We had only 1 week that everyone was available, and Silver Sea Shadow was the only sailing available. We booked 5 Terrace Suites because there were no partitions between the cabin verandas, and we could all walk back and forth to other rooms, as well as be together outside to view the scenery. We didn't expect any children activities, but they were made available because there were so many families on board during that week in late August. Our 3 children did not participate- they were too involved in being with family, and taking excursions.
The service on board was excellent, the food in both dining rooms was wonderful, and when the kids discovered room service they were delighted. The scenery is magnificent and beyond description. Even the children were captivated!
We took some ship tours and booked some ourselves. The ship tours were in Ketchikan to see the bears picking salmon out of the river below the observation deck, ziplining, streetcar and White Pass RR in Skagway and Seaplane in Juneau. The ship excursions are nice size - not large groups of people in huge buses like some cruises offer and those who went were happy.
Tours we booked ourselves were kayaking in Sitka through Sitka Sound Ocean Adventures (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the highlight of the trip, Helicopter to top of glacier, dog sledding where everyone got a chance to stand with the driver of the team of 14 dogs, playing with the dogs, and a second stop lower on the glacier to walk around and see the blue ice and crevaces up close (through http://www.coastalhelicopters.com/dog_sled_tours.html.) Both of these places spoke to me multiple times on the phone and were extremely patient and helpful. They were the best private excursions we have ever taken.
The trip home was an endurance contest - we hadn't realized that we would have to disembark at 7:30 am, take a 4 hr train ride to the airport in Anchorage (ships can't get into Anchorage, and Seward has no airport!), followed by 2 flights to get home (no direct, non stop flights from Anchorage to the east coast of US). If I had it to do again, I might take the cruise in the opposite direction, making the trip home less exhausting. Only disadvantage would be that terrace cabins are only on starboard side, and you would not face land on a southern trip - you really want to be on the land side of the ship.
Would do it again in a heartbeat! We are now looking for another family vacation, but have set the bar too high with this trip and nothing could ever match up to the scenery and excursions.