We are first-time cruisers, going to Alaska on HAL Sept. 17. I know it's late (we just got our travel documents), but if you all could give me some hints on excursions...? I've read so much in these boards about booking separately from the cruise line that I'm afraid to make a bad choice! I want us to do two things: a float plane trip (we did a glacier landing in New Zealand so I'd like to pass that up this time) and a dog sled ride. I don't know enough about the geography of Alaska (one of the very few states in the US I haven't visited) to even know where Misty Fjords are, although everyone seems to think they're worth seeing. We're not much for shopping, but if someone could suggest just one port to do that in, we'll do excursions for the other ones. Anyway, hope to get some quick responses; not too much time left!!