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Which Alaska cruise ports should we "not miss"?

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My husband and I are planning our first trip to Alaska, and to keep things easy during a hectic time at home, we would like to do a cruise. We are 32 and 33, live in New York, and need a break! :)

I'm seeing many similar ports come up on various cruise company itineraries... how do we pick a route? Can you recommend ports that you all really enjoyed, places you think we should either be sure to get to, or ones you think are miss-able? We are planning for a 7-day cruise for late August. Any advice on how to pick an itinerary would be wonderful.

Separately - advice on the best cruise lines for that region? We love good food, pretty swimming pools, nice surroundings and we definitely want help planning amazing excursions (good entertainment is a plus as well). I hear Silversea and Regent are top notch (but are they stuffy)?? And are they worth the premium price? How is Celebrity?

Many thanks to all in advance!

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