With the planning, packing, and anticipation behind you, finally embarking on your ship can be exhilarating—though it can also be slightly intimidating if you’re still learning the ropes. There will be a lot happening around you, and it will all be new. Not to fret: while procedures may differ slightly from cruise line to cruise line, once you understand the process and know what to expect, you can just go with the flow. After the check-in and boarding process is complete, the fun and relaxation really begin. Think of the ship as your first destination, a movable port of call, and keep in mind that most of today’s larger cruise ships have the same basic arrangements and share the same ultimate goal—for you to have a safe, enjoyable, and memorable vacation on board!