I posted this question back in November under Afloat > Ocean Cruises. I'd hoped to get a factual/authoritative answer from someone with RS. So far it does not appear that any RS staff have taken note. So I am reposting it here:
Tipping is a major consideration when planning an ocean cruise. Road Scholar states that customary tips are covered in the cost of its programs, but does that include the tips that are expected by waiters and room stewards on large cruise ships? This is important to know ahead of time for estimating the actual cost of the program.