So, whenever the cruise line will allow it, I cancel the auto-gratuities so I can hand out the tipping envelopes in person. It's so much more personal that way.
I did that the first year they implemented the auto-tipping. I later found out that I had left out a bunch of people that would have benefited from it. So now I leave them on and give extra if warranted. I agree, it is a very impersonal way of tipping.
If anyone does remove the tips and is going to tip the old fashioned way, my advice is to let the crew member know.
PS; Digitalrick, your ticker needs to be posted with the BB Code option. Here
is a link to the instructions.