I guess i was just so stunned that someone on the same exact cruise had a totally different experience than me that i just had to write. Dont forget Paul, your opinion here with you as 'Admiral' can be taken with greater weight.
But let me address your points further: we spent around $189 for the 2nd tier wine pkg. Each bottle of wine that required chilling was brought to us perfectly chilled. For those chilled wines we were provided with wine buckets with ice in them - we got it in Chops, Portofinos the windjammer (jade side) and the dining hall. Did you ask for one since you didnt get one? Also Chops was actually only $20 bucks - a sheer bargain for that type of food (nevermind the service which was exceptional). Try Manhatten Morten's Steakhouse and you'll see what i mean- you and i could easily drop 300 in a place like that. So they HAVE to charge $20 - look at the meal you're getting - it doesnt compare to the dining hall - totally cool with that. Also, not sure of your math - but the most expensive bottle of wine on the pkg was $38 and that was just 2 of them. The rest were cheaper and I scouted them out beforehand with a wine connisseur. Each bottle was opened by either a bar manager or a waiter - like within seconds of us getting it. My buddy who knows what he is talking about would be always poured the first glass and be allowed to sample the taste before it was poured to the rest of us. The reds were opened and allowed to breathe and then poured in due time. On Tues in the windjammer, i actually had gotten too much sun and couldnt get into the 2nd bottle of wine - they corked it and took it away. We had it the next nite at Chops with no problem. The last nite, we had one bottle left out of the 14 that we didnt consume - so at Portofino's we asked to take it back. They brought us an icy chilled bottle of Lindeman's Bin 77 Chard that looked awesome - we previously had it at other dinners. We brought it home with us and plan to have it at a special dinner at Christmas to remember the Mariner and the good times we had.
Now for the room - we had room #9360 towards the back of the boat. It was a balcony room - regular D2 class. Plenty of room at the foot of the bed which did not butt the desk or couch. I had plenty of room to walk around it and i am a pretty big guy myself. The toilets stank? Jeeze i didnt have that experience either. Didnt you mention it to the room steward? And as far as the photography - no offense, but a 90 year old couple could probably care less about whatever photography you were looking for so you cant be too upset about that.
Frankly, my guess with the problems that you experienced this time must be an anomoly. I also have to believe you've dropped your name and positon to the ship's stewards and waiters who must have kissed your ass in the past. I mean really - think about it: a floating city in the caribbean - it is as beautiful as they make it and you have to be amazed at what they can do with the service and at that price. Truly amazing.
So my message to everyone else is that the Mariner was a great experience that far outweighed my expectations. Dont worry if you have a cruise booked on this beauty (Alamogirl) - you'll LOVE it - it is one of the highest ranked ships. Unless you expect to be treated like King Arthur. They do have 3000 other guests to take care of too ya know. Personally I hope i have another chance to see her before she is sent out to California in '09.