Broken Base: Participation of AskTheCrusaders. On the one hand, there are many people who don't like the darker turn the blog has taken and wants it to return to answering questions in-character. On the other hand, there are also many people who are curious to see where it's going and would like the creator to continue.
The artist took note of said complaints, which led to a sort-of compromise- they're still participating, but the Crusaders also take time to answer some questions.
Chekhov's Armoury: While not strictly in-world: The prizes handed out after each day and bonus challenges. Notably the VIP passes handed out at the start of the competition and the life preservers which can be used to save another contestant should they be eliminated.
Stoner Spike's elimination raises some rather disturbing questions. Is the entire cruise a dream? If so, how are so many people and ponies experiencing the exact same dream? What is Santalestia's role in it, and whats her ultimate plot? And perhaps most importantly, if it is all a dream, what will happen to the ones who make it all the way to the end?
Tear Jerker: Sweetie Belle of AskTheCrusaders' utter heartbreak over losing her fur and mane.
Also from AskTheCrusaders, Apple Bloom being completely terrified of Scootaloo after the pegasus-turned-unicorn accidentally blasted her with magic during a temper tantrum.
Discorded Whooves' futile attempt to defeat the Horror.