5 Ways to Dress for Dinner on a Disney Cruise

Dinnertime on a Disney Cruise ship is a full-service affair. I like to call it family friendly fine dining. But, what does Cruise Casual mean? And how optional is Optional Dress Up?

How to Dress Perfectly for Dinner on a Disney Cruise

I like to honor the suggested dining attire, which means we dress up on “dressy” night. Personally, I feel DCL is extremely lenient with its dining room dress codes. Jeans and shorts are allowed in the main dinging rooms, with only swim wear and tank tops being forbidden.

Cruise Casual

When your dinner calls for Cruise Casual attire, shorts, jeans, t-shirts are fine. As are flip flops and casual shoes. However, tank tops and swim wear (even with coverups) are not permitted. Even though the attire is casual, I have my family change into a fresh set of clean clothes for dinner and evening activities.

Optional Dress Up

For most sailings one night of your cruise the dining attire is listed as Optional Dress Up. What this really means is that Cruise Casual is the minimum. However you will see guests dressed in gowns and suits for the occasion. In days of old – or on other cruise lines – this night is known as the Captain’s Dinner. I still like to respect the tradition of dressing nicely. I like to wear a dress while the men in my group wear dress pants and oxford shirts. The keyword for this night would be “Sunday Best.” Photographers are on hand in the Atrium Lobby and in the dining rooms to snap a photo of the occasion. I also like to encourage my kids to dress for the situation. There are times in our lives when dressing up is required. It is a great learning opportunity and a way to show them that dressy need not mean stuffy or uncomfortable.

DCL Prep School Tip: This is a great opportunity to have a family portrait taken. At $20.95 for an 8×10, it is the best bargain on the ship!


Situated nicely between Cruise Casual and Optional Dress Up is Semi-Formal night. Semi-formal night is usually only found on cruise which are 7-nights or longer. For the men, khakis and polos are standard. For the ladies, a sundress or pants and a nice blouse. As with Dress Up night, Semi-Formal night is optional.

Pirate Night

Argh! Pirate Night be the most swashbuckling night of yer cruise, matey. I mean, Pirate Night is lots of fun, and it is more fun when you dress the part. You will certainly see guests of all ages in full pirate regalia, skull and crossbones, and eyepatches. My husband has a Hawaiian shirt decked out in pirate ships and skulls. If it’s pirate themed, wear it!

DCL Prep School Tip: Want to get a little more creative. Try dressing the kids as characters from Peter Pan or The Pirates of the Caribbean attractions. Check out these great pirate costumes and DIY ideas on DCL Prep School’s Pinterest Page.

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Palo & Remy

Disney Cruise Line’s signature adults only restaurants offer fine dining options while at sea, and they enforce a strict dress code.

When dining at Palo, whether for dinner or brunch, DCL recommends dress pants or slacks and a collared shirt for men, and a dress, skirt or pants and a blouse for women. Jeans may also be worn if in good condition (no holes). Please no tank tops, swimsuits, swimsuit cover-ups, shorts, hats, cut-offs, torn clothing, t-shirts with offensive language and/or graphics, flip-flops or tennis shoes.

When dining at Remy on the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream, DCL has the following dress requirements.


  • Men: A jacket (such as a sports, suit or tuxedo jacket) is required, with dress pants/slacks and shoes. Ties are optional. Please no jeans, shorts, sandals, flip-flops or tennis shoes.
  • Ladies: Cocktail dress, evening dress, pant suit or skirt/blouse are required. Please no jeans, shorts, capri pants, sandals, flip-flops or tennis shoes

Brunch and Dessert

  • Men: Dress pants and a shirt are required for men. A jacket is optional. Please no jeans, shorts, capri pants, sandals, flip-flops or tennis shoes.
  • Women: A dress or pantsuit is required. Please no jeans, shorts, capri pants, sandals, flip-flops or tennis shoes.

How to Dress for Dinner on a Disney Cruise | DCL Prep School