Congratulations on going to Alaska on a cruise. If you have a choice, I'd choose starboard, because as you go north, you can see either the mainland or islands almost all the way on that side. We have seen wildlife including bears, dolphins and whales from our balcony in the past. (Bring your binnoculars). There is lots to see on the other side too, since there are so many islands on that side too. Either way, you'll have a great time.