I think that weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve pretty much decided on Princess. We attended a presentation last night at a local travel agency. The presentation was made by a Princess representative, so of course it was not objective. Even so, they do seem to have a lot of what weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re looking for in the Alaskan experience. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re thinking about an 11-13 day CruiseTour starting in AK and floating south. The southern route is a little more expensive, but I think that it will be worth it to relax on the last part of the experience rather than the first part. One thing that interests me is a line printed in the promotional book that we got during the presentation. ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a line that mentions substantial discounts (up to $1200/couple) for early booking on the Coral Princess/Island Princess. Of course, being the skeptic that I am, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m thinking that this must indicate that something is wrong with these ships. Do you know anything about Coral Princess/Island Princess? Are they older or for some other reason less desireable? (IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve noted PEBÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s comment on this thread Ã¢â‚¬Å“My and my wifes preference so far has been the Sun Class ships of Princess in Alaska.Ã¢â‚¬Â) Also, the discounts began in June so it may be possible that none of the discounted fares are still available. I thought IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d wait until I learn more bout the ships before I inquire further into fare specifics. We now need to zero in on a date. The early/late tours are attractive price-wise. If this is because many travelers are bound to the June-August time frame because of kids in school or mandated vacation breaks (e.g., teachers, many industrial jobs), then thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not a problem for us. Also, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not bothered by the need for a jacket. However, if thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a weather problem that would lessen our experience, like a rainy season, fog, or other natural phenomenon like snow melt (keeping waterfalls full) or something like that, WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d want to know it. I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t see wasting the trip just to save a few hundred dollars. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re also thinking that early might be slightly better than late for us. Partly because of the claim: However, my wife has an annual excursion to be at a timeshare with her parents which is unbreakable and same time each year. On the subject of elderly parents (I have one, my wife has 2), weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re also thinking about taking out the travelerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s insurance. Is this a good deal? Or is it better to take your chances and cancel/forfeit your deposit if you have to make a last-minute cancellation? Are there third-party policies that are less expensive than those offered by the cruise line? Well, back to dreaming/planning. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d especially appreciate some advice on weather and preferred ships.