We were recently in a very nice restaurant in Colorado. Our waiter was not from the U.S. & mentioned that he had worked on several cruiseships,over a period of l3 years, including the Imagination and a Premier ship back in their Disney days. When the evening slowed down, he chatted quite a while & mentioned he would be going back to a ship in a few months after having taken a 9 month "break". Though he loved being on a ship, he said there were many changes that were causing him to advise young people back in his home country NOT to go into the industry. One thing he said many of his co-workers had been recently complaining about was the new automatic tipping policy on some ships.
He said the crew did not fully trust their employers to turn over ALL of the tip money they were receiving or felt accounting mistakes could be made. Also they had enjoyed getting the envelopes, opening them to count their money, etc., etc. Now, we can't possibly know how many of his friends have stated this as their opinion. And I'm sure most ships are honest in turning over the proper amount of money, & there are pros and cons to this system. But it IS food for thought.