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. There are small hard cases available for memory cards and a spare set of rechargeable batteries and inexpensive charger can help ensure your holiday memories can be captured.

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 onboard 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. For onboard shoes you want something with soles that have enough grip to hold the deck and keep you from slipping if there is dampness. For onshore, you will want comfortable shoes that are sturdy enough for walking, but comfortable enough to let you be on your feet all day.

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? There are a number of electronic book readers available that can hold many thousands of books and might be a good choice to bring along. On the other hand paperback books are inexpensive and if you lose one on the trip it probably won’t be a financial hardship.

5. Anything like medications, contact lens fluid, sun block or tanning fluid. While you can purchase many items on onboard many cruise ships, you may be limited in selection, and you may be unable to get prescription medications. Please remember that all prescription medications need to be in an original bottle with the original label that shows the name of the person that the prescription belongs to. Without this label many cruise lines will not allow you to bring the medication on board.

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. Power strips are handy guide to bring, but you must be absolutely certain that your cruise line allows it. Many cruise lines do not allow you to bring extra electrical appliances such as electric ears or electric irons. So please be certain before you pack your bags the things you’re trying to bring our allowed on board.

7. Your companion, spouse or significant other. Great Lakes cruises are much more fun when shared.

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