Aussies love costume parties and without question, one of the best parts of going on a cruise are these themed dress-up nights that take place on different evenings of your holiday.

Some cruises may feature a wide range of themed parties, while others, usually the shorter cruises, may only hold one or two. But irrespective of how many opportunities you have to dress up, you’re sure to have a good night and the cruise lines go all out in decorating the ship in the appropriate theme. Many members of the crew go to extreme lengths to have an impressive costume, your wait staff get right into the theme at dinner and hundreds of your fellow passengers jump at the opportunity to showcase their creativity and imagination.

The fun even starts before you set sail as cruise lines will usually inform you in advance what themed nights will take place on your cruise, in order to give you time to sort out your costume or buy any clothing or accessories you may need to fit the evening’s dress code. Here, we take a look across the major cruise lines at the different themes on offer.

Carnival Cruise Line

Mexican Fiesta – Bring your maracas and sombrero hat. Carnival will be well stocked with all the ingredients for Mexican food and for the adults, plenty of tequila and sangria.

Caribbean Beach Party – You’ll need your colourful shirts for this one as the top deck turns into a Caribbean island complete with a beach. Different parts of the ship will be decorated as different islands, however it’s all very colourful so leave the black & white gear in your room.

Princess Cruises

Rock N Roll – There will be plenty of colourful streamers and leather jackets as some of the best music from the Rock N Roll era is celebrated, with guests encouraged to dress up and dance to some of the best tunes from this period of time.

Country Western Hoedown – For this one, you’ll need your cowboy boots, hats, jeans and belt buckles as Princess Cruises channels the Wild West. At dinner, you’ll be able to enjoy dishes such as ribs and steaks with entertainment coming in the form of country music and authentic western-style barn dancing.

Royal Caribbean

As one of the world’s biggest cruise lines, Royal Caribbean holds a wide range of different themed parties across its fleet, largely depending on what part of the world a particular ship may be sailing. However, some of the themes which transcend borders and can take place in any part of the world include 70’s and 80’s, toga parties, masquerade balls or even the final night send-off party on Explorer of the Seas, which was themed as classic British culture.

P&O Cruises

Bianco White Party – On pretty much all the cruises originating in Australia, a Bianco White Party will be held. Dress in as much white gear as you can, as the ship will be decorated in plenty of white gear, with lots of appropriately coloured food and drinks available.

Gatsby Party – In line with the F. Scott Fitzgerald character made ever more famous in the movies by Robert Redford and Leonardo DiCaprio, this party invites guests to dress up as 1920’s socialites, with the ladies in their best flapper dresses.

Back to School Party – If your school uniform still fits, bring it along for this party as the ship will have old school pennants decorating the party venues and plenty of retro music to take guests back to their formative high school years.

Nero Black Party – Much like the Bianco White Party for Aussie cruises, the Nero Black Party has been designed for cruises departing from New Zealand. Very similar in concept, the ship will effectively be blacked out with lots of All Blacks gear and other black merchandise.

Norwegian Cruise Line

White Hot – Similar to P&O’s Bianco White Party, on Norwegian Cruise Line you’ll have a similar opportunity to dress up in all your white gear at the line’s White Hot theme party.

Glow – If you have any fluorescent clothing, bring it along for this occasion, where UV lights at Norwegian’s Glow Party will bring out the glowing colours in your outfit.

Disney Cruise Line

Pirate Night – Nobody does magic and whimsy like Disney, and one of their many themed occasions during a cruise is Pirate Night, where you can channel your inner Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean or one of the other characters from the movie series.

Halloween – Held more frequently than you may think, a Halloween deck party may find itself worked into the schedule on cruises from September through November. The ship will be kitted out with all things scary, from skeletons, pumpkins to witches brewing a stew and guests can be found wandering the ship in their own horror-themed costumes.

Frozen Party – The 2013 Disney story of Elsa, Anna, Olaf and all the characters from Frozen has captivated a generation of children and now made its way to Disney Cruise Line. The night begins with a Nordic themed menu followed by staff leading kids in a sing-along of the songs from the movie.