Which would you rather do? Without going into a lot of detail, it will be our first cruise. Would like to go in May 2005, weather wouldn't be a problem, can't be worse than where I live--North Dakota! This wouldn't be a once in a lifetime trip, but just want to stay within our budget. The May 3 Diamond Princess 4 night Alaska Sampler, where I've found online, the mini-suite, category AC cabins are going for just over $600 pp taxes, port charges included. The thrill of being on a newer, large ship sounds exciting--I'm sure I'd enjoy the sea days. There is only one stop in Alaska--Ketchikan, where we would book the float plane excursion (about $200 pp). The total cost of this vacation would be $1000-$1100. Or do you think we would be better off booking a 7-night cheapest inside cabin on any Princess ship? I've seen prices as low as $600 pp. Having an inside cabin shouldn't be a problem as we like to visit with other people and have no problem being in the public areas of the ship. The ship would visit 3 or 4 ports and perhaps a day of scenic cruising. We could take in cheaper shore excursion at each ports. The total cost of this vacation would also be around $1000-$1100. Anxious to see everyone's posts!