I have to say straight away that the natural beauty of Alaska is GREAT, and reading the following review should not deter anyone from going to see such a wonderful place. Looking over the side of the ship to see Pacific White-Sided dolphins and Orca whales playing in the ship's wake is a real thrill. The train ride in Skagway is Great - The Glaciers are AWESOME.
So for the Natural Beauty part - Alaska REALLY ticks all the boxes.
We did tour Denali park an Anchorage on our own - had a great time. On morning of Sept 11 we dropped off the car at the airport, took a taxi to Alaska RR station and got the train ride to Whittier. It was a really neat to see whales, seals and eagles along the way as the train travels along the waterfront. And we weren't even on the ship yet! Cool!
As noted above, the balcony decking was very broken, and right off the bat I walked into the room, kicked off my shoes and stepped out onto the balcony - felt something funny - then looked down. Uggh. The decking is all broken with sharp holes, and I found out how easy it is to get your feet all bloodied up. We had a lot of rainy weather and the overhead balcony section dribbled water down the door glass into the room. The Balcony furniture had sopping wet & moldy cushions - for a trip to Alaska you're better off with metal and plastic decking furniture that won't stay wet and get moldy.
The shower drain wasn't working, nor was the hair dryer. The bed was really worn out and lumpy.
Never did see the room steward after the first day - and come to think of it I think we went thru two or three stewards. We kept getting other passengers mail, and we kept having to bring it back to the front desk. We tried calling room steward directly several times but that never worked.
I know I'm complaining about everything, so I'll stop there. It gets better later on, when just about everyone on the ship got sick...but we'll save that for another time.
What was good about the room? Let's see. Well, the sliding door didn't leak water when it wasn't raining! And we could see the pretty scenery outside!
Bottom line: Was a suite worth the extra expense? For us it turned out to be sort of disaster on that cruise, but if they got things patched together so the shower worked it could be really nice. We loved having access to the spa, and that turned out to be essential to get a shower.
Took the Glacier Explorer train form Anchorage to Whittier - Highly recommended. The train gets to the ship around 12:05pm, and some of the buses from airport won't get there until hours later. So if you want to get on the ship early - take the train - even if you stay the night before in Anchorage it is worth it.