I don't want to go point by point, but I just got off Splendor and wanted to share my experience.
The Captains reception or whatever it was called is now more like what I understand the RCCL event to be like. There was a Farewell event as described above, but we avoided the "cram into the aft lounge for a free beverage" event.
Smoking: Yes it is becoming more restricted. This is in line with the national trend. Smoking is now not allowed on the Lido at all, the only open areas that allow smoking are the starboard sides of deck 10 (sheltered) and 11 (open). The casino and two lounges (piano and cigar bars) were the only ones to allow smoking. As a non-smoker the thing I notice is that as the areas available to smokers dwindle the intensity of the smoke in those places increases. The piano bar was almost unbearable to me.
I think the only time I spent more than $10 on a drink was in Long Beach, with tip & tax included. The specialty drinks where 7.25, and there was plenty available for less.
The spa thing is kind of annoying as they did add a cost that passengers did not have to bear previously. The "hot tub" is now the thalo-thingy, but the rest of the "thermo suite" used to be available to all.
Our stateroom steward was okay, but our dining room servers were great. I had no problems with the other crew I encountered. This was our first Mexican Riviera cruise, we changed time zones 4 times in a week. Doing that week after week has got to mess with you a little bit.
I'd peg the average age lower than IB but it might still have been on the high side of 50. I'm not a late nighter so I can't comment there. There was a lot of diversity on the cruise though. A very large number of Hispanic/Latin people, a lot of East Asians, and I was rarely in a crowd without seeing a few African American folks, but that was probably a smaller grouping than I had seen on our Caribbean cruises. For some reason there seemed to be a lot of gay men on board, not sure why I even noticed, but I did and my DW also commented on it.
Who knows why the demographics change from week to week so much.