Background: We have cruised several times before, most recently on the Miracle in 2007. My wife is 39 and I'm 38. We left the kids at home for this trip. We booked the cruise about 3 months out and used CC to plan all the excursions. Since we were cruising without kids this time, we didn't feel the need to use Carnival excursions and we also used credit card points to pay for most of the cruise, so we splurged a little on the excursions.
Inbound: We flew nonstop from Atlanta (7.5 hours) to Anchorage on Delta in coach using FF miles on Tuesday 6/16. On the whole, it was not a bad flight considering the distance. We did get a free hot meal (shocker!) and free movies on the seat-back on-demand screen. We watched Benjamin Button (overrated) and Gran Torino (quite good). Unfortunately, it was cloudy as we flew in, so we couldn't get a great view of the scenery on approach to Anchorage.
Anchorage: On arrival, we waited for our luggage, and waited, and waited. The conveyor stuck so we had to wait about ½ hour, but we finally grabbed a cab and headed for the Marriott downtown (also using points). On the way, we made a quick pit stop at a liquor/convenience store to grab some soda and a bottle of rum for the cruise. The cab was around $25 with tip. After checking in, we headed out to explore Anchorage. We had a bite and a beer at Humpy's. I highly recommend the salmon pizza and halibut tacos. We finally got to bed around 11PM AK time (3AM at home). Anchorage was OK with some nice galleries and stores, but a little seedy after 9PM. The next morning we had breakfast at the concierge lounge (an unexpected bonus that our key worked in the door) and took a cab to the train station ($5).