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I read your article on the varies increases that cruise line are introducing for gratuities. As an Australian I /we find this quite rude to force people to pay automatically. I would rather have the control & pay an amount to who I think deserves it.  This is what I have always done & have removed the auto gratuities once I board the ship. Not sure if this is doable on all cruise lines.

Sorry to say but why should we the passengers subsidies the wages of the staff, who do a wonderful job but get paid peanuts by these conglomerate corporations. I would prefer an all inclusive fare & if it included this gratuity then be it. We have travelled numerous Viking cruises & we have not had any gratuity charges shown as Australians, yet fellow American & other passengers were charged.

Appreciate if you can answer one question please. Is it a given that you have to pay the auto gratuities charged by some cruise lines ?

I am not against gratuities where they are earned. But to be charged automatically is not on for us. 

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@Arist Thanks for your feedback! This isn't always doable on every cruise line. Some cruise lines, such as MSC Cruises, will allow you to remove the automatically added gratuities under certain circumstances. Many other US-based cruises lines, such as RCL will not allow you to remove those automated gratuities. Gratuities are definitely one of those hard to agree on topics. Many people don't tip as generously a they should. Other guests won't tip at all. Keeping the gratuities automated and the same for all guests ensures it's fair and equal for all guests. A someone who normally tips above and beyond, I do prefer doing  my own tipping. I always tip over the daily rate and give cash to those who really stood out to me. Be sure to read the cruise lines' rules on gratuities. Each cruise line is very different from daily rate to flexibility of its rules. You can always call the cruise line directly to confirm the details on gratuity standards for that line. Which cruise line do you typically cruise? When you tip on your own, what crew members do you typically tip? 

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