is it me, or does anyone else get annoyed with tipping tour guides? you shell out 20-50 bucks on shore excursions or whatnot, and then the guide makes the pitch for a tip. I know it's only a dollar or two, but still. isn't that part of their job--and paycheck-- to be entertaining and informative?
I went to go buy a little gift in Cozumel last week. Both of the lazy SOB's at the gift cart wanted a dollar tip just because I bought something from them! After making them follow me around the cart, I left!
They got me back though! The gift that I bought was broken when I got home and the pieces weren't in the packaging. It was broken when he put it in the wrap!
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I will tip a good guide, especially if they went out of their way for me (which they often do, as I often ask questions). Many guides are very helpful and deserve the extra tip, some are terrible and do not. If a guide does something extra nice (takes a 1/2 hour after the tour to show me a great, off-the beaten path shop, for example, I will tip them well. Many will do this.
The only thing that really bothers me about tour guides is when I cannot understand what they say because they mumble or their English is so bad. Is it their fault? Well, in a way yes because they should know better than to accept taking English speaking tourists if they cannot service us with good information. That is why they are there.
I agree with Paul. We tip tour guides for "extras" and sometimes just for being nice.
On our Panama Canal tour (ship sponsored) we had a wonderful guide, Luis. We also had a woman in our group who would NOT shut up. She had something to say about everything, and if she didn't she followed every sentence he said with "yes" or "uh huh". (There appears to be one of her in most tours we take!) I finally started talking with him about his family and life in the area, just to hear something besides her! He got a tip from us, but not from "Chatty Cathy".
We've also had tours where we could hardly understand the tour guide, or they barely talked at all. We've had the driver and his "assistant" (what is that job about?) put their hand out at the end of a tour. We don't tip them unless they did something special.
If you were going to ask a question of a Taxi driver to see if they spoke English well (besides "Do you speak English?", obviously) , what would you ask?
HappyC, it always makes me nervous when my purchase is wrapped out of my sight. I usually stand there and open it to be sure it is in one piece! If they are insulted, well, too bad!
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Sabby, this annoys me, too. I posted re: tipping for shore excursions a while back because the demand for tips for shore excursions seemed to be excessive, especially since some of the people soliciting a tip just rode along on the bus.