The cruise experts at, 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

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,, 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?


  • 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?