The Mercury is a more refined ship and the service offered on her is a step higher than Splender. My family has sailed Legend and Mercury twice to Ak. I give the nod to Mercury as the food and staff are just better. My two teenage son's both agree that Mercury is the better choice. Even they commented on the food on RCI not being nearly as good as Celebrity (we will be sailing in June to Ak on the Mercury again)..You can really feels the additional space per passenger that the Mercury offers VS Splendor.