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What to Pack for a Gay Cruise?

We thought that packing for a gay cruise is like packing for any other cruise, however, we were wrong.

Our first cruise experience was with Celebrity Cruises and although this was not a ‘gay cruise’,  it was very gay friendly and you can read more about it here. We loved the experience and as a result booked ourselves on to an Atlantis gay cruise to the Caribbean for the following year – and we haven’t missed a year since!

However, for our first Atlantis gay cruise our packing list was significantly different.

Having talked to many avid Atlantis gay cruisers, there are many items to pack that we had never thought about in the slightest! [no_toc]

We have put together our list ‘What to pack for a gay cruise’ below including what to wear for the themed parties, the daytime, evening and all the extra bits to pack. See if you agree:

what to pack for a gay cruise

What to wear on a Gay Cruise?

One of the things we love most about gay cruises is that they create a safe environment where you can truly be yourself.

Wear as little or as much as you want, experiment without judgement and feel comfortable and confident. We will start with the most exciting and most talked about part: the themed parties:

The Themed Parties (Updated for January 2024)

We get very excited for these!

Completely unique to gay cruises are the themed parties. There is no pressure to join in, but some of the creations and the effort people put in is incredible!

Keep scrolling for the updated January 2024 themes, but first the most common three themes every year are:

The White Party

You can go all out and maybe don some angel wings, these white elastic body harnesses are a cheap and easy option for anyone or you can simply wear a white vest and shorts.

The name says it all, wear all white.

We have never seen so many bare bums so feel absolutely free to simply grab yourself a white jockstrap (like this one) and get ready to party! 

Here are some easy options to pick up from

what to wear gay cruise

Dog Tag T-Dance

This one happens every cruise and is all about the military, think black, green, leather and camo.

Grab some camo speedos, some trainers or boots and you are good to go.

You will also see lots of guys wearing a  leather chest harness and maybe getting into character with some face paints too.

Some easy options from Amazon include:

what to pack for a gay cruise

Disco T-Dance

For this party, grab yourself a comedy disco wig, some gold pants or gold thong and maybe a ridiculous 70’s style shirt!

pack gay cruise

Into the Deep

”Dive into our mystical and mythical underwater utopian world.  From friendly mermaids to trident-wielding gods to innocent seahorses, you never know what you’ll find. Take a dive into the unknown and treasures will abound in this undersea lost world. Every type of sea creature, lost sailor, shipwrecked cruise ship passenger, and of course ordinary landlubbers welcome.’

Neon Playground

”Neon bright is the way to go here as we take you deeper into the night at a party that will leave you breathless with smiles.”

Starships Atlantis

‘Go boldly beyond the rainbow into a new dimension on a fabulous intergalactic journey to the gayest planets in space. Our glitter-powered starship hits warp speed tonight, exploring worlds where weird is wonderful, aliens abound, and all creatures prosper. Hop aboard, don’t panic, and let our musical crew transport you to another realm.’

Think Pink T-Dance

We are super excited for this one!

Themes from previous years (that repeat)


what to pack for a gay cruise

”Everyone needs a hero right now! From super to civic, ordinary to extraordinary, magical to mischievous, and everything in between. Be one, imitate one, honor one, or create your own. Gushing fans welcome, of course.”

For this we are thinking that super heroes is the easiest option although we expect to see lots of other creative ideas:

Sporting Sparkle

what to pack gay cruise

”It’s our mash-up of sporty show-off matched with shiny silly accessories for an afternoon of playful zaniness. Spectators and fans welcome!”


For us a good pair of speedos is a must and this is probably what the majority of people will be wearing during the day around the pool.

We are all about the JJ Malibu at the moment, they have a lot of cheeky styles. Take a look here.

We personally think you can’t have too many pairs but at least pack 7 pairs for a week long gay cruise.

For other underwear/swimwear brands aimed at gay guys, take a look at this post ‘Our Top Ten Gay Underwear and Swimwear brands‘.

what to pack for a gay cruise

Day Wear

If you pack a few good pairs of shorts, daily t-shirts and vests(UK)/tank top(US) then you will be good to go.

This is especially important when it comes to going on land to explore each stop.

For t-shirts, we usually go for Adidas originals which are also good for some of the sports themed parties such as the Champions party.

Evening Wear (Mealtime)

Something that is unique to a gay cruise is the dress code. You do not need to pack suits or tuxedos or anything very formal.

The running theme is casual throughout so a nice vest/tank top, t-shirt, shorts or jeans for the evening is perfect, go for a shirt if you really want to impress.

The only real rule is no bare bums! Check out these clothing brands aimed at the gay fashion market.

Later on in the evening you might want a casual hoody and joggers if it gets cooler at night.

What to Pack for a Gay Cruise?

These items are the ones we would never have thought about, check the list to see if there is anything you have missed:

Gay Cruise Cards

With wi-fi being at a huge premium, a lot of guests order cabin cards (gay cruise cards).

These are small cards with your name, picture, any contact details you want and your room number on.

These are good for keeping up with all the new friends you meet during the cruise and of course will probably be used to replace Grindr (which does not work well anyway)!

Door Décor

Unlike any other cruise, on a gay cruise many people decorate their doors with pictures or displays to show their personality and to make friends.

Part of the décor is usually a white board for people to leave messages or for you to leave messages for your friends.

Check out this cheap white board from amazon.

Command strips

If you are going to hang your white board, try not to damage the ship.

Use command strips or get a magnetic board as the walls should be magnetic.


We swear by Berocca as the first thing we have in the morning after a heavy night partying to help with the recovery. It’s also good to get some vitamins in you!

‘Intimacy kit’

Lets be realistic, with a few thousand gay men on board, you need to be prepared!

Get stocked up on some good quality lube and should you need it, protection.

And to ake sure that you are always “ready for action”, check out this shower attachment which connects to most showers on cruise ships, or should you prefer this simple bulb.

Leg Pouch or Bumbag

An absolute must. When you are wearing a jockstrap and harness you need to get a little creative for how you store your phone etc. Here are our solutions:

Ear Plugs

One night out is one night out, however potentially partying all day and all night or 7 days in a row is going to take it’s toll, protect your hearing and get some good reusable ear plugs!

Sewing Kit

Stay with us here! If you are the creative type and you have spent hours on your costumes for the parties you do not want someone to bash into you and ruin your costume – have a small sewing kit ready to keep all you hard work in one piece!

The Basics for any Cruise

And just in case you forget the obvious, make sure you have the following:

  • Carry on luggage with some clothing – you won’t receive your full suitcase immediately so make sure you take some clothes/swimwear on board with you.
  • Sun screen – take more than you need, if you run out whilst on board it is going to be expensive to replace. We prefer the mist sunscreen as it’s a lot easier to apply.
  • Hand sanitiser – cruises are notorious for stomach bugs spreading quickly, so we highly recommend using hand sanitiser at all times!
  • Sunglasses – yes for the sun, but also to hide the hangover. Take a few pairs, if you are anything like us you will break or lose them.
  • Sea sickness tablets – the last thing you want after spending all your hard earned money is sea sickness. Be prepared with these sea sickness tablets.
  • Water bottle – keep hydrated in the sun, have a decent bottle you can refill with water. Apparently, you can use the tap water but check once on board or just fill up at the gym.
  • Toiletry bag – Don’t forget all the obvious bits and bobs; hair gel, razors, hair spray, toothpaste, toothbrush, contact lens solution, chapstick, deodorant, moisturiser etc
what to pack for a gay cruise

So there you have it, hopefully you won’t forget anything now and will be fully prepared. If you think there is anything to add, leave a comment below and we will update the list!

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Raymond Marrero

Tuesday 22nd of October 2019

My question is for disabled and seniors I'll be 66yrs old would love to take a cruise with my gay brothers. I can't drink have limitations, but love to watch young men dance have fun. I also love drag shows disco parties , I saw a internet gay cruise movie which seemed like fun. I'm hesitant due to my age and conditions. I have lipomas all over my body not contiguous but unsightly. I'm my hey day I worked out , never had problems socializing but this last decade made me depressed. Lost of friends who were family. I see All these hot young men in Speedos, which drive me nuts. Do you think I'll be able to have a fab time even with arthritis ? I'm gonna check with Dr.I definitively need to get out of Bronx N.Y. Hoping to travel in 2020' Thank you for your kindness.

Dave Cozzoinger

Tuesday 15th of January 2019

Haven't been on a GAY CRUISE as of yet - hope to in the future - Bob & Dave Cozzoinger - - Founders - @LAMBDA RAINBOW NETWORK & 12 @LAMBDA RAINBOW FB Sites!

The Globetrotter Guys

Friday 15th of February 2019

You should join us on our gay sailing trip to Mykonos and 4 other islands this summer!