I have not been to alaska. I live in cleveland, where the weather sucks for 6 months of the year. I tend to vacation in warm places!
Regarding aruba....It is one of my favorite islands. I cannot WAIT to return in january! I highly recommend the "notorius quad racer" tour (I booked thru shoretrips.com) at the Rancho Notorius. You get your own 4 wheeler, and the tour groups are quite small. (my group consisted of my wife, and 2 people we cruised with.....4 people on the whole tour! )
Also....carlos and charlies. Enough said.