We did the Holland America cruise/tour #3 last August on MS Ryndam; left Vancouver on 08/23; three day at sea northbound through the Inland Passage, then 10 days basically tracing the route of the gold miners northbound through BC & the Yukon, then back into AK winding up in Anchorage. Then rented a car & took 5 days to see the Kenai Peninsula (Seward, Whittier, Coopers Landing, Homer Spit) before flying out of ANC. By late Aug/early Sep things were actually starting to close for the season; something to keep in mind when you plan dates. We had no issues, but a week later we would have started to see restaurants/lodges closing for the winter.
Take Ziggy29's warnings about reveille at zero-dark-thirty, into the motorcoach @ 7:30-8am very seriously - 'tis all true. And some very long days travelling from place to place. Distances in Ak are very long, and many of the roads are not freeway level - or even paved back in the bush. It's what happens if you want to see everything. If that's not your cuppa, think about another way to see Alaska.
But for us it was definitely not like w*rk; it was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see things we'll never see again, and I would not trade the sleeplessness & aching joints for anything. You'll ride a narrow-gauge train over the mountains toward Dawson City, a large jet boat down the Yukon River to Eagle AK (check its daytime temps this time of year!), two observation-car Alaska RR trains (on refurbished HAL cars) into & out of Denali, a school-bus into Denali to see if you can see the mountain (we saw ~80% below the clouds), and walk a lot.
There are a lot of ways to see AK; friends stayed on the ship & did the RT to/from Vancouver. They had a great time. Different strokes...
Just enjoy however you see AK; it's worth it.
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be crazy by those who could not hear the music. Friedrich Nietzsche.