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SRobinM June 1st, 2003 04:37 PM

Excursion tipping
We are planning to do an excursion that is not organized by RCI. Is it customary to tip the tour directors for these kind of tours?

Donna June 1st, 2003 06:37 PM

Re: Excursion tipping
Hi Robin,
Yes, most of the tour operators either with the cruiseline or independent will be looking for tips.

Steve T June 3rd, 2003 10:44 AM

Re: Re: Excursion tipping

This I do not understand, most of the people who run these excursions are the owners of these operations. I have never heard of tipping a restaurant owner, or the owner of a hair salon, only the people who are employed by that entity.

For example, if I book an excursion with Peat Taylor in Jamaica, and he is the one driving, then why does he deserve a tip. He chooses to drive so that more money can go in his pocket, as opposed to hiring a driver to the the driving for him, and paying him/her a share of the per person fee.

I am all for tipping employees of these excursion companies, but I would never tip the owner.


Donna June 3rd, 2003 03:45 PM

Re: Re: Re: Excursion tipping
Hi Steve,
In most cases, its not the owner who is actually taking you on the excursions, its one of his many employees. You will also encounter bus drivers that may narriate as you go along, those too will be looking for tips.

If the owner of a restaurant is taking your order and serving you a meal, you'd tip him then, wouldn't you?

Roxann June 4th, 2003 01:53 PM

Re: Re: Re: Re: Excursion tipping

I am taking the 4 glacier excursion through RCCL this summer - I should tip the helicopter pilot???


Donna June 4th, 2003 03:34 PM

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Excursion tipping
Hi Roxann,
Sorry, I haven't done a helicopter ride to the glaciers, hopefully someone who has can answer that question, but besides the pilot, there may be a tour guide along that will make the trip enjoyable enough to tip them?

Steve T June 4th, 2003 05:06 PM

Re: Re: Re: Re: Excursion tipping
Actually I would not, I may buy a fine vintage from his collection, more expensive than normal, or I would tell my friends about the place, and I would become a repeat customer, but I would never tip the owner.......and I bet the owner would much appreciate that than a 20% tip.


LindaE June 6th, 2003 10:33 AM

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Excursion tipping
We tipped the pilot who is the only employee on the helicopter. Only 6 passengers will fit in, and it is very close quarters. We tipped $10 for the 2 of us. I don't know how that compared to others. Actually, the others seemed to be ready to walk off without tipping until they saw us do so.

mollie September 7th, 2003 02:38 PM

Re: Excursion tipping
I would not tip on Excursion trips. You pay to much money and they are getting enough already. The tour guide should request a larger salary from their employer.

debv September 9th, 2003 10:18 AM

Re: Excursion tipping
I'm with Mollie! Tipping on excursions? No can do! Sorry if I seem "cheap".

LisaK September 10th, 2003 11:21 AM

Re: Excursion tipping
the general tipping rule is that you do not tip the owner of the business or company. I do not tip the salon owner who does my hair, (unless she fits me in when i have a hair emergency) . I do not tip the MaitreD at the restaurant nor on a cruise, unless he has done something extra special for me. I will tip the porter who handles my baggage, and the cabbie who gets me to and from my destination safely. If the bus/van driver is the tour narrator then i would drop him/her a couple of bucks. I do not tip the tour escort/narrator. Its up to you, tipping is a personal decision

p.g. September 10th, 2003 06:38 PM

Re: Re: Excursion tipping
Shore excursions booked through the ship are already WAY over priced , no way would I tip . A private tour may be different, I would play that one by ear. Th e purpose of tips has been bent over the years, why should I make up for an employers unwillingness to pay a proper wage. I tip my steward and waiter because they do earn it ,I always have felt that the services on a ship are far superior to a land based vacation.
I do not tip owners . Period. The cost of your meal is based on several factors, the food costs, the staff costs, and the cost of running and maintaining the actual restaurant. Since by serving themselves their staffing costs are reduced( there still may be kitchen staff) they are making abetter profit line then if they had to pay a waitperson a wage.
Also a hair dresser usaully works for 30% to 55% commision depending on the area and the price for products, so if the owner does your hair they get it all.( I realize they have costs too, but still they would come out ahead of an employee.
All things having been said I still would make exceptions, years ago we used to go to a small restaurant that was struggling to survive, we liked it and wanted it to" make it" so we did tip the owner who was serving us as well as working in the kitchen.!

Linda55 September 18th, 2003 10:59 PM

Re: Excursion tipping
I think tipping is a very individual, very personal decision. When I went on my first cruise, I had no intention of tipping excursion guides. But the guides were so exceptional that I genuinely wanted to tip them as a way of thanking them. This really surprised me as I'm one who resents expected (and worse yet, automatic) tipping. But for me, "thank you" just wasn't enough. I actually enjoyed tipping the guides. But this was my personal choice. I tipped strictly because I wanted to, not because I felt pressured or obligated to do so.

David G. W. October 16th, 2003 08:11 PM

Re: Excursion tipping
Oh my goodness! I'm of the belief that Steve Martin epressed in the movie My Blue Heaven, it's not really tipping I believe in, it's over tipping.
If any one, employer or employee, does an exceptional job I'm going to over tip. In Belize last year we had a guide for Cave Tubbing who kept us entertained on the ride to and from and of course during. As we were about to exit the bus I heard another family squabbling over whether to tip him a whole $5 or nothing at all because they had ones (they were the family from hell any way arguing with each other the entire time). I gave the guy a $20 tip and wondered how people could not tip such a great job and I'll never understand it.


Mel October 17th, 2003 09:56 AM

Re: Re: Excursion tipping
If someone adds unexpected value to an experience, then tip them. If the trip or service is what you expect for the dollars spent, then you would not. Its subjective and therefore cannot be mandated or undeniably explained. Its like an opinion poll, some vote yes some vote no. If someone does perform as indicated by my first statement, I would proceed to tip them regardless of custom, other opinions or actions. Be a free thinker and act on your own.

Cruzdiver June 27th, 2005 12:20 AM

Re: Excursion tipping
i always tip Divemasters when I go diving and the boat helpers.Usually 10 to DM and 3-4 for each matethat assisted. I hate to see people that require so much help in the prep to getting in the water. just hop off the boat and not tip.

Any private excursion My wife and I do, If we have a good experience( which has been everytime) We tip $5-10 pp, depending on what we recieved as info, extra care, whatever made our experience what it did.

We went on a snorkle/dive boat in Cozumel and I tell you. I loved the diving experience.
But what really made me smile the most. My wife was snorkleing this trip and the snorkel guide did not make her wear flippers. (she hates them) and when we were traveling back to port on the dive boat she had questions about a few fish she had seen.
The snorkle instructor pulled out a photo album and sat down and started showing her the pictures for her to pick out what fish she was talking about. My wife was lit up talking to this guide. I was short cash after tipping the DM and the mates and this attendant .So i gave her $5 and I got her email and I sent her $15 thru paypal on our return home. She was jewel, Loved her job and her Country.

We'll be in Cozumel in November and I have already booked with these folks again.

007 March 18th, 2006 09:47 AM

when on tour with a cruise excursion in acapulco we choose a tour that involved swimming . we had a tour guide that took my wife to restroom and helped her in to her swimsuit. apart from the excellent tour with great english that we understood perfectly this young lady did a very good job. and we gave her a handsome tip. people who choose not to tip for a service well done are cheap. and i wish them on there next tour a tour guide who speaks little or no english at all. what goes around comes around is this a rule of life.

luv2cruise99 March 21st, 2006 01:41 PM

I don't think there can be a set guideline as to when to tip and when to not. It is a personal decision and varies with the circumstance. In general, I think that tipping has gotten way out of hand in our society with too many people having their hand out. Still, I try to be fair when deciding whether or not to tip an individual. For a shore excursion, I generally don't tip unless someone has gone above and beyond to make the trip enjoyable. For example, a tour guide who goes beyond just narrating the facts and really makes the trip FUN or an employee who in some way lends a hand to me personally.

Basically, I like "Mel's" suggestion of tipping when you feel that the excursion was more than you expected (which for me, rules out tipping on most ship-sponsored tours since they are so overpriced anyway). Why would I give more money if the trips turns out to be exactly (or less than) what I expected it to be for the price I already paid?

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