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Old September 21st, 2007, 12:11 PM
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Default Help with Tips

Ok-- we know the staff on the ship get tips and the porters at the dock-- Our question is do the tour drivers and guides get tips . If so how much?
Thanks for your help!!
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Old September 21st, 2007, 01:44 PM
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For me, a lot depends on how happy I am with what they have done. A good tour guide gets a hefty tip, a poor one gets nada. Sometimes, I'll give the driver a buck or so, but inside my mind, it seems like they are just doing a job that they get paid for out of what I paid for the tour itself.
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Old September 25th, 2007, 09:04 AM
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We always have, at the most $5.00. They work hard, long hours, and I think they deserve that stipend.
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Old September 25th, 2007, 11:18 AM
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for us so much depends upon what type of tour guide they are. If you get a ho-hum "traffic director" who sounds like he/she is reading from a script then we probably won't tip, if however we get an upbeat person with lots of helpful information, who is helpful and interacts with the guests then we would definatley tip, the amount also depends upon the duration of the tour, we usually start with $5 and go from there.
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Old September 25th, 2007, 01:20 PM
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DH and I took a tour in Aruba once called "Natural Wonders". The driver was also the tour guide and he spent the first hour driving us around residential streets, pointing out the mayor's house, the local librarian's house, and his favorite school teacher's house. It got down right funny, but he did not get a tip!
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Old September 25th, 2007, 02:25 PM
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Tipping is a very personal thing. For me a tip is something that is earned and not automatic. It is given for doing something above and beyond the scope of the duty or performing their job in what I would consider an exceptional manner.

I rarely do ship's tours. I have done a few and haven't had good luck or really enjoyed most of them. I now do mostly private tours.

When I do a private tour there are a couple of things that I take into consideration: Is the person giving the tour the owner or sole proprietor of the tour? If it is an employee I will, in most cases, give that person a tip. If it is the owner than I will be less likely to tip except if they do an exceptional job or do things outside of the tour or deviate from it for our benefit. An employee is only receiving a portion of the total amount but the owner is receiving the entire amount of the fee.

If an employee performs exceptionally well I will give them around 20% of the price of the tour. If there is a driver involved I will usually give them 10%.

There have been instances I have tipped nothing and others where I have tipped far more than the cost of the tour.

When we were in China we had to cancel our private tour in Shanghai because of a late arrival due to immigration issues with the ship. Our two days turned into just over one day. This forced us to go it on our own. We took a chance and found our own guide. This person was fantastic and the price he quoted us was less than 1/4 the amount of our pre-booked private guide. He spoke perfect English, knew the sites and the history of region, religions, the markets and restaurants. He also provided us with invaluable travel tips. At the end of the day we said to heck with it and gave him the amount we would have paid for the private tour. Out of politeness he did not want to take it but we did insist and he was extremely grateful. I would use him anytime I was Shanghai. This was the exception rather than the rule but it shows that there are times that when things seem to go wrong you can end up with something better.

Take care,
Mike
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Old September 25th, 2007, 03:37 PM
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Default Thank you

Thanks all for your insights!!
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