I want to give all the positives first: the weather was beautiful (layer your clothing) & the scenery was stunning!! I believe that a balcony or suite is in order for Alaska--we had a balcony & could sit out and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. We had Michael Modzelewski a world reknown naturalist giving lectures on Alaska and narrating much of what we were seeing on board--it gave us a clear understanding of the beautiful & cold (brrrr!) state of Alaska including the natives that are still there. My husband and I both agree that he made our trip extra special! Food, service from staff and shows were pretty much typical for cruising.
Negatives: our balcony neighbor had ALL his large family visiting with him at 4 a.m. to enjoy the sights-every day. I am supposing they paid for cheaper rooms and used his balcony for viewing. They talked very loudly and we lost sleep over their family chatter. Coffee was aweful & had to upgrade to buy something drinkable--leaving out of Seattle this was hard to believe with Starbucks and Seattle's Best readily available.
We took side trips at each port and all were very good except one--in Ketchikan we went to a Wildlife Preserve and it was not worth the money we paid. The walk as supposed to be a mile and it wasn't 1/8th of a mile & a very unprofessional guide--she showed us bear "scat" and fungus on trees. Who really cares? The side trips for Alaska are higher $$$ than most cruises we have been on. Alaska was on both of our "kick the bucket" lists and enjoyed it greatly. Princess Cruise Line did an overall good job & helped us accomplish our goals; which was to view wildlife-humpback whales, lots of Eagles, mother Seals with their pups and more....would recommend the ship & trip!