Speaking strictly for myself, I consider a tip to be a "bonus" that I give to someone who has gone above and beyond the expected. When a tip is added automatically, then it isn't a tip, its part of the price. I would much prefer that cruiselines (and other businesses where tipping comes into play) call things what they are. If tipping is required and/or automatic, then call call it what it really is--part of the price. Rather than "adding" it later, just include it in the price up front.
Learning that all tips are pooled actually makes me much less inclined to tip at all the next time around. It was my understanding that when I tipped, I was tipping the person I gave the money to. If that isn't the case, then tipping becomes meaningless to me.
My next statement will not be popular, but it is sincere. I keep hearing that we need to tip because the cruiselines pay their service staff so little. I hear the same thing with regard to restaurant servers here at home. With all due respect, that is neither my fault nor my problem. Salary issues are between the employee and his/her employer.
I, too, work in a service type position, but one in which tipping is never done. I don't make a lot of money either, but that is neither the fault nor the respnsibility of our customers. That is between my employer and me...and is also the primary reason I'm currently job-hunting. :-)
A number of posters on various boards have described passengers who "disappear" on tipping night as "cheap." I strongly disagree. I suspect that these folks may share my views regarding tipping.
There also seems to be a perception among some that people who cruise are wealthy. That may be true for some cruisers, but certainly not for all of us. I saved for years for my first cruise. Because of budgetary constraints, I also made very few purchases on the ship (less than $100 worth) during the 7-day cruise. I'm not cheap; I just don't happen to have a lot of money.
For those who object to either the pressure to tip or to pooling of tips, here's a suggestion: Instead of money, put a nice thank-you note in the tip envelope and explain why you're not tipping with money.