I would guess my first cruise was on a Great Lakes ore boat (700 ft long, but all lakes-only freighters were called boats, not ships) when I was 18 years old. Went with my parents & brother. Very interesting being in the working ports (Buffalo, Cleveland, and Silver Bay MN), but very quiet (tho' windy) out on the lakes, as we were the only passengers, with only about 30 crew. My first tourist-style cruise was Fantasy (Carnival) in 1998, and have been on 10 of those altogether, with 8 different cruise lines (including one small-ship line and one river-cruise line). Variety is the spice of life!