There might not be a single event on a cruise that can cause as much stress as formal night.
And all that stress comes from one simple question: What can I wear?
To be fair, it can be a tough question to answer. Over the years, formal night has decidedly become more casual. While it used to be just for formal evening gowns and tuxedos, these days almost anything except for shorts (and sometimes even those) will pass the dress code.
That said, we think you definitely should dress up for formal night. The night isn’t just about you — it’s for everyone headed to dinner in the ship’s dining room. Not everyone gets a special occasion to dress up. Being able to get dolled up and head to dinner with other glamorous-looking folks helps to set the atmosphere.
To learn more about what sort of dress is and isn’t allowed during formal night you can read our article here.
In the meantime, we’ve rounded up a dozen formal dresses — all of which would be perfect for cruise formal night. You can find all of these dresses on Amazon, which typically offers free returns/exchanges if something doesn’t fit just right.
Note: The links to Amazon used below are affiliate links. Should you make a purchase, we receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.
Classic Slimming Black Cocktail Dress
Turn heads with this slimming cocktail dress that’s a staple of any wardrobe. Just $23 on Amazon and comes in black, navy, and wine.
Aqua Gown with Peacock Design
Formal with a bit of flair, this beautiful dress comes in seven different colors. Prices vary, but this one costs just $50.
Classic Sleeved Long Gown
Elegant, yet simple, this dress offers full coverage but with a low-cut back. This $60 dress comes in eight different colors, although we think grey is the most “classy” look.
Strapless Coral Formal Dress
This fun dress just screams “cruise” while also being perfect for formal night. There are a variety of colors, but none as perfect as this coral one for only $30.
Hip-Hugging Royal Blue Gown
Have curves you want to show off? This is your dress. It’s classy and perfect as formal wear, but also a little sexy… for after dinner. Best of all, it’s only $24.
Retro-Style Pleated Dress
Looking for a dress that’s a bit different than the long-flowing gown? How about this retro style that comes just to the knee. It’s $35 and has several different colors available.
Sleeveless Dress with Sheer Bottom
Sleeveless for formal, but with a little sheer-see-through that adds some sexiness (and also keeps you cool on warm nights. It’s $24 and comes in black, green, grey, and pink.
Cocktail Dress with Blue/Black Lace Design
This formal dress is totally unlike the gowns shown above and works well for both formal night and day-to-day work back home. Shows off your shape and has a cool design for just $27.
Above-the-Knee Formal Cocktail Dress
If you’re someone with a petite figure and don’t want to be swallowed up in a large gown, this is the perfect dress. Comes in a ton of different colors, but is the most expensive dress on the list at $120.
Multi-Color Flowing Evening Gown
Want to stand out with your dress? This one is sure to get lots of compliments with a gorgeous blend of colors. Runs $70 on Amazon.
Retro-Inspired Sleeved Dress
Is your style more “cute” instead of elegant? This retro-inspired dress may be perfect for you. For just $40, you have your option of more than a dozen colors and will look stunning on your cruise.
Strapless Above-the-Knee Dinner Gown
If you want a formal dress that’s fun and flirty, check out this one. It has a high cut in the front to show a little let and the strapless shoulders reveal a little more. Best of all, it comes in 10 colors and only costs $20.
Can’t find a dress here that you love? Shop all the available formal gowns and dresses here.