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-   -   Tipping Tour Guides (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/tipping/316886-tipping-tour-guides.html)

Paul Motter July 8th, 2006 02:49 PM

Tipping Tour Guides
 
I havebeen on many overseas tours, and I see that maybe half the people on a shore excursion tip the guide, and if they do tip, the amounts vary by a lot.

I just got back from a trip to Naiagara Falls, (obviously, not a cruise)where an US tour guide who drove the bus and condusted the tour reminded us verbally several times that tips are expected, plus there was a large sign at the front of the bus that said "Tips are expected, 15% is customary".

This added some $30 to the cost of our tour.

Does anyone besides me think this is 1) pushy and 2) exorbitant?

I have never seen a European guide state in his talks that tips are expected, or how much they should be. This guide actually said at the end of the tour "I will walk off the bus ahead of each of you, say goodbye and accept your gratuities then."

Comments? Should a guide "demand" tips, are guides' tips mandatory, and what % of the tour cost should they be?

Fern July 8th, 2006 09:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul
Should a guide "demand" tips, are guides' tips mandatory, and what % of the tour cost should they be?

Absolutely NOT! We've always tipped our tour guides. We usually tip $10.00 for the two of us, not a percentage of the cost of the tour. We've been known to tip more if the guide went "above and beyond"!

Luckily, we've never had a tour guide who "demanded" a tip. They've just put out their hands to "shake" LOL when we returned to the ship.

We've seen many people who don't tip, but it's usually the people who've caused "problems" on the tour! On our last cruise there was a woman who thought she knew more than the guide about our tour. The guide "gently" corrected her, but she was SO insistent! This guide got a very good tip from us! (I would have "slapped her upside the head", and was seriously thinking about it!)!

We sometimes tip the driver, too, if he's done anything besides driving, but we NEVER tip that person who sits in the front next to the driver (what does he do anyway?).

If a tour guide demanded a tip from us, he'd be SOL!

kitty2 July 8th, 2006 11:38 PM

Re: Tipping Tour Guides
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul Motter
I havebeen on many overseas tours, and I see that maybe half the people on a shore excursion tip the guide, and if they do tip, the amounts vary by a lot.

I just got back from a trip to Naiagara Falls, (obviously, not a cruise)where an US tour guide who drove the bus and condusted the tour reminded us verbally several times that tips are expected, plus there was a large sign at the front of the bus that said "Tips are expected, 15% is customary".

?

Was this on the U.S. or Canadian side?
What tour did you take.

Years ago we did the Ausible Chasm in NY state and they did requests tips getting out of the boat at the end of the tour.

Paul Motter July 9th, 2006 12:03 PM

We did Gray Line tours on the US side. It was your "average" tour with a long stop in one souvenir store (over-priced) and instructions from the beginning not to shop anywhere else.

I agree with Fern, I usually tip about $5 per person for a tour, never a percentage.

I will definitely tip more to a guide and/or driver who diverts the bus to take us somewhere special. Red October got BIG tip from us because they took us away from the tourist shopping areas to buy Caviar, and RO has their OWN souvenir market (we bought enough there as well).

As to that guy who sits next to the driver, I always figured he was just getting a ride to work.

MaryLou July 9th, 2006 06:04 PM

Paul: I agree that is was pushy and would have turned me off. I've been a few bus trips where the escort actually sends a bag throughout the bus for the passengers to put their tips in for both the guide and the driver. It was a more subtle way of asking for a tip...but nonetheless, they were still asking for the tip. I do understand that they should be tipped and always do tip, but I do not want to be told how much.

Tour Guide July 18th, 2006 11:32 PM

As a land Tour Guide of many years experience, I hang my head in shame when I hear that my colleagues act so unprofessionally as to beg for tips.

We are paid for what we do - not handsomely, it is true, but adequately. My reward is to give people the best experience that I possibly can on the tours I conduct.

At the same time, a tip is a very tangible way that appreciation can be shown. I have received some very large tips - as much as $50.00 from one person. On some tours I have been completely skunked. When this happens, it makes me feel that I have failed and I return home disappointed - with myself.

$5.00 is a good tip and would be well received. If one isasked for a tip, then $1.00 is enough - maybe too much! Think about how hard to guide has tried to make the tour a good one, then tip accordingly.

The driver? I always split my tip 50/50 with the driver. He deserves it!

MaryLou July 19th, 2006 05:59 AM

Tour Guide: Thanks for posting. I agree with you that tipping is important, but shouldn't be asked for. I bet you are a super tour guide.

Tour Guide July 19th, 2006 10:09 AM

Thanks for the kudos, MaryLou!

I serve most of the cruise ships that come into Victoria, BC, Canada on the Alaska run. So if you're ever on that itinerary, ask for a tour that "Norman" is guiding and I'll be delighted to show you Victoria at ts best! And I will not expect a tip!!!! And the same applies to anyone on this Forum.

It sounds a little like boasting, but Princess Lines has just voted me its most popular Tour Guide in Victoria for the month of June. Now I have to prove my metal for the rest of the summer to get the annual award!

Paul Motter July 19th, 2006 06:11 PM

Norman...

Thank you SO much for posting. What more relevent than a Canadian who sees a lot of US citizens to comment on this (the guide I was referring to, was a USer showing us the Canadian side of Niagara Falls).


Yes, I think it will be a sad day when it becomes customary to demand tips by tour guides, especially of exactly 15% of the tour! That is a lot of money when you consider a tour for two people at $80 apiece. $24 total. I felt dirty aftwards.

dawcruiser August 13th, 2006 03:11 PM

Paul,

I normally tip a dollar amount not a percentage. But if I was on your tour I would of not tipped a dime.

If the tour ticket stated a guide would be provided then I would expect a guide. If the ticket state a customary tip was X then I would consider tipping X. If no tip amount was suggested on my ticket then I would allow my satisfaction level to decide the tip. But I would of not responded well to how you were treaterd.

Don

Arion November 5th, 2006 03:09 PM

I've been on tours in Morrocco a few times ( I currently live near Algeciras ), and the tour guides earned their tips, through not only showing us the places to see, but protecting us from the local "salespeople", and arranging camel rides. I spent about £15 - £20 ( probably about US$25 - US$35 ) on tips that day.

On the other hand, I've been on tours, where the tourguide, simply pointed out the various things, without showing much interest in what he was doing, and I felt like I had already paid( in buying the ticket ) for the service what I received.

On this basis, I don't think you can really say how much(or if) a tourguide should be tipped, until the tour is over. Being pushy for tips, is IMO, bad manners, and bad manners is bad service.

Paul Motter November 6th, 2006 11:26 AM

Quote:

Being pushy for tips, is IMO, bad manners, and bad manners is bad service.
Good point!! I should have said that to my wife at the time.

Meercat November 7th, 2006 06:26 AM

Re. Splitting the tip with the driver..... it's but a short step to 'but we tip taxi drivers'. And hairdressers. And doormen.

I think in the case of of drivers and hairdressers, this really is a hang over from the olden days - but almost impossible to shake off.

Re. Doormen (at hotels etc), I've found that tipping them pays well.

Re. The OP. This was tantamount to 'monetary extraction'. In the UK, if there is a tour ride - then what *might* happen is a sweep stake of all the passengers with (for example) a guess as to the mileage covered that day. The proceeds of the sweep go half to the person who guessed nearest and half to the driver, or perhaps the 'winner' gets a souvenir from one of the places visited and the driver scoops the pot. At least this way, there's a bit of fun/entertainment and one can opt out if one wishes.

Humuhumu57 June 30th, 2007 10:56 AM

a bit off topic, as it's not cruise related, but is about tipping:

In 2005, my Dad and brother and I went to England. On our tour of the Tower of London, the Beefeater guiding the tour first insisted everyone on the tour shut off their video cameras. He actually stopped the tour at this point and loudly pointed to specific people (including me) demanding they shut off their cameras. He gave a pretty good tour, very spirited and dramatic at points, humorous at others.

He ended the tour in the chapel, and announced he would accept gratuities on our way out, and there was only one way out, so everyone had to walk by him to leave. I was offended by this, and chose not to tip. As I walked by him he actually grabbed me by the arm (gently) and said "did you enjoy the tour sir?"; I said "yes" and kept walking...

I think I was more shocked and offended by this because in 2000, I had gone on the same tour with my wife and kids, and we weren't bothered for a tip at all, and there was no hassle over video taping. Although it was a different Yeoman/Beefeater guiding the tour...

Honeybear July 15th, 2007 05:19 PM

One time in Cosumel, DD, DGD, and I took a private tour. The tour guide was awesome. He knew his stuff and spent several hours taking us everywhere we wanted to go. It was a wonderful trip. At the end, we did tip him, and tip him, we don't know how much we gave but I'd guess it was $50-$60 over the fee of our tour. (We didn't have any more money with us, because we spent it! lol)
The next day was Grand Cayman, we tipped the tour guide (I think) $10. He was okay.
It really matters how you enjoy the tour!


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