This practice was openly disclosed to us by the Hotel Manager on the Holland America Statendam so it isn't an isolated incident. I also believe there is nothing wrong with it.
NCL did a report, a number of years back that the vast majority of people who remove their tips from the automatic tipping program in order to personally give their gratuity "NEVER" do. It is the same on other cruise lines. It is just an excuse for people to be cheap.