Tom, the segment on 60 Minutes addressed the problems with helicopters doing the Grand Canyon tours--I don't remember anything about Alaska, but since I live part-time in Arizona, I guess I focus on that. Because of the dangerous updrafts in the canyon, there are numerous accidents in the GC. I've not heard of any problems with the copters in Alaska, but there's a chance no matter where you go.
I've done 10 cruises as a single on Crystal, 5 on Seabourn and 2 on Silversea and I can honestly say, Seabourn and Crystal are the very best when it comes to singles. The deck 5 cabins are very nice and there's no problem with noise from the front desk. You might hear some of the music coming from the Galaxy Lounge right above you on deck 6, but that ends early. The view from that deck is actually quite nice. I love sitting in the Crystal Cove, also on deck 5, on stormy days and watching the waves. Yes, you can order off menu, but you really need to contact the head waiter early in the day in order for the chef to prepare anything out of the ordinary. I love caviar and the waiter brings it every evening. I always make friends early on during the cruise and I find they are most welcoming when you ask to join them at one of the alternate restaurants. I've also dined alone---it's worth it because the food in those restaurants are the very best.
The Alaskan cruises have become quite popular in the past couple of years. I suspect there will be many more kids than usual because kids sail free on this year's Alaska cruises. That also means a much lower average age than you typically see on Crystal. Don't miss the evenings in the Avenue Saloon when they have kareoke night. It's one of the most popular events, and the most fun.
I hope you have a wonderful cruise.