Hi Jennie - my husband and I are also first-time cruisers and scheduled to go to Alaska at the end of August, to celebrate my 60th birthday! I never thought I would want to leave home when the weather is nice to go somewhere even colder (I live in northern Michigan) instead of going somewhere warm in the winter, but seeing Alaska has been my dream for years as well - now I just have to figure out how to get through the next 7 months of waiting to go!!
Norm, thanks for the very informative post about what to do on shore - as much as I'm looking forward to my first (not last, I'm sure) cruise, I'm even more excited to see whatever I can on land there. Wish we had more time and $$$ so we could do a tour to Denali and such, but will have to save that for the next visit. What a great resource this web site is, thanks so much to everyone for sharing their advice and experience!!