girlfriends on a cruise travel guruPacking for a trip can be incredibly stressful. It’s hard to know what the weather will be, what functions will spring up unexpectedly. Sometimes even when you know there will be an “event,” it can be difficult to make the decision–in advance–about what to wear.

Girlfriend Guru and cruising expert Janet DeVito debunks the myth that only formal gowns are appropriate for the dressy “formal night” dinners of a cruise.

The formality of cruising was once considered one of the highlights of a Cruise Vacation, (and for some a deterrent!). Cruising has changed over the years. Large ships have evolved into floating resorts that do not subscribe to the rigid rules of decades ago. Cruise Ships now offer choices in everything from entertainment, dining, activities, and YES even dressing requirements. There are still formal nights on most Large Cruise Ships, but how fancy you dress is up to you!

I began cruising 16 years ago and actually looked forward to the typical two formal nights. I would carefully plan out my gowns, spend hours having my husband and sons get fitted for tuxedos, and search for dresses that my daughter would agree to wear. It was a ton of work, but once on the ship it was exciting to have those few moments captured in photos. Today, I often choose to spend my time doing other things on a cruise…like relaxing! And I am glad that cruising now offers options so I can!

Degrees of formality vary on different cruise ships and although some passengers do still put on gowns and tuxedos, many also choose to dress in cocktail attire or go super casual and avoid the main dining room altogether on formal nights. In some ways it makes everything much easier, and in other ways it confuses us more – “So what should I pack?”

In the last five years, I found the perfect answer to that question…the “Little Black Dress.” Girlfriend Guru Girls on a CruiseThe LBD has been my main staple for cruising. As a woman, getting dressed up is all about “options” and the LBD has so many possibilities! Dress it up with a glittery wrap and heels, or dress it down with a belt and flats. Another way to change your look is to pay attention to jewelry. A turquoise crystal necklace can totally transform that LBD into a eye-catching stylish look. Feel like going all out? Drape on the diamonds with a rhinestone clutch and you will feel very “black tie.” Yes, the “Little Black Dress” has become my best friend and taken the stress out of packing too.

On our Girlfriend Getaway Cruises, we start “Formal Night” evenings with our “Little Black Dress Wine Party” and I always love to see how the women in our group transform that LBD into their own style. So many creative ideas and styles to take home and try.

With so many options on such a wide variety of ships, formal nights don’t have to be hard work. A “Little Black Dress” and a little sparkle is all you need!

JANET DEVITO is 48 years old, happily married and just plain happy!  She always wondered what she would do when her kids were grown.  After raising five children, she decided to follow her passion for travel and friends by hosting Girls Getaway Cruises. Definitely not an “empty nester!” You can find Janet at

Thanks Janet for this great guest blog. You, my friend, are a great girlfriend (and, having cruised with you – and awesome Cruise Queen!).

What questions do you have about cruising for our Cruise Guru Janet? And, how do you accessorize / dress up your LBD – Little Black Dress?

BTW, we love guest blogs and our Girlfriend Gurus. Have girlfriend inspiration or advice to share? We’d love to publish it and promote you!

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