This whole tipping debate simply boils down to economics and human nature. As long as tipping is an optional expense, there will always be free riders. This is human nature 101. You can berate them, gnash your teeth, and pull your hair out, but it doesn't do any good. Some people follow the herd (tippers) and some people don't. The only way to rectify the situation is to pay the employees market wages and build the additional cost into the price of the cruise. Exceptional employees can still be rewarded with bonuses, etc. The traditional model for pricing a product is that employee wages are handled by the employer and then passed onto the consumer. I personally hate tipping but my standard tip is 15% with 20% for excellent service. My preference would be for the employer to handle wages and let me worry about something else.