Yes, you solved my problem. Adding highlights is needed for the slideshow button to be displayed. Actually, adding highlights is the way to program an automatic animation of the panorama, which is a great feature.
Regarding you question, no, I did not use a tripod in any of these panos, all the pictures were taken hand held. I realize that a leveled tripod is essential for creating acceptable panos, but this is not always possible. I am searching for a good subject matter that will allow using a tripod (no landscapes for me).