Several years ago, I did a large ship cruise in Alaska and very much enjoyed it. This summer, I revisited on the National Geographic Sea Bird, carrying about 55 passengers, closer to the size of a lifeboat on those mega-ships. It was a totally different kind of experience. The ability to see wildlife, land at interesting places, and visit small fishing towns that haven't been completely overrun really showed the advantages. When there was a pod of whales or great sunset, the captain could put the ship in the best place for viewing and linger as long as guests were interested. The pricetag is what you'd expect for a luxury trip, but it's not luxury in terms of formal service & dress codes, rather in amazing experiences with great staff.
Points of interest
Sitka National Historical Park Main Entrance
Great walk to introduce the Alaskan rain forest, with lots of totem poles