Cruise clothings

We have never been on a cruise before. We are going to be on the Mediterrean cruise in May. Should we bring warm clothes since we'll be on the ship during night time? Is there air conditioning in the stateroom to regulate room temperature. We are trying to pack one carry on for a 3 week land and cruise trip. Thank you

Posted by Dina
Fontainebleau, France
893 posts

Vivian - I'd suggest a few things that will help you decide what to bring: 1) Google "Weather May XX" with the name of the city you will be visiting to get the historical highs and lows. 2) Get the 10 day forecast before you leave 3) Go to and get information from the ports of call boards for the ports you are visiting, the forum for your cruise line for information on the ship, and you can sign up for a Roll Call to "meet" others that will be on your sailing. Pay attention to what the dress code is for your cruise line. Some have formal nights, some say no shorts, some say you can wear anything except a bathing suit to meals. In general, the weather will be varied. Most - if not all - mainline ships have airconditioning. You may want a sweater on board if the common areas are over-air conditioned.

Posted by Christi
Whitsett, TX, United States
908 posts

Hi Vivian As mentioned Cruise Critic is a valuable resource. For May layering is essential. As far as packing in a carry on - fantastic - it really can be done. I will be packing a carry on only for 11 nt transatlantic cruise plus 30 days in Europe traveling. Mix & match is essential - pick one color scheme and stick with it. If you want to dress up for any cruise nights stick with nice black slacks & a blingy top. Plan on doing laundry and don't worry - no one will care if you wear the same outfit more than once. I have found sun dresses - I have several long & short jersey ones - travel very well and you can dress them up or down with accessories. Have a great trip!

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
8198 posts

Hopefully you will have nice days but plan for cool evenings - especially when if you're out in the wind; the ship is traveling at something around 30 mph. Most outside areas are protected by windbreaks but it's still cool outside.

Posted by Susan
Atlanta, Ga, USA
1607 posts

We did a 12 day Mediterranean cruise last year(first cruise) that began in Athens on May 26 and ended in Barcelona. The weather was mild-not too warm and not cool. I took a light sweater but no layers were needed. The staterooms were air conditioned and that was needed. We tried to pack light but learned quickly that cruisers do not travel light. Never have I seen so much huge luggage. Don't forget a swim suit because lots of time is spent poolside on the sun deck.

Posted by Vivian
Diamond Bar
15 posts

Thank you so much. We'll bring a couple light layers, just in case. We saw some pictures of huge luggage in the hall ways on the ship and worried that we won't have enough clothes to keep us warm and comfy.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
14142 posts

When we do cruises (so far 6 in Europe and another this Fall) we take two backpack style carry ons and one rolling carry on size that has the extra clothes that we think are necessary for a cruise. Always have a waterproof/wind shell that is the rain jacket when necessary and worn over a light sweater if necessary for the weather on deck. Staterooms have individual controls to regulate the temp. The Med in May will tend to be cool as everything is just warming up. Depending on the schedule ships often travel much slower than 30 mph so wind on deck is not a problem if the wind, itself, is not blowing. I will not admit to how much luggage and clothing we took on our first cruise. Send a PM if you want our packing lists.

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
3399 posts

Taking a cruise usually takes more clothes than a land based vacation. Getting the right clothes in carry on baggage might be difficult. But cruises are getting less formal than in the past. We've got to where we don't really enjoy the "formal nights" that much. I get out of the suit as fast as I can get back to our room. We do get khaki pants and blue jeans heavily starched at the laundry before going, and they last many more "wear-days." You should be dressing for Summer in the Mediterranean in May, as you're pretty far south. I cannot help to think that if Rick Steves was taking a cruise, he'd be able to do it in a carry on bag.
Don't forget your backpack or big purse as a backup.