My parents have cruised a lot before, so we were thrilled when they suggested a family Princess cruise to Alaska!
We flew into Seattle the day before the cruise. It was a perfect day, and we enjoyed walking around town, the new large ferris wheel and Pike Place market. We stayed at the W, which we all loved. Super nice rooms, wonderful beds, great staff. I bought flowers (for $5!) at the market to take on the ship for our cabin.
Embarkation was a long line. My father is in a wheelchair, so he and my mother got to go right through and were in their room at least an hour before we got to ours. Our rooms, A701 and A703, were lovely. We were under the covered pool/buffet entrance and in the morning I could hear chairs or something moving around upstairs. It didn't bother me, but it might bother a light sleeper. My parents heard nothing. Rooms were one floor under buffet, so super easy to run up and grab something or just hang out. Mattresses are a bit firm, but I asked for mattress toppers and then they were great!
The Princess staff was *amazing*. Totally pampered and taken care of, we were reluctant to leave. They were very helpful getting my father in his wheelchair on/off ship. Also, I have a food allergy (gluten) and every meal I ate was safe. They would bring me the menu the night before and help me select something they could prepare. I noticed lots of other people doing this, so if you follow a special diet you will not feel like a prima donna. The food, and esp. deserts, were great!
In Ketchikan, we did a seaplane ride with Seawind Aviation - wonderful. In Juneau we did zip lining with Alaska Zipline Adventures. They made a panicked 45 year old feel safe and even have some fun. (That was the teenager's pick). Best of all was Skagway where we rented a car and drove to Emerald Lake. Skies were blue, scenery stunning, and loved having some time away from crowds. This was also our least expensive adventure, so I would completely recommend it.
Disembarkation came too soon, but was otherwise smooth.
We can't wait to go back!!