After a friend's recommendation we decided to tryTHE MARINER
POSITIVE: Check-in went smoothly, although we were delayed 45 minutes for Coast Guard inspection. Easy to maneuver ship with my walker or scooter. Nice sized disabled cabin. Great staff, fun Halloween & 70's parties & parades; great lamb, duck & white chocolate/orange flan (although the rack of lamb was hard to cut). Lobster was wonderful! We had a Great MDR staff for Anytime Dining. Trivia was fun, and run by a great, fun staff, but prizes were cheap (how many key-chains & highlighters do we need?) There should have been a prize exchange for people who would prefer a pen for a key chain! Room attendant was sweet & we had cute animals (elephant, turtle & monkey). Loved the brownies in the Cafe' Promenade! Disembarkation was also easy, after a small breakfast in the MDR.
NEGITIVE: Amenities cut back (no robes, bad shampoo, warm refrigerator). Due to the Coast Guard inspection, elevators were shut down after disabled were allowed up to Windjammer, & I saw several passengers close to collapse when they climbed 7 floors! Windjammer was poorly organized and arranged, with not enough inside seating & no way to take food or drink outside without being accosted (no signs said no food around pool). No water service either.
Food was OK but not great- some things were barley edible, egg-beaters were greasy & watery (especially on Windjammer). I never knew there were so many ways to serve chocolate mousse!
Ship itself was very boxy & enclosed (we could have been at the Paris Las Vegas). There were Very few places to curl up & read while watching the view without going to pool area, which had very small Pools (On Carnival, I could always find a window seat to read).
Staff was Fun, but CD Kiernan was barely around. I didn't find out until the last night that there was an elevator to take the disabled down to the front rows of the theater (you have to make a appointment with the stage Director to use it; otherwise, all disabled are in the last row on the 3rd deck), which is unfair if you want to participate.
The Casino was also very cheap- not only the machines have poor pay-outs, but all I got for my points were more key chains; no cash-back!
I think we'll try the Disney Magic, then stick to Carnival!