In response to the question about Alaskan cruises, my husband and I went on a 12-night cruise from San Francisco on the Celebrity Infinity in mid-May 2005. We got better rates because it was early in the season and expected lots of rain but actually only had rain one afternoon in Juneau and part of the morning in Skagway. The best whale-watching was on the Sea Otter & Wildlive excursion in Sitka. This one was sold out when our tablemates tried to get it, so buy early. Definitely take a cruise that goes to the Hubbard Glacier -- it is an awesome sight! We shared a family veranda stateroom with my mother-in-law and it was huge, with a very large veranda. These staterooms are situated aft on decks 8, 9, and 10, I believe, 2 on the port side, 2 on starboard. If you get an outside stateroom, you can see all along the side of the ship as well as all across the back. It was awesome! The food in the dining room is the absolute best! There are 3 formal nights -- lots of opportunities to dress up, if you like. The lighter fare served all day in the spa/pool area is also incredible. We had two days at sea going out and one day at sea coming back. The sea is rough at that time of year and many were seasick but arm yourself with pressure bands, make sure you don't let you stomach get too empty (we had toast & tea served in our cabin at 7am every morning), and avoid staring that the waves and it should be fine. Good luck!