We enjoyed our three pre-cruise days in Vancouver. We stayed at the Opus Hotel which is in the Yaletown section of Vancouver. It's very trendy with many restaurants within walking distance. The Yaletown Sky Train station is right across the street.
We rode bikes to Stanley Park and around the entire park. It's a beautiful park and worth visiting. We also rented a car and drove the Sea to Sky Highway up to Whistler. This took the better part of a day with the stops and spending a couple hours at Whistler Village. We thoroughly enjoyed this day. It's a beautiful drive if the weather is good. The road is very easy to drive. Gas Town section of Vancouver was somewhat disappointing even if it is historic. It seemed dingy. I would have liked to have more time to spend in Vancouver as it's a lovely city and many things to do there. However, we thought it was expensive.
This is a small Alaskan village in a pretty setting. We did not do any cruise sponsored excursions but road the city bus out to Totem Bight State Historical Park and walked around the town. The shops mostly seemed like the same thing over and over with a lot of goods 'made in China' instead of native made items.
This was our favorite port. The ship was tendered here instead of docked. The town so far is very unspoiled with several shops with locally made items. The small town is very laid back and quiet and the surrounding beauty is astounding. There's a walk along the waters edge which leads to the zip rider and a beach and small cafe which has wireless internet. We saw whales from the path there. From what I understand(at this time) only one ship is allowed to tender there at a time.
We rented a car in Juneau. I only give Juneau a "4" rating because of the drive we took out Glacier Highway (AK 7) to the Auke Bay Recreation Area and to some other sites along the way. This was a wonderful drive. We also went to Mendenhall Glacier. The town itself is very touristy with many 'tourist item' shops.
We rented a car in Skagway from Avis which about three city blocks from the docks and a very easy walk. The town itself has a beautiful, scenic setting. We drove the Klondike Highway up to Carcross in the Yukon and on up to Emerald Lake. We used Murray's Guide.
This town is beautiful - one of the most beautiful settings we saw. There's a very nice walk along the shore. There are some nice gift shops here and a couple cafe's with wireless internet. Several of the dining places which seemed mostly like family style restaurants were expensive.