Poor you Confused , You really have opened a can of worms. First I understand what your point is , but I don't know if you understand that your cruise price is as low as it is because the cruise lines don't pay their staff properly. You see they pay them slave wages with the lure of tips to draw them. Now you may say " well that 's unfair, why do I the consumer have to make up those wages"YOU DON"T , what you do is book and pay for a higher price cruise that have a "no tipping " policy.
We are from Canada and let me tell you we take a beating with the exchange rate, so tipping in American dollars really pisses us off, I mean it's not an American ship and the service workers are generally not american, but noooooooo we HAVE to tip in a currency that is 50% stronger than ours! It hurts us financialy but like you we don't do the ships tours nor do we buy the overpriced ship photos and tacky souveniers. We do however tip properly. We have never tipped more than suggested amounts, we can't afford to, and quite frankly there has been no reason for us to. ( oops , not true we did tip our cabin steward and bit more once when we brought our kids and they we sooo messy) We don't tip the maitre'd . We don't tip extra to anyone for "remembering our names", or saying hello. If we had more money it would be nice to do those types of things/
I think you should still cruise ( and I thought some of the above posts were a bit mean) and just try and do the best you can, it would be best if you saved for the cruise by including the tip amount in your budget. I know it's hard and I think you desrve to have fun too, just remember that your tips are in fact someones living.