Thank you for your live report from Solstice. I was wondering what that ship was like and reading your reports is giving me a good idea.
I generally stay away from large ships, but maybe Solstice might be an exception in my future.
I agree with you 100% by the way ... about the added tip. Even if the service is good, I think it's downright sneaky for a cruise line to add an extra line onto the receipt for "added gratuity." It's misleading because people might wrongfully assume that there is no gratuity automatically added and go ahead and give more than they would have intended. Thankfully, HAL doesn't do that.
When I sailed the QE2, it took me three times to realize that I was adding a couple of dollars gratuity onto my drink tab when a 15% gratuity had already been added. I'm sorry, but 20% gratuity, at least to me, is a bit "over the top."
Blue skies and continue to enjoy your cruise!