I have just scanned this thread and would only precis my thoughts as below (precis means shorten since I am appalled by some responses)
"can't afford to tip so don't cruise" "no shame in being poor so can't tip" "if you are that broke don't cruise" "no money"
We have an expression over this side of the pond and it is - politely - WHAT A LOAD OF COBBLERS!
If you want to cruise go ahead. There are recommended guidelines for tipping but you are not forced to stick to them. Would you expect your room steward to make the beds in the morning? Of course you would; it is their job. Should you pay extra to just do the job? Clean several times a day beats me since it has never happened and is totally unnecessary. Turn the sheets down while you are at dinner sure and maybe leave a chocolate. All this to obligate a tip? I think not.
Some postings here are obviously from employees on cruise ships and therefore have a vested interest. I believe there is an expression over your side which relates to Dodge City but is over here "if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen" You employees on ships- don't think we, your customers, are obligated to give you tips at the recommended rate regardless of whether or not you do the job right because we are not! Do the job, do it right and then think about tips - don't assume up front!
p.s I bet this puts the cat amongst the pigeons!