I know how you may be feeling. I felt the same way. I just went on my first cruise, Explorer of the Seas- 5 Night Bermuda last month. I absolutely loved it and I am sure you will, also. Trust me, the outside of the ship is decieving. The ship is beautiful. It is really hard to believe you are on a ship. The food is really good. For breakfast and lunch, I had my meals in the Windjammer Cafe', which is, I believe on the 11th floor. It is buffet style. The people are so wonderful. The restaurant I ate my dinner in was the Magellian. The food there is really good. The waiters and waitresses are great.
When you arrive to Cape Liberty Cruise Port, New Jersey, you go through the metal dectectors and then if you did your online check in and printed out the SetSail pass, there is a place to complete the check in process. If you didn't do that, you have to go a separate section and fill out paperwork. Fortunately, I did the online check in and printed out the pass and that made it go smooth. Once you do that, you get the seapass card, which you put into a computer and you take a picture. Then after that, you and whoever you are going with, they take a group picture and then they direct you to an area where you board a bus, which takes you to the cruiseship. Once you get off the bus, you board the cruiseship and you put in the seapass card as check in and then, you get on the elevator at deck 1 and to wherever your stateroom is. Then, BON VOYAGE. I hope this information helps you. I hope you have a fabolous time.