I have cruised on ships of all sizes, ranging from a small chartered yacht, to a ship holding over 4,000 passengers. For my first trip to Alaska, I wanted a smaller ship to experience the Inside Passage and Glacier Bay for the first time, especially since I was traveling with my father, who I knew would appreciate the intimacy and smaller size. We chose Alaskan Dream Cruises, a company based out of Sitka, that is locally owned and operated by a family of three generations of Alaskans. Our ship, the Admiralty Dream, was top notch, with plush pillow top mattresses and luxurious, high thread count sheets, and exquisite food: with offerings like wild-caught salmon eggs benedict, freshly home made desserts at lunch and dinner, as well as an afternoon "hot cookie hour." The intimacy of our cruise was the aspect that made the journey most special for us. We got to know other passengers and made new friends, due to the number of people aboard the ship. The staff knew our names, and we got to interact closely with the local guides and naturalists brought on board. There were no lines to wait in, and we didn't have to choose certain activities over others: with just forty people on the Admiralty Dream, we got to do everything. The captain could alter the schedule around wildlife sightings, so when we came across a humpback whale and her calf frolicking together, we were able stop and take in the beauty of nature. That is the best way to discover Alaska.