Just want to add that I have seen the same type of dining seating referred to by Maraprince.
There have been a few times in our limited sailing experiences where we saw the waiter wait until the table was filled before taking the individual orders, thus making the ones who arrived first have to wait longer. This was probably done to create a dining together experience rather than to intentionally annoy anyone. And the realtionship to tipping policy is that one is not inclined to tip if they feel they have waited much too long for service? The simple solution is to ask to be seated alone...which is a choice we always had with freestyle.