I am not sure if anyone is still reading this thread but if so here goes
I am new to this website and posting boards but just want to say that having been a waitress for 5 years while teaching to make ends meet and now I am lucky enough to have a single job where I do not need to supplement my wages that I also am a good tipper. I have been on both sides of this as a server, bartender and end consumer and have respect for peoples individual beliefs however feel that when people are in a country as may people have stated " do as the romans do"
I also have traveled abroad to many caribbean islands, hawaii, and even Africa and adjusted my beliefs and behaviors to what is appropriate for that country. In Africa they are very conservative and it is preferred that woman especially cover their legs now I know there was a lot of people who did not respect this custom however I believe when you travel you respect the country you are in.
I can also tell you that the people in these impoverished countries leave their families for months at a time to try and earn even a fraction of what us americans do and that we should be greateful for what we have and give to others..
I partly do this by tipping whether it is in a restaurant, my hairdresser, or our guide who went to our resort with us spent the week away from his family and gave my boyfriend and I private safari tours everyday and taught me some wonderful things about the native african culture just so he can earn a living to put his 2 sons thru school which in Kenya after a certain age there is no public schooling...
these people work for minimal wages and are away from their families we should have compassion for them and the unfortunate circustances which has put them in this position...
I have always tipped and will continue to do so
Also my mother who is 72 years old and was raised in a different time and dropped out of school is now a waitress in a truckstop from the 11:00pm-7:00am shift, and works for tips.
She has no choice if her and my father want to get by but she must work and bust her butt. To say this is their job and they should not be tipped is an possibly the belief of someone who has never been in an unfortunate circumstance where they needed to rely on tips.
Not everyone has been as fortunte as those of us who do not have to waitress anymore or never have had to, part of being an American I feel is having compassion for those who are less fortunate than ourselves and I have seen them firsthand in Africa. For everyone who tips THANKS FROM MY 72 YEAR OLD MOTHER who because of unforutne circumstances in her life is uneducated and has no other choice but to do this type of work.
Everyone who tips will continue to do so and those who do not well noone is going to change their minds and quite frankly I feel sorry for them that they feel they way they do.
I will be going on an NCL cruise in a month and the tipping is mandatory and you cannot remove it. I agree all the cruise lines will eventually be going to this and I feel it will make my job a lot easier and I will tip more to those who provide additional servies. This was a very intersting post to read and interesting to see everyones point of view. Good Luck and keep tipping!!