If you opt for MTDining on RCCL you have to pay gratuities upfront.
Joecru... it is only the Hotel staff that are paid by this method. It promotes good customer service from those that are in direct contact with the passenger. Gratuities are HOW they make their salary, their base pay is very minimal. If you pay the gratuities they are shared between those workers, so that dining staff who are assigned to different venues do not miss out. When you have received extra personal service, say from your room Steward, then extra tips are indicated.
Do you really think $3.50 per day for your Steward is a rip off?
Other staff, such as Engineering, Maintenance, Sales are paid by straight salary.