I've been poking around on the threads on this board since early January now and I think I'm more confused now than when I began! LOL Hubby & I are trying to plan our 10th anniversary vacation and we keep coming back to an Alaska cruise as it's something that we both are wanting to do/see. From my research it looks like my hubby & I want to go either HAL or RCCL. We do have some time/planning constraints though...we must leave from our home in MO no sooner than July 25th, and can be gone up until Aug 12th-ish. We can fly out of either MCI or DTW (depends on what we do with our kids) and from what I've been seeing it looks like if we can we want to depart from Vancouver. We are first time cruisers, I have a serious fear of boats/fish/open water but I'm figuring that the ship is so big that it won't bother me, and DH might have a problem with seasickness (but I've seen that the cruiselines can help with that). Since this is our first cruise, is it a necessity to try for a balcony room, or will it be better to ease our way into it...since I've heard that cruising is very addictive! Budget isn't really an issue as we've been saving for this trip, but we would like to stay around/under the $5K mark for EVERYTHING. We want to do some excursions, but are REALLY overwhelmed as to what to pick. We caught a show on the Travel Channel about an RCCL cruisetour, and that looks somewhat up our alley. I know we want to do the glass-topped train through Denali, and we'd like to see the glaciers calf (but that's kind of up to mother nature!) but other than that, the only other thing that really jumped out at us was the flightseeing over the glaciers, and the dogsled training camp. We have a friend who is from AK and he says that the train trip from Seward to Anchorage is something to definitely consider. We're also thinking that an Inside Passage cruise is the way to go...but I could be wrong there too!! We don't gamble, we don't drink, we like to eat and have expensive tastes in food. (We've visited 8 of the top 10 steakhouses in the country) We aren't really crunchy, granola-y outdoorsy types...our idea of camping is in our travel trailer and not turning on the hot water heater & using the campground bathrooms. Is there something that I'm overlooking, or missing? I'm trying to go into this with a good idea of what we want, but I'm not against going to a travel agent either if they are going to be able to clear my muddled mess of ideas and help make an educated decision. Help!!