No, they did not give us anything in writing. They gave us a nice breakfast, an NCL mug and then told us that the $10 a day fee now on the Pride of Aloha will apply to all ships by the summer of 2005. Then (after a lot of screaming travel agents!) someone asked if their client should still tip and the NCL rep at the head of the room said that this fee had nothing to do with tipping, it was originally instituted to pay the extra expenses involved with an American crew (as mandated by U.S. labor laws) and they decided to institute it on all ships.
Now, when I was on the Pride of Aloha, we worked closely with the Concierge because my mother had special needs for tours. He explained it to me the same way NCL did. There was also an announcement on the cruise that this ship does not have automatic tipping on the bill and please "show your appreciation as you go along." (The words were very close to that.)
As I said it my last post, we are beating this subject to death. We can speculate forever and then NCL can change their minds. No one knows what NCL will do tomorrow and if it will apply to all or some ships. Find out if there is a fee on the ship you are on and then tip (or not tip) accordingly.