The Best Cruise-Inspired Halloween Costumes

If you’re boarding a cruise ship in the month of October, a creative costume is a must for making the most of the Frightfully Fun festivities onboard, especially the Costume Meet and Greet and Halloween Day Parade. Although spending the holiday on a cruise imposes some limitations on your Halloween costume choice (you’ll need to fit it in your suitcase after all), it also offers plenty of inspiration, too. Nod to your nautical adventures with a sailing-themed or classic pirate costume, or look to the colorful creatures, landscapes and cultures of exotic cruise destinations in the Caribbean, The Bahamas, Mexico or Hawaii. Whether you get crafty in advance of your cruise or pull something together at the last minute, a cruise-inspired costume will ensure that your Halloween at sea is the most memorable ever.

Pirate

Some ragged clothes for that weather-beaten look, a pirate’s hat or bandana, an optional eye-patch and a parrot on the shoulder are all you need to be a pirate from the Caribbean. It’s a classic costume and a very fitting choice when you’re on a cruise. All that’s left is to practice your “aaarghhhs”!

pirate family posing

Jellyfish

Bring the underwater world up on deck by dressing as a jellyfish for Halloween. Get a transparent or solid-colored umbrella and attach around its rim matching colored ribbons, streamers, fabric strips and lengths of bubble-wrap. Wear plain, matching clothing and simply lower the umbrella down over your head for the full jellyfish effect.

Hula Dancer

Attend a luau in Hawaii and you’ll surely be enchanted by the hula dancers performing onstage. Turn this inspiration into an easy costume by putting on a grass skirt, bikini top or tropical-print blouse, a lei around your neck and flowers in your hair. You can easily find elements of the costume from souvenir stores on the islands or create your own in advance.

girl dressed as a hawaiian hula dancer on the beach

Sailor

A sailor costume is one of the easiest, and most fitting, to put together. Wear white or navy blue shorts or pants (or skirt), a T-shirt with horizontal stripes, a bandana rolled and tied around the neck and, of course, a sailor’s hat.

a couple dressed as sailors

Scuba Diver

Continue the fun of your scuba diving adventure, such as Discover Scuba Diving in Bonaire, by dressing as a diver for Halloween. Fashion oxygen tanks and a BCD from large plastic soda bottles and black duct tape, grab a cheap mask and snorkel and wear it with a wetsuit or tight black clothing to resemble a wetsuit. Fins complete the look but do make it hard to walk!

scuba diver underwater

Mermaid or Merman

Shimmering mermaids’ tails are easy to come by in costume stores, or you could alternatively find a long fishtail-style skirt in a shiny metallic color. Both are lightweight and easy to pack in your luggage. Wear yours with a bikini top or swimsuit or tank top if you’re a merman, and accessorize with lots of shells and shell jewelry. Long, beachy waves in your hair are a plus.

Golfer

Golf enthusiasts who are planning to play a round or two during a cruise (Carnival offers many golf shore excursions) already have the outfit to be a golfer for Halloween. Amplify the look by wearing your preppiest pastel golf shirt, pressed chino shorts, pulled-up argyle socks and golf shoes. Accessorize with a visor or novelty golf cap while carrying a club and scorecard.

golfer playing golf

Flamingo

Go on the Astrada Gardens tour in Nassau and take some fashion cues from the pink, feathered beauties of The Bahamas. Wear pink from head to toe, fashion some tail feathers from fluffy pink boas and make a headdress by gluing long pink feathers to a headband. Be sure to practice your one-leg balance pose.

Hemingway and his Cats

Key West-inspired Ernest Hemingway and his Cats costumes are ideal for couples and families cruising together. You’ll learn about the famous writer’s six-toed cats on a Hemingway Home and Sloppy Joe’s tour. Cat costumes are an easy Halloween classic — just dress in black, add ears and draw on a cute kitty nose and whiskers with makeup. For Hemingway, men can wear rumpled slacks, a short-sleeved linen shirt and fisherman’s hat or, alternatively, a safari suit. A cocktail in hand and five o’clock shadow completes the look.

little girl paints her face to look like a cat during halloween

Charro

You’ll learn all about the lives and culture of charros (Mexican cowboys) on a Mexican fiesta excursion in Yucatan, Mexico. Pay homage to the traditional horsemen by wearing a simplified version of their elaborate costumes: slacks with a taped-on stripe down the side seams; white dress shirt; wide strip of fabric fashioned into a short, wide necktie; and a big sombrero on your head. Loop a length of rope into a lasso for an essential charro accessory.

charros on horses

Whether its a weekend getaway or longer cruise falls in the month of October, you’re in for a (trick or) treat! Discover how much fun Halloween cruise activities can be, including pumpkin-carving, spooky movies and supernatural trivia, especially when you’re wearing a crazy, creative, cruise-themed costume.