Planning for our Cruise – What should I wear?

I am really looking forward to our cruise in August but I am a bit worried about what I will wear on the boat. Carnival Cruises state on their website that most evenings are “Cruise Casual” but that there are “Cruise Elegant” evenings a few nights on each sailing.

There are a few things to take in to consideration when packing. The daytime casual clothing is similar to what I would wear on a foreign holiday anyway with a combination of summer dresses, kimonos and Palazzo trousres with matching vests. I will also need to have something to cover my shoulders for when on shore especially if we go to the Vatican or similar religious venue.

I wouldnt normally change for the evenings when on holiday but this cruise is going to have to be different. I have been looking at the Lyst website for a selection of dresses that would be perfect for both Cruise Casual and Cruise Elegant evenings.

When it comes to Cruise Casual I am looking for some bright coloured dresses that will flatter my (hopefully smaller) figure. I will be looking for a shawl or similar to be able to wear over all the dresses as the cruise ship will have air conditioning and it will be good to be able to wrap something around me at night.

The dresses for the Cruise Elegant nights need to be just that, elegant. I am not a lover of cocktail dresses but love all three styles shown below. I would need to get some shoes that would work with these and I am thinking a nice pair of wedges because heels and boats dont always mix.
If I didnt want to dress up then we could eat at the buffet and just wear our daytime clothes but with so many amazing restaurants to sample on the ship I will have to plan for all eventualities and that means lots of smart dresses to change in to for the evening.

I have been reading lots of articles about what to wear on a cruise and one thing that was suggested was to ensure that your daytime wardrobe can be swapped and changed to keep it fresh whilst minimalising the amount you need to pack. I plan on spending most of my time in my swimming costumes anyway so this shouldnt be a problem but there is the one good thing about it and that is that I need to go shopping but first I need to loose a bit more weight!