Last year, I went on my first cruise (on the Mariner), and not only put my tips(recommended amount) on my seapass, but also gave out additional cash bonuses to our service people. The service by our room seward was actually pretty poor (she would not tell us how to go get ice, romms were only tended to once a day, etc), but we know how hard the work is, so tipped her anyway (seapass and bonus). Anyway, as we were leaving, she clearly gave us the cold shoulder, and refused to speak to us. OK, she was downright rude. Being new to cruising, I wondered if we did something inappropriate. Do the staff get a different amout whether you put tips on the seapass? Do they hope to not report their $ if given cash? Should we do something different this year?
Sounds like you encountered a lazy cabin steward with a bad attitude. You did everything right. Better luck next time. Most all tipped employees will be gracious and friendly to you with the standard tip amount. If you pay extra they are usually very grateful and thankful to you. I like giving cash rather than on sea pass account as it is more personable.
Whether you choose to tip in person or via your card should have nothing to do with attitude or service: yes, I am sure those who get the little extra when service is good do not report it to anyone: I don't blame them: If you did put it on your card she has no way of knowing and thus has no reason to get her nose out of joint. I have always been led to beleive tips are for good service, the better the service the better the tip. Someone needs to train her or remind her of this.
This has only happened to me once! Same thing the service wasn't very good but I gave him the expected tip plus a little. After that he ignored us and was rude, no goodbyes or anything. i did hear he was quitting the ship soon. From now on if the service isn't very good they will only get the expected tip and maybe not even that! I feel be generous to the ones who deserve it.