Taking the Plunge
The first step, of course, is deciding where to go. Since this is your first trip, you probably want to keep it as simple and inexpensive as possible. My suggestion is to start geographically. For example, since I live in Texas, I took my first cruise from the Port of Galveston, instead of flying to another state and taking a ship from there.
This cuts out a step that you have to deal with (flying) and makes a shorter, more manageable trip. Once you decide which port you want to travel out of, check out what ships are leaving from there, and what their itineraries are. You can do this on a travel site like Cruise Brothers. Just go to the site and select your port. You can enter dates if you already know when you want to travel, but for now, you just want to see what ships sail from that port and where they go.
Once you have a list of ships and destinations, it’s time for the fun to begin. Start with the ships. Each cruise ship will have a specific set of amenities for the clientele they want to attract. Go to a site like Cruise Critic and search for the ship you want. For example, the last ship I traveled on was the Carnival Triumph. Enter that in the search bar on the cruise critic page and you can see detailed reviews and specs for nearly every detail on the ship. Repeat this process for every ship that looks interesting at that port.
Read up on every aspect that interests you. Factors like dining, accommodations and children’s programs are some of the more sought after pieces of information.