Certainly not a waste of money!
Misty Fjords, IMO, is one of the most beautiful places on earth. If the budget will allow, the cruise and fly tour is even more exciting. Lots of sea life, cascading water falls---just amazing, beautiful scenery.
We booked the Misty Fjords float plane/cruise last year. Weather wasn't cooperating so the flight portion of the tour was cancelled. The cruise of the fjord was on a large, enclosed catamaran. Scenery was breathtaking...a must-see. Since we booked the excursion through Princess, we were charged half the price of the tour since one portion was cancelled.
Oh Yeah! Last year we flew with Dave of Family Air. (I promise you, I have no connection to the business.) He was GREAT! We took off, completely under Air Traffic Control, (note: a water takeoff and landing is a bit rough...nothing bad, just the waves); We flew up and into the Fjord. As we flew he pointed out lots of neat stuff. The view was incredible! We landed on a small lake, got out and looked around for about 20 minutes. (Wear water-resistant shoes...not boots, just hiking type shoes). The solitude and serenity were awe-inspiring. Getting back in the plane, we took off again and continued our tour of the fjord. We saw a volcano spire(?) jutting out of a lake, we saw waterfalls, and forests. In summary, it was one of the really coolest things we did on this Alaska trip!
The one drawback for us was that my 13 year old daughter had been looking through her camera early on during the flight and got air-sick. It wasn't pretty. She used 3 of pilot Dave's bags, and vows she will never go again. We learned that she needs preventive medication and NEVER look through an eyepiece while flying!
This year we are doing the helicopter tour in Juneau and a small boat tour in Sitka. She will be well medicated beforehand.
Do this air tour. You won't regret it.