I'm with you, Krazy Kruizers. No ports in Arizona, either!
I think I give the edge to ship. I would consider an itinerary I wasn' t in love with just to be on a ship I've not yet sailed or loved from a previous cruise.
I pick an itinerary that interests me, one with at least a couple of good scuba diving stops, then look for a cruise that visits them during the time frame when I can sail. Price also plays a big part in selection. Finally, I'm not particularly interested in trying a carnival cruise and I refuse to choose an itinerary that stops in Jamaica.
Embarkation port is the most important consideration as we always drive to the port (can't deal with the airline thing anymore). For me that means Florida, Mobile, New Orleans, Galveston, or Charleston. The next consideration is of course cruiseline and price. I like to book the best accommodations for the most competitive price, and then the itinerary comes into play. Of course, being able to get the time off is always a consideration, lol.
[quote Cruizer]I choose an area where I want to go, then pick the best ship available with the most interesting itinerary.[/quote]
I agree, Cruizer. Choose a general area of interest, then choose the ship, but make sure the itinerary is good. If the ship cruises from a place I can drive to, so much the better.
Having said that, the best cruise we ever had was based on itinerary. We got an irresistable offer for a B2B cruise in 2004 on the Wind Surf, Nice to Barcelona to Lisbon. We couldn't resist the itinerary and price, which was less for both legs than either leg of the B2B now costs.
Both itinerary and ship must be good. We'd love to have a 1 week cruise in Hawaii, where we've never been; but not if the only choice is NCL. On the other hand, if we got a good price, even a so-so itinerary would be enough to cause us to sail again on Windstar or Radisson (which has changed its name to Regal).