CruisePal - you said, "...as they are high end ships which also ensure that the gratuities are higher and those who cruise on those vessels disburse additional gratuities at the end of their cruise. " - Not true - Radisson employees will not accept gratuities offered by customers unless doing something totally out of line (shopping in town, contacting realtives using their phone card, etc. bartending at private cocktail parties during their off-duty hours). Silversea employees are not supposed to accept gratuities and can lose their job if it's discovered.
The concept of pre-paid tipping leading to poor service just isn't proving true. My pre-paid gratuities on the QM2 maiden voyage were $11.00 per day. The auto-tip for the "grill" pax is higher (they have a butler). I did give more to my stewardess since I was travelling single and she would have normally gotten more, plus she did some extra things for me when I was under the weather for a couple days. I tipped several of the bartenders extra since they always saw to it I was served in a timely manner, but I only started tipping extra AFTER I saw them go the extra mile. I did not tip the Maitre'D even though he did his job fairly well - he did nothing extraordinary.
Another subject: As far as the Cunardival Victoriadam - it's not that much smaller (pax numbers) than QM2 (400 I believe) and QE2 is 900 less than QM2. But I fully believe the QM2 should have a minimum of 1600 crew instead of the 1300 they advertise. It would all run MUCH more smoothly with appropriate ratio.
Another statement of yours, "Carnival thinks it can restore the greatness of ocean liner travel, however, they already fell short of the goal line." Sounds to me like you've already judged QM2 as a failure and I'm sure your review will substantiate your pre-judgement..