper and layered it different ways. This wardrobe reads a bit dressy for my style as I’m more inclined to wear pants, but I managed to dress things up with great necklaces and beautiful scarves. I would eliminate two skirts and replace with another pair of pants, and would only wear shorts on the boat. And you can’t go wrong by adding a crisp white button down shirt! River cruising is casual, so focus on feeling great in what you wear and enjoy!
I have been on several ocean cruises, but never a river cruise. Non-clothing items: sunscreen and battery-operated tea lights for night lights
in cabin and bath. Possibly a power strip, as we seem to have so many electronic items that need charging. Check on the voltage in advance or have a voltage converter. For clothing, remember that the breeze off the water will be cool, so rain jacket would help against rain, wind, and spray. A fleece jacket, though not as dressy, dries much more quickly than a sweater if you need to wash it. I would be uncomfortable traveling with so much white. Definitely sneakers or good walking shoes!
Lorrie Orr says
I learned how to pack from you, Vivienne, many years ago, from the yahoo group. So thank you very much!
I’ve been on two river cruises in Europe and second the advice about walkable shoes and a raincoat. Also a hat. The ruana is so pretty, and so useful on the plane as it can be quite chilly. We found that although dining is casual, almost everyone changed into something fresh and a bit more polished for dinner. I took a long skirt that I could wear with a couple of different tops, as well as a couple of dresses. For shoes I took a pair of Arcopedicos that were comfy and light to pack, a pair of Teva hiking sandals, and a pair of ballet flats. We spent time both before and after the cruises in various places, and did a bit of laundry, as needed. We always travel with carry-ons, and a tote bag (or small backpack for my husband).
nina t says
yay! these are most of my wardrobe colors now. i use navy instead of black (found matching sets!) and some sage color accents. works great!
This would have been way too dressy for the river cruise I went on. I wouldn’t use a pan ocean cruise as any type of reference for packing for a River cruise. There will be a cathedral on almost every outing you go on so capris, joggers, long skirts, or even long walking shorts might be most appropriate. A rauna is a great idea – I wore mine every day – sometimes as a scarf with a lightweight jacket and sometimes as a wrap. Walking shoes – yes! The sidewalks in general are much more uneven than in the states and harder on your feet and legs. Long casual skirts are probably as dressy as I personally would go. Whatever you pack be comfortable!