Cement board is the first step in any good tiling project. Getting perfect holes for the shower handle and pipes is a challenge but doable with the tips I provide in this blog post http://www.homerepairtutor.com/cement-board-installation-pt-2/ Please pass along my link if you know someone doing a bathroom renovation, they will be thankful :)
What to do if you have a window in your shower..... Install a vinyl window with privacy glass and wrap it with vinyl trim. Caulk the seams to make it waterproof. Amazing! So much more affordable than glass block!