Wednesday 12 April 2023

My cruise outfits for the Marella Explorer Idyllic Italia itinerary

Last year I went on a 7-night cruise around Italy, and I didn't really know what to pack seeing as it had been over 10 years since my previous cruise! In the end, though, I think I did pretty well even if there were a couple of things I didn't end up wearing - so, I thought I'd put together a blog post with my outfit choices to give you some ideas if you're doing a similar cruise or even just going on holiday soon.

Days at sea

For our first day at sea I opted for a some baggy floral pants, which have a stretchy waistband and are really comfortable, with a plain white t shirt. I also wore my Ugg slippers because they're so bloody comfortable. This was the perfect outfit for relaxing in the bars and of course, eating everything I could get my hands on... The pants are from a shop in the mall in Tenerife called Lefties, and I think they were literally 99c - if you're ever there, definitely check it out because it has last season clothes from other brands for *super cheap*. The t-shirt is just a Primark one.

On our last sea day I did wear a dress, because it was one I'd only worn for a couple of hours one evening, and it's also one of the most comfortable things I own. This is from Nastygal and if you follow my Instagram you've probably seen a lot of it! I got it in the sale around 2 years ago and it is one of my best purchases ever.

Port day outfits

Packing for port days can be tricky, because you don't necessarily know what the weather will be like and you want to be as comfy as possible for walking around and exploring to your heart's content. Our first port was Valletta in Malta, and as we didn't have anything too strenuous planned I opted for my denim skirt (Primark) and this floaty white and blue top, though I can't remember where it's from. You can get similar online, though! I had some black cotton cycling shorts on underneath, because I'm not the skinniest gal in the world and these are perfect for ensuring you don't get the dreaded "chub rub" or flash your knickers! For most port days I wore my yellow hi-top Converse which were a gift from a friend during lockdown, and they were perfect.

Our second port day was Messina, which is one of my favourite places. I knew I wanted to try and get some nice photos of myself with the astronomical clock here, which kind of failed, but still. This is a gorgeous dress which I got in Primark last year for around £8 - they did it in a few different patterns, and I love how bright this one is. The material is really thick and the sleeves are nice and flowy which is a must for me. I can see this lasting me a good few years, especially for holidays. I wore my black trainers with these as they went better than my yellow Converse, and I also wore my girlfriend's cap because it was a very sunny day.

Next up for port days was Naples, and I wore this thick linen dress with polka dots on it which was actually from Morrisons - definitely don't sleep on supermarket clothing ranges for holiday clothes! I wore my cycling shorts underneath this one, too, and it was thick and long enough that you couldn't see them despite it being cream. I adored my outfit this day and it was the perfect option for the busy streets of this crazy city.

Our last port was Rome, one of my favourite cities ever. I had specifically bought this incredible pasta-themed t shirt from Joanie Clothing, who make incredible quality products with really fun patterns and slogans. This one earned me a few compliments in Milan later in the year, but I loved wearing it in Rome too. It was soft but also thick without being too hot. I paired it with my denim skirt again, and the cycling shorts were a must because we did *so much walking* this day!

Evening outfits

The first night on the ship (the day we'd boarded) I just went for something comfy - a Rolling Stones t shirt and leggings. We were tired from travelling and wanted to relax so it was the perfect choice.
The evening of our first sea day was the formal night, and I had searched high and low for the perfect dress before we went. I just hated everything I tried on, and in the end decided to look for a suit. Two piece suits are actually quite expensive, and I couldn't find any in the charity shops either. But I already owned some faux leather leggings from ASOS, and I picked up a beige blazer from Primark for around £16 - underneath that I opted for a tight black crop top with a lace trim, which is also Primark but was actually from the lingerie section... When it comes to the formal night on a Marella cruise, it's really up to you how hard you go. We saw women in ballgowns, men in jeans, the lot. Just go with whatever makes you comfortable! I did wear heels this night, some black velvet block heels which I've had for donkeys years and look really classy. I also accessorised with my Vivienne Westwood pendant necklace which got some nice compliments from the entertainment hosts.
Our third night I wore those faux leather leggings again with a satin leopard print blouse which I picked up online somewhere a while back. It was a bit booby so my aunty put a stitch in it for me (she always packs a tiny sewing kit) and she also did my hair which was really nice. We went to Latitude for dinner this night so it was nice to still feel dressy without going over the top. I paired this look with some tan leather sandals I'd borrowed off my mum. We of course watched the show, too, so it was good to be comfy for that.

Our fourth night at sea was the day we'd been in Messina - I ended up just keeping the same dress on as I felt it was still fairly dressy. I love a versatile outfit like that, and I chucked the brown sandals on again with them!
Night five followed our day in Naples, which had been very sweaty. This is when (after a shower) I changed into the Nastygal dress I mentioned above, and I'm sure this was another flip flop night... I honestly wear this dress at least once a week, and it can definitely be dressed up or down year-round. Such a winner.

Our penultimate night at sea, after we'd trekked around Rome for the day, I opted for what is actually a beach dress from Boohoo - it was very Spanish vibes, black and floaty with pompoms and tassles and shiny bits. It's SO comfortable, and again it's one I wear with tights and boots in the winter too. I got it a few years ago sadly, but it's lasted me really well. I wore my pink flip flops with it (again) because my feet were in bits after all the walking we'd done.

On our very last night at sea, which was of course so bittersweet, I recreated an outfit I had loved on my trip to Tenerife. It's a sage green skirt (Nastygal) and a white shirt with a cute collar that I picked up in the M&S sale. This outfit was a bit of a nightmare on this night because a) it was so windy and b) I actually opted to get up on the dance floor in the Squid & Anchor after way too many cocktails. The skirt is quite short so I probably should have worn something else, but never mind!

And that, finally, is the rundown of all my cruise outfits for my Idyllic Italia cruise on the Marella Explorer in October 2022. We had great weather and I loved pretty much all of my outfits - but let me know what would be your go-to look on a formal night...

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