Although we haven't cruised Princess (yet), we cruised NCL Sun out of Vancouver last month and had a WONDERFUL cruise. No Glacier Bay... we did Tracy Arm which was amazing (up towards Sawyer Glacier).
Freestyle worked best for our group of 14 (aged from 30s to 70s) - some like to dress up more for dinner, some prefer just heading towards the buffet. Hubby and I figured that even if we paid $15 each to eat at a specialty restaurant each night, it was still less expensive than other lines when we looked at pricing. We did eat twice at LeBistro ($15 each) and once at il Adagio ($12.50 each). One night was half-price night at all specialty restaurants.
We enjoyed our cabin (aft mini-suite) and even had dinner in there twice - once with friends.
The two of us do enjoy socializing at dinner and dressing as we have on Celebrity and Holland America. Another couple in our group also enjoyed the specialty restaurants with us, so that was fun having dinner with them.
I'm not a food critic, as I'm just happy being healthy and on vacation. There was never anything that I sent back, and often times there were multiple dishes I wanted to try (so hubby would oblige and order something different... letting me have a bite off his plate... don't know if I'll get flamed for saying that here or not). Yes, I know I could have ordered two dishes, but I didn't want to be wasteful. However, I DID make a double order of that yummy asparagus at LeBistro our second night there!! And they also put more with my filet! mmmmmmmmmm goood asparagus! (Why can't I make it like that at home???)
We really did enjoy NCL Sun for Alaska, but for variety, next time we do Alaska we will probably do a northbound on one of HAL's smaller ships (such as the Maasdam - whichever class that is in and going when we go again). We also want to visit Glacier Bay as well as do the train from Anchorage to Denali. NOT because of any disenjoyment on the Sun... but just for variety, see something different... especially if it's just the two of us or a smaller group where everyone enjoys dressing up for dinner. NCL Freestyle really accommodated our group well since we had a wide variety of preferences when it came to dinner.
As far as excursions, we booked all of our excursions independently after researching the internet (primarily messageboards like this and other cruise messageboards) and figured we saved about $200 each overall on excursions. Comparing what we did to the description in the brochure, I feel we had very comparable excursions.
~ Ketchikan (fishing with Northern Lights)
~ Juneau (city tour including Mendenhall Glacier)
~ Tracy Arm and Sawyer Glacier ("WOW" is all we can say!)
~ Skagway (driving tour of the Klondike Highway to Emerald Lake)
~ Wrangell (independent walking tour of Wrangell)
(click on pics to enlarge)
Definitely give the Sun a chance! I always say that life is about new adventures and experiences.