This book equally emphasizes the two subjects of its title: Alaska and Cruise.
Part traditional travel encyclopedia, and part pragmatic "how to" cruise guide, if it has to do with cruising in Alaska, it's probably here. That said, there is an awful lot of information in this book, which means that it can stretch very thin in certain places. This is not a traditional travel guide with listings of hotels, restaurants and sights, but is a travel narrative that describes each destination and related physical features.
The practical information is comprehensive. Coverage of the lower ports of call is extensive, as is coverage of geography and wildlife. Historical and cultural contexts are concise and interesting. Coverage of upper and central destinations (Anchorage, Fairbanks, Kenai, Seward) is thinner, but is still satisfactory. Readers should keep in mind that this is not a detailed guide to the cruise operators or cruise ships themselves, so there are better resources for people looking for that information.
The real standout features of the book are its comprehensiveness, its many color photographs, and its dependable information which has been refined over eight editions.
The pull-out, mile-by-mile map is excellent, and adds an additional level of enjoyment when planning or taking your cruise. Altogether, it's a very good, high-quality publication that is indispensable for Alaska cruisies.