I went on two Alaska Princess cruises. First one was in Aug 04 going from Seattle back to Seattle. I chose Princess due to it being one of two oldest cruise lines in Alaska. My daughter and I did not tender in at any of the ports. Then second cruise was in Jun 08 from Vancouver to Whittler. The cruises were two very different experiences. The first cruise ports were: Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, cruise Tracy Arm Fjord, and Victoria British Columbia. The second one cruise was Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay and College Fjords. My son and I wanted to hear and see a calving on the second cruise. If you want more snow go earlier in the season. The naturalists were wonderful and informative. I would get a balcony at least. I had a balcony on the first and mini suite on the second. So you don’t miss any of the sight seeing remember room service. I agree with “subtropic” go in a day early and see Vancouver. Our plane was delayed and get not get to see as much as I would have liked. I am going on the coastal cruise this year and spend and extra few days to see Vancouver. Your going to have a great time.