Been to Alaska three times on HAL. I met a couple who had chartered a small fishing boat for 1/2 day with their two children. They had plenty of time to catch 200#'s of Halibut, dressed it on the boat (pretty messy they said), and "boat owner" will fedEx it in time to reach them when they were home! Sounded ok to me!
We just got back from the southbound Glacier Discovery sailing of the Veendam. The weather was incredible...sunny and swimsuit warm (dome was open). The captain said we had the best week of weather and smooth sailing of the season.
Be sure to attend the shore excursion talk, and pay attention closely to the video version in your cabin first and then again pay attention to the video you will be shown at the shore excursion talk so that you can answer some questions put to you. We did, and won shore excursions for doing so. (Hopefully, the questions are different each time.)
We (each) won the Sea Otter and Wildlife Quest tour excursion in Sitka with Allen Marine, through HAL. It was incredible. We saw so many breaching humpback whales that even though 2/3 of our roll of film in our best camera didn't turn out (faulty film transport), we still had three pictures of breaching whales and two shots of a pod of otters so thick they almost looked like carpet on that roll...and the scenery wasn't bad, either. The captain of the catamaran and his crew were as excited as we were. Our sailing—and they have gone out three times a day every day since May 5th—had by far the most whales and other wildlife. Even if you don't win, take the tour anyway. HAL
We also videotaped the whales and used our backup camera to ensure that we would not have any major losses due to processing or whatever. I strongly suggest you take backup cameras, too. Still, the best memories will be those etched into your mind from watching these wonderful creatures with your own eyes.