The cruise experts at Seasite.com, Josephine Kling and Joyce Landry, have amassed pages of resources for first-time cruisers and experienced pros. The checklist below is just a sampling. For more, including what you should look for in cruise terminal facilities and embarkation and disembarkation procedures when you're doing your ship inspection, visit the Knowledge Center at seasite.com.

Meeting Space/Public Areas

  • Capacity
  • Décor/lighting
  • Cleanliness/wear and tear
  • Can rooms be locked and/or can access to them be limited?
  • Does room open to deck?
  • Audiovisual availability/sufficient outlets/voltage
  • Wi-Fi access (which public rooms and areas of the ship have it)
  • How are the sight lines?
  • Can furniture be moved?
  • What rooms or areas are recommended for various types of events (hospitality, meeting rooms, trade shows, etc.)
  • Type of seating/table sizes
  • Are deck events possible?

Guest Accommodations

  • Number of cabin categories and differences among the categories
  • In-room amenities
  • Honor bar or comp beverages?
  • Unique features
  • Is there a voice mail system that allows a planner to send a group message to all attendees’ cabins?
  • Internet connectivity. Jo Kling, CEO, Seasite.com, notes that Wi-Fi is now the standard in cabins, Internet cafés, and hot-spots aboard ships. “But heavy users should check the specifics,” she advises, “and, of course, good service relies on a satellite being in range.”

Onboard Dining

  • Assigned seating or open seating?
  • Dining times flexible?
  • Group sections/table sizes
  • Are dining areas conducive to meetings?
  • How many dining outlets?
  • Alternative restaurants: What are costs and availability for groups?

Miscellaneous

  • Is there a spa? How many treatment rooms and staff members does it have?
  • Is there a health club? What equipment is available?
  • How large is the pool/deck area? Does it appear large enough for the ship capacity?