This was my first time cruising, so had nothing to compare it to, but have since been on the Adventure of the Seas. I booked this reservation through MGM as a comp.
I prepaid the gratuities, which I much prefer. Unsure if I have an option to do that, or if it's just added on the bill now.
Ship: I thought it was gorgeous, well kept, nothing negative to say. It could have been the timing (late Oct, end of hurricane season, which I wanted), but the ship did not feel cramped or packed, except maybe once on the promenade, otherwise, it was really nice (esp now that I just went on a cruise in Feb that felt the opposite). I guess I'll have to figure out the best times to go with less people, as I much preferred this Oct sailing on the Mariner to the Feb sailing on the Adventure (but they are the same sized ship. I figured the Mariner must be bigger because of the space I felt i had)