I just started reading this thread, I don't know if it is very active anymore, but I too agree that tipping is nothing more the company (restaurant, cruise line, etc) trying to pay less to the workers and guilting the customers into supplementing the wages. While I am the kind of person who is guilted into tipping and always tip at least 15% at restaurants and the reccommended amount on a cruise ship, I still think it is a stupid practice.
I find it funny when people don't realize that whenever they are the consumer in any industry where gratuity is common (restaurant, cruise line, etc) that the company wants to get as much as they can out of you and pay as little as possible. Cruise lines don't pay good wages to the workers because they know the passengers will. My feeling is that when I pay for a cruise, I am paying for the good service in my fare and shouldn't have to pay extra for it. Again, before any attacks on me, please keep in mind that I DO tip the common amounts.