We did a 7 night cruise tour with Celebrity which started in Fairbanks, prior to boarding the ship in Anchorage for another 7 nights. We've talked to friends who have started with the cruise and finished with the land portion, and that's not nearly as good a way to do it. With the cruise tour, you're not nearly as pampered, so it's nice to end with more pampering and relaxation. We had also discussed Royal Caribbean and Princess and I'm so thankful we decided on Celebrity!
We were on the Millennium in 2005, so all of the updates were very welcome. We had a veranda stateroom and the size was fine, although I always wish I had more room. I was surprised at the shower, which seemed bigger than I remember and bigger than the Royal Caribbean showers on Serenade of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas, for the same category stateroom.
Embarkation was the smoothest I've ever experienced! I think this was partially because Anchorage isn't nearly as big a cruiseport as Miami, for example. But it was a complete breeze and we were on the ship in no time!