CRUISE TIPS: Greece is world-renowned for its mesmerizing beauty and rich history and cruising the region allows you to see it all easily. Knowing what to pack for a Greek Isles cruise is based mostly on what you plan to see and do on shore – but knowing the dress code of the cruise line and ship is important too.
Your choice of shore excursions is key for knowing what to pack for a Greek Isles cruise – whether it’s exploring ancient ruins like the Acropolis or Parthenon in Athens, or strolling along the beaches of Mykonos with its stunning turquoise waters.
For the most part, summertime in Greece presents gorgeous clear skies, lovely breezes and warm temperatures, however the sun can be fierce at times. Use sunscreen of course, but also avoid sunburn with a hat, sunglasses and clothing that’s light, airy and covers your shoulders and back of your neck if you feel sunscreen is not enough.
When packing for a Greek Isles cruise also consider clothing that’s multi-functional. For example, pants that have zippers to easily convert to shorts are ideal to wear on and off the cruise ship, or in and out of churches or museums. Or choose a dress that can also double as a long swimsuit coverup.
When selecting clothes, pick items made of breathable fabrics such as cotton to keep you cool. Light colours are also a smart choice as they don’t absorb heat as well. And if you’re travelling with family or friends, wear bright light colours that are easy to spot in a crowd so you’re less likely to lose each other. You’ll stand out from a ‘sea’ of black and white T-shirts that most people wear.
Pack a swimsuit (or wear one under your clothes) and an extra T-shirt in your backpack or beach bag. If you get hot, you might have the opportunity to quickly change into swimwear and head to the beach, or change out of a sweaty shirt and into a fresh one. Bring along a small towel and plastic bag to store your wet items so they don’t damage anything in your bag such as camera equipment.
Your choice of footwear is paramount to your comfort. In Greece, be prepared to walk on all types of surfaces from cobblestones, smooth slippery marble and uneven walkways at ancient sites, to sand or pebbles on the beach. Wear a comfortable pair of covered shoes to prevent stubbed toes, while also having a pair of lightweight sandals or flipflops in your backpack as a lighter option when appropriate.
On the cruise ship
Knowing what to pack for a Greek Isles cruise to wear when on the ship depends on the cruise line as some are more formal than others. Visit the cruise line’s website and search “Dress code” for guidance.
In general, most cruise ships have a wide variety of restaurants and bars so pack at least one outfit that fits every requirement so you can enjoy any of them.
Business casual is the most common dress code for most ship venues and for men this means longer dress shorts or pants and a collared shirt. For women, this includes dresses, skirts and blouses, dress shorts or capris – and carry a shawl for those chilly spaces such as dining rooms and theatres that are air-conditioned.
If you want to attend formal night activities or venues, men can wear suits or dress slacks with a sport coat, dress shirt and tie, or go all out with a tuxedo if it’s an upscale cruise line. For women, cocktail dresses, pant suits or elegant skirts and blouses are ideal.
Casual jeans, T-shirts, workout wear, sleeveless shirts (for men), flipflops and sneakers are best to wear around the pool, gym, recreational or sports venues such as basketball courts, mini-golf and shuffleboard, casual outdoor bars or out on deck.
And if there’s something you’ve forgotten, the cruise ship gift shop likely has something you can wear that’s suitable until you can go ashore and shop for exactly what you want.
Free Packing Checklists
For more information on what to pack for a cruise, here are FREE detailed cruise packing checklists – one for men and one for women – that you can download and print.
How to pack
For advice on how to pack, you’ll get more items in your suitcase by flat-packing rather than rolling items. Check out CN Traveler’s packing comparison. Flat packing allowed for an extra pair of pants and top over roll packing. However roll packing causes fewer wrinkles.
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