:)The first time we went to Alaska...we thought that it would be our only time too and decided to do a cruise tour. It was a most fantastic trip and seeing some of the interior parts of Alaska was sooooo worth the extra money! We have been back 2 more times since then and will be going back again this June! So my advice to friends and family who are considering an Alaskan cruise is that if it is possibly in their budget...then do a cruise tour because seeing places like Denali, the Yukon, Anchorage, Fairbanks etc etc is just awesome. Our 1sr cruise tour we spent 2 fascinating days in Anchorage on our own before meeting up with the group for the HAL land tour...for another 8 days of experiencing the interior of Alaska!
So my opinion is if your family members have long wanted to go to Alaska...then the extra money for a land trip pre or post is a must! The cruise lines offer a variety of land packages from 2-3 days to more than a week...so pick what suits your budget and interests...but GO! And have a great time!