I have also seen these "jars" for tips for services by people that are being not only paid at least minimum wage, but usually more and have actually laughed ... I work in the service industry, I make a bit more then minimum, do I expect a tip just because I am doing my job, no ... in fact, I am at times embarrassed when given a tip ... I am paid a wage to give the best service possible ... That includes being friendly and helpful ... Should I expect more just because I had to take an extra minute or 2 to help a guest/customer ... heavens no ...
Those that are in the food and beverage industry rely on tips and I have no problem tipping them ... but others, no I will usually not tip for them doing what they are being paid to do ... Ok, so maybe they are not making great money, but they are being paid to do the job they do and should not expect more ...
I admit that I feel the minimum wage is on the low side considering what the reality of the cost of living is, but that does not mean that I expect others to "pay (tip)" my way ...
I'll agree that minimum wage is not only on "the low side" but is criminal --- but I'll constrain the urge to "go political" on this board.
Here, I merely raised the contrast between the service one recieves at a "self service" restaurant from that recieved on a cruise ship (even the worst of them). At worst, the cruise ship service beats anything I've seen on land, any where in the US. Sure, I'll tip for that --- if its is not included in the fare. Heck, I even tip 15% to 20% for lesser service on land. But will I tip for "self-service"? Oh, no! Who do I tip, myself?
We travel on Princess 99% of the time. Since their change to automatic tipping on your shipboard account, we have seen very little change. We often give our stateroom steward an extra tip at the end. That is given to him/her in our stateroom, in cash, so they can keep it for themselves.
We will be sailing on the Star Princess this January, being our 22 on the line.
You are talkinng about two separate issues that of prepaid v postpaid tips and that of free style v time assigned dining. The issues with free style dining of getting a different waiter and different table mates at every meal had nothing to do with prepaid v post paid tips. The waiter will not know you or your likes or dislikes if you have a different waiter every time. On the other hand the benefit of free style is you can eat when you want/