Top 10 Must-Pack Items for an Exotic Cruise

The term "exotic cruise" means wildly different things to different people. For a first-time cruiser, "exotic" may simply mean a jaunt to the Caribbean. For more experienced travelers, "exotic" conjures up places seldom visited, destinations that are hard to get to or cultures that are vastly different than our own. Think Asia, with itineraries along the Yangtze and Mekong Rivers, as well as the Pacific; the Middle East, via the Nile River, Mediterranean or Persian Gulf; island hideaways like Borneo, French Polynesia and the Maldives; or even western and southern Africa.

While you always have your beautiful ship to return to after a day of touring, conditions on the ground in a foreign land may not be what you're used to. (Have you ladies ever tried using some of the inground toilets in Asia?!) That's why you'll need to think differently when packing for an exotic cruise. In addition to all the necessities -- clothing that's right for the climate and culture, comfortable shoes, and health and beauty products -- you'll also want some items you generally don't need when traveling closer to home, everything from vaccination records to a phone that works even in the most remote jungle. You should expect the unexpected, and bring along some "what if" lifesavers like copies of your passport, small rolls of toilet paper and any necessary medications to prevent infectious diseases.

No matter where your cruise ship takes you, pack the following 10 essential items before leaving home for an exotic trip.

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--Photo nine in the slideshow appears courtesy of Guido Amrein, Switzerland/

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