Tipping is sometimes a personal thing, but if I were tipping for your family, I'd tip about $10 per excursion at least for everyone. A lot will also depend on the excursion, did they really try to give you an enjoyable time??
I think that if you book the excursion through the cruise line, the gratuities are already included in the price of the excursion. Of course, you may wish to tip the bus driver a dollar per person in your party ... or a tour guide a buck ... but that's about all I tip when I take an excursion through the cruise line. And, believe me, I see plenty of people who don't bother tipping a dime.
But if I were to take an excursion on my own, then I would tip a bit more generously if the service warranted it.
Went with my family on the Jolly Roger in November. We had a fantastic time!!! As for the tipping on this excursion a tips box is left at the ship exit. The crew has no idea how much is placed in the box by each individual. We received EXCELLENT service and tipped accordingly. I believe my husband tipped 10 dollars and I threw in an additional 5 dollars when they offered to make a return trip to retrieve a digital camera.
Warning -- This is especially good for the 12 and under crowd in the beginning. Kids are lined up, yelled at, take a pirate oath, and scrub the deck. They will get wet!!! I tell you this b/c one teenage girl was very upset that she was included with the "kids" and didn't like it when she was soaked wth water. Tell your teen to decline partcipation if this isn't his thing. Another warning -- stand back when they ask your kids to bring their parents to trial unless you have a great sense of humor. We had a fantastic time but some other adults were happy to watch but would not participate.
This was the talk of our vacation - the crew was incredible and went out of their way to go way beyond the call of duty. Your teen will love to walk the plank and can even jump from the upper decks (which I did during a temporary loss of sanity). Hope you have a great time. I have some wonderful pics. Let me know if your interested.
Disney Wonder 1/2005
RCI Legend of the Seas 11/2006
CCL Miracle 12/2007
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I tip the tour guide?
Tipping is a discretionary matter. However, it is customary around the world, if you are pleased with their excursion, to tip the tour guide. A general rule of thumb is one dollar per person for a half-day excursion and two dollars per person for a full-day excursion.
You have to watch some of these tour guides - I had one in St Thomas and he kept talking about tips the last 1/2 of the tour. He even said that 15% of the tour cost per person was appropriate - well that would have been about $40 for three of us! That was ridiculos
I would have told the tour manager on the ship about that tour guide. The cruise lines generally want to know which tours and which guides are good or bad. They have a vested interest in making tours available that people like. Of course, I would also have told the tour guide that I don't tip at all if someone tries to force me to. :evil: