Welcome the the forum! A cruise is a great way for a family to get together, and how nice that it is for your grandmother's birthday.
We'll have to meet on the ship for a drink. No large group for us - just me, my wife, and our son. Although we've been on 25 cruises, this is the first time we've done the Alaska itinerary.
Where are you staying prior to the cruise? We are at the Doubletree near the airport. They have a cruise special which gives complimentary shuttle service to the ship on embarkation day.