This was our 6th cruise in the last 20 year, so we don't consider ourselves real "cruisers", but I've been a sailor for the past 30 years and have read several behind-the-scenes books about the industry. We've spent about 50 days total on a cruise ship and we do have a process when we travel this way. We have sailed the Caribbean, off the coast of Mexico, Hawaii, and the Atlantic/Mediterranean. We look for cruises that have few sea days and lots of ports of call. I do have to say that we have never had a bad cruise and will continue to return to ships when it fits the bill. We live in Hawaii, Waikiki specifically, and look for itineraries that do not travel to "tropical" locations. We have a no sand in the house rule.
The colder destination was one reason we chose this sailing. The other reasons were: We couldn't match up airfare, hotel in a close destination. We only had a few days and had to fly from Hawaii. The price was right at roughly $100/person/day (before the extras we purchase) with a balcony. The ship was relocating and direction of travel would be one way. And lastly, it was my wife's birthday. This is a great way to cruise at a reduced fares and I would encourage people new to cruising to take a short repositioning cruise.
My concerns centered around the crew contracts. This sailing was a small leg of a repositioning cruise of around 30 days. The ship is going into dry dock next year. What happens in Vancouver (embarkation) to the crew? Are some or many rotating out? Are they preparing to rotate out in Los Angeles (debarkation) and are more concerned about getting their ducks in a row than taking care of me? Whatever the case, our interactions with all crew were fantastic. Worrying for no reason at all.