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Is there a dress code on board?

We have a few policies in place to ensure your time on board feels special. Here’s a useful guide to what to expect on board in terms of dress codes so you can step out in style. 

Dressing up at night is one of the many highlights of your P&O Cruises holiday. We have two evening dress codes for guests aged 18 years and over from 6pm: ‘Evening Casual’ and ‘Black Tie’ for our celebration nights.

The only exception to these are the official P&O Cruises theme nights (get ready for 70s disco, 80s pop, colourful tropical or splendid black and white nights), and seasonal events such as Halloween and Christmas. And if you feel like keeping things casual, you’re free to wear more relaxed clothing in the buffet.

To help you with your packing My P&O Cruises will let you know how many nights of each dress code you can expect during your holiday. Please check in advance so you’re ready for each occasion.

For a list of what the dress code will be on a specific cruise number, you may also find the following question helpful: What will the dress code be whilst I am on board?  

To see in which areas of the ship the dress code applies, please see Does the dress code apply to all areas of the ship? 

If in doubt, please visit

How many Black Tie nights will there be? 

As a guide based on length of cruise:
2-6 nights = 1 black tie night
7 -13 nights = 1 black tie night
14 nights = 2 black tie nights
2-6 nights = 1 black tie night
7 -13 nights = 2 black tie nights
14 nights = 4 black tie nights

To view how many Black Tie evenings will take place on a specific cruise, and also what theme nights will be taking place, please see "What will the dress code be whilst I am on board?" for a full break down.

Full details will be provided to you before you travel.  

Evening Casual

After a busy day of exploring (or lazing by the pool), there’s plenty to look forward to on board. For Evening Casual nights, dress as you would for dinner in a nice restaurant; smart dark denim or trousers and a nice top, open-neck shirts, skirts and dresses (but no tracksuits, football shirts, shorts or trainers please). Please see below examples/ideas.

For Caribbean holidays tailored shorts may be worn in the buffet areas and open deck bars – whether you choose to pair them with your loudest Hawaiian shirt is up to you! 


Black Tie

Our Celebration Nights, or Black Tie nights, offer a chance to get dressed to the nines in glamorous evening wear. Don your favourite cocktail dress, tuxedo, ball gown or dinner jacket, or alternatively a dark business suit and tie. You may also wear formal national dress or military uniform.



The dress code during the day is just your typical holiday wardrobe. Think t-shirts, shorts and sundresses (unless you’re heading to the Baltic in winter!). Away from the pool, we ask for shoes to be worn and no pool wear in the ship’s lounges, inside bars, restaurants or reception. It may be chilly on deck and breezy in the evening (even in the tropics), so be sure to pack light layers. We’d also recommend flat shoes for strolling the decks.


Army/Camouflage Clothing

It is permissible to wear such items of clothing during the daytime, however please refer to the dress codes for evenings on board.

It should also be noted that some countries may have rules against this sort of attire such as Barbados where it is illegal due to this matching the uniforms worn by security services.

Restriction to wear Camouflage Clothing
St Kitts

No Restrictions to wear Camouflage clothing
St Maarten 

National/Religious Dress

National and Religious dress including headdress' are allowed on board. Depending on the amount of the face covered by the headdress, guests may be asked to unveil for a security photo at check in and passing through security check points ashore and on board during the cruise.

Some items of national dress such as ceremonial blades or swords are not permitted and guests should check our list of prohibited items via What am I not allowed to take on board?


For children aged 17 years and under, the dress code in the evening is Evening Casual, regardless of the adult dress code (but they are welcome to dress to impress too!). We do ask for no denim on Black Tie nights please.

Theme nights 

Theme nights are great fun, though it’s up to you whether you’d like to dress up. As well as our Celebration Nights, we have  70s and 80s nights, where you can come and enjoy the music, or why not throw on some fab flares or parachute pants? Our tropical nights are all about Hawaiian shirts, grass skirts and Hawaiian lei (flower necklaces). Black and white nights follow the same dress code as Black Tie nights (cocktail dresses, tuxedos, ball gowns and dinner jackets). You could even opt for an all-black or all-white ensemble.

If you decide not to dress in line with the theme, please follow the ship's general dress code for that evening (detailed on the front cover of your daily Horizon).

Fancy dress and novelty clothing

We don’t want to dampen anyone’s fun, but fancy dress and novelty items or clothing are not permitted on our ships; the only exceptions to this are clothing for official P&O Cruises theme nights and seasonal events such as Halloween and Christmas.

Any clothing that features inappropriate or offensive language, including novelty clothing with printed images or slogans, will not be allowed on board. We reserve the right to deny embarkation to guests who are inappropriately dressed. This policy does not apply to children aged 17 or under.

Travelling to the United Arab Emirates

Modesty in clothing is to be respected in this region, so make sure you pack plenty of light and loose clothing that covers the tops of your arms and legs. We advise ladies to avoid wearing any shorts or tight-fitting clothes and to take a head covering ashore.

For further information, please visit the government Foreign travel advice website for advice regarding dress-codes.

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