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randga May 8th, 2007 03:17 PM

Tipping air pilot / whale watch captian
Starting to deal with the nitty-gritty here as we are close to our departure! What is customary in regards to tipping people you have hired outside of the cruise line tours? For example we have hired a pilot service and a whale watching tour - both are small private tours and our party of 4 will be the only ones on board. We will be spending a lot already but don't want to do the wrong thing! Please advise.

Donna May 8th, 2007 10:09 PM

NOt sure what the exact amount is to tip, but we went whale watching, had a great time, saw lots of whales, for two of us, tipped $5.00.

CanCanCase May 9th, 2007 02:27 AM

$5 is fine if there are a bunch of folks on board. $5 is fine if you're on my boat and that's what you've got to show appreciation for a job well done. Personally, I tip 10 - 15% of what I paid for the tour... but that's just me.

If you're on the Can Can, the captain doesn't expect anything, and the deckhand likes to earn at least $100 per day, but everyone understands the tip is for EXTRA service beyond getting you out and back safely and enjoyably.

Actually, the best tip you can give a small charter operator is a referral or repeat booking. That sort of thing means more to me as a guide than any cash tip I've received.

Personally, I don't like tip jars. I think it's a tacky way to solicit tips. If you had an experience that exceeded your expectations (realizing what is and what is not in the crew's control) and IF you can afford it, give a moderate tip to everyone who helped exceed your expectations. Sometimes the captain will refuse tips and ask you give them to the crew, while other operators will happily thank you for your money and not share with their crew. Every boat is different so it's best to either ask who to give money to, or just hand a bit to each crewmember directly.

More importantly than how much to tip, don't forget to HAVE FUN!


randga May 9th, 2007 09:47 AM

Thank you Donna & Case. We will use our best judgement - just got to remember to keep cash with us! It's kind of funny when you return home from these cruises and go to a resturant. For a split second or two you kind of forget to stay and wait for the check :oops:

Karen16 May 9th, 2007 10:45 AM

I always tip. I also don't care who it is, if I enjoyed the tour, it doesn't matter to me if it's the owner.
My tipping has been $10-20pp on flightseeing and whale watches. and I also tip the shuttle drivers who take me to the tours.

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