You'll have to get promoted to Lt Cdr at Lieutenant 11 after spending 6700 skill points.
After that go back to earth and have a chat to Adr Quinn , it will also appear as a mission if you hail starfleet once you have met the needed requirements. He'll send you to the ship requistion officer who is located in an office above the shipyard. Then to finally get into your ship, head back to the main shipyard area and talk to an NPC whos name escapes me and then "SELECT" your new ship as "CURRENT".
it took yoou 30 min to find the NPC to switch ships?
I stubled across him with in 5 min of my first trip on Sol...
but it's just like me to go try everything when I first get to a place.
No ... it took me 30mins to find out what to do after you 'purchased' your new ship.
As there is no info on the map about the NPCs or no names about their heads and there is absolutly no info that you have to go and switch your ship ... it can be really annoying: Nowhere you find any info where your new ship is: No mail, not in the inventory, no info on the ship's tab, etc.
After searching all info I knew about, I simply spoke to all NPCs in the area. A littel bit more guidance would be very helpful here.
The first promotion quest is simply missing this step imo:
1.) After advancing to Lvl 11 missing info that you have to spend at least 6700 skill-points to get promoted (this is not logically implemented)
2.) Send to Admiral Quinn (working)
3.) Send to Lt. Laurel (working)
4.) Send to the guy who exchanges the ships (actually missing)
the promotion quest and procedure is bad and unintiuative. This shows the large number of questions concering the process.