1. Digital camera. A good digital camera, preferably one with both wide angle and telephoto lenses is a must for taking pictures of all the scenery, whether you are on a fall color tour, a Tall Ship tour, a golf tour or another. Also bring along extra batteries and an extra memory card or two.

2. Layers of clothing. The weather on the Lakes can change quickly from hot and balmy to chilly. Bring a couple of extra layers of clothes so you can add or subtract a layer to warm up or cool down. Pack your clothes in soft sided luggage (on many cruise lines, this is a requirement.) You will want jeans, shorts, maybe a dinner dress or jacket and tie.

3. Bring a couple pairs of shoes, one pair for on board the ship and another pair of walking shoes for on shore. Great Lakes cruise ships stop at a number of beautiful and interesting places. You will want to walk around.

4. A good book. What better way to spend your vacation than sitting in a lounge chair reading a good book and enjoying the sunshine and the gentle sounds of shipboard life?

5. Anything like medications, contact lens fluid, sun block or tanning fluid.

6. A power strip to add extra outlets in you cabin (if the cruise line allows it), an air freshener for your cabin, your own bottled water or soft drinks.

7. Your companion, spouse or significant other. Cruises are much more fun when shared.

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