I dont know what horror stories you've heard about Carnival, but I think in most cases they give you excellent value, whereever they cruise.
I've been on a number of Carnival cruises, and only had one cruise I wasn't entirely pleased with. Food is normally very good, and the Spirit (the ship that use in Alaska) features my favorite layout of their ships.
i have sailed on the carnival spirit 2 times to the inside passage and loved it. im sorry to hear all the bad raps on the boards that carnival gets. they are wonderful ships with a great crew and staff. they are much more reasonable in cost for me and i have yet to have a bad cruise experience on them. dont be afraid to sail on the spirit. she is a gorgeous ship and you will have a wonderful time.
have a great cruise no matter what ship you sail on
We went on our first Carnival cruise a few months ago and had a wonderful time, service was good, food was also good, entertainment was excellent. We had no complaints. I've also known people that cruised on Spirit to Alaska and absolutely loved it. You can't believe all the stories you hear.