I returned from the Maasdam about 3 days ago after 14 days onboard. There was NEVER any discussion, suggestion or implication of ANY automatic gratuity system.
I'm not sure when, or IF, this policy will go into effect, but as of 96 hours ago, there was no mention of anything but the usual "no tipping" policy. After 7 or 8 HAL cruises, I have yet to meet anyone who has not tipped. On this most recent cruise, the service was wonderful, many times "above and beyond" and I tipped accordingly.