Even with an amicable discussion (amazingly nobody has insulted anyone, as is usually the case) the comments made by some people are very loaded and typify what is wrong with the tipping culture. A reasonable argument is spoiled by comments such as: "If you want to be a Scrooge . . . . ", ". . . if you want to be as mean as that. . ." and so on. What you are doing is telling people they are wrong in a round about way and dismissing their opinion according to your own standards. I have become very aware of a backlash against tipping particularly in poor countries, where a single tip can amount to more than a week's wages. This skews the local economy and puts unfair pressure on those who do not do the type of job where tipping is common, and creates a situation where everyone wants to do this type of job rather than do a real job (i.e. a necessary one). Then there is the problem I hear more and more about customers on all-inclusive holidays being snubbed by bar staff who don't hand them a tip on every drink serving despite the fact that no money should be changing hands. In reality, most countries I have visited never initially had a tipping culture but thanks to our friends from the USA, it has been introduced to them, and it goes through the stage of acceptable-encouraged-compulsory-bullying. Despite the best interests of those who say tipping is a personal thing, it just doesn't work like that, and there are enough greedy and hard faced people around who will make people uncomfortable for those who do not hand over extra cash. I appreciate this is a topic about cruises, and that's where the problem lies, because if I am on land and I don't want to tip, then I can go elsewhere, but on a cruise I don't have a choice. Yes, I can opt of of the 'compulsory' tipping if I want, but then we hear of incidents of the list of opt-outers posted on the staff notice board to give a free for all to give problems to those customers. I'm not saying this is the norm, but I really don't want to take the risk that this may happen on my expensive holiday. If the correct price for the trip was charged in the first place, all these problems would go away. As far as I am concerned I cannot be the guardian for the low paid staff. It is 100% the fault of their employers that they are low paid, but tipping gives employers carte blanche to continue the low pay culture . If they do their job well, they will be appreciated verbally, and that should be sufficient. I've even heard of people being expected to tip ship's officers and the captain in these extra charges. No way are they going to be poor.
Bring your own lifeboat.....
Spot on. No way we can change an industry. These workers are virtually always from poor countries and get paid a pittance.75P an hour. If you want to be a Scrooge dont go on Cruises. If you do go, dont treat these unfortunate staff as your skivvies.
Totally agree with you OP, well said.