I am of the old school, and want to personally hand my tips to those who provided me with excellent service.
My questions is: If I go to the purser's desk at the beginning of my cruise and ask that the auto-tip function be removed from the card, are the wait staff and cabin staff made aware of this, and would my service suffer as a result, with them thinking that I might possibly "stiff" them at the end of the cruise. If this is the case, then it I might just go ahead and auto-tip instead.
I am not sure if the staff are aware of who tips automatically but we had them take tipping off on our first week on the Victory so we could tip ourselves and we felt the service did not suffer because of it. We were very pleased with the service we received.
You say you are of the old school. I think not, because if you were you would not be on another thread stating that you are attending dinner in the dining room on formal night dressed in resort style casual. The old school would dress formal.