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Princess's Shore Excursion Recommended Gratuities


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Not sure what you mean. You mean, instead of the "normal" $2.13/hour wage paid waitstaff, their tips bump them up to $4.26 per hour? If some waitstaff are earning an excellent income via tips, I wouldn't call that "crazy," I'd call that hard work and excellent service and I'd say, good for them. That's how the system is supposed to work.

 

No the system is SUPPOSED to work this way. The employer pays the employee a decent wage for the work they are doing. If a customer feels an employee has done a better than expected job then they would receive an extra payment called a TIP.

 

This has morphed into the employer paying rock bottom wages expecting the customer to pay more than the bill for services thus getting paid twice for the service. BY blaming the customer for the employee for the low wages you fall right into the hands of the service industry allowing them to pay less than minimum wage. Sorry but the TIP has become an expected payment despite how the service was.

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I see that quite a bit in the US and Carib. Seems to be more prevalent there than other places. May be cultural but I still don't care for it.

 

Toward the end of a snorkeling excursion in Key West (not through Princess), the boat's "driver" said, "we've taken care of all of you for the day, now it's your turn to take care of us. There's a tip can as you get off the boat." I said to him, here's a tip on the 3rd race at Santa Anita (a race track in southern CA, for those not on the Left Coast), that's your tip.
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Reminds me of a tour in Indoneasia last year - I got off after a length bus trip and really needed a washrom - tour director told me where they were and off I went. There was no person near the building - As I came out, a man from our tour said you have to pay to use that washroom, I put in money for you. At that point, there was a lady with a plate expecting her tip.

Believe me the place did not warrent a tip! But seems I made a big no no by using the facilities before prepayment was made.

It is something you should be told by the tour guide, so you do not make those kind of errors - I usually tip when warrented but that guide did not make it.

He also treated us like a herd of cattle - "come on get on the bus, we have a schedule to keep", and "move along move along" in a tone that was not needed, never with a smile or a please. I know sometimes it is like herding cattle, but a smile goes a long way - we paid for that trip, no need to be rude, and expect a tip too - and yes, he too announced at the end of the trip that he gets little from the bus company, and we must tip him for our tour.

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It might be interesting to ask someone at Princess - perhaps the Shore Excursions manager onboard the ship - how they would suggest responding to a tour guide that asks for a tip, or tells you that you need to tip them. It really makes me not want to tip at all when a tip is requested.

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I too would be interested in Princess's response. At least the tour guide/driver tip is a suggested amount, not the MANDATORY put on your bill tip for on board services! How could Princess explain the differences between an option for driver/guide and an outright take away for bar etc aboard. I hear part of the issue is that the good drivers and guides, and the good coaches are assigned to work that generates tips. The left overs are given to the customers that do not generate tips. In the Rocky Mountains of Canada, Australian groups are referred to as "canoes"; a canoe sometimes tips while an Australian never does. The result is that tour companies like Scenic and Australian Pacific which hav Australian passenger get very inferior guides/driivers/coaches while Tauck, Grand Circle, Globus, Trafalgar get the top of the line. I think it is simple, regardless of what your custom is at home, "when in Rome do as the Romans do", and adhere to customs of the area in which you have chosen to visit.

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No the system is SUPPOSED to work this way. The employer pays the employee a decent wage for the work they are doing. If a customer feels an employee has done a better than expected job then they would receive an extra payment called a TIP.

 

This has morphed into the employer paying rock bottom wages expecting the customer to pay more than the bill for services thus getting paid twice for the service. BY blaming the customer for the employee for the low wages you fall right into the hands of the service industry allowing them to pay less than minimum wage. Sorry but the TIP has become an expected payment despite how the service was.

 

And thus is has always been. Employers have always paid the minimum wage for food service employees (as well as any position that also receives tips, such as beauty parlor employees). The minimum wage, in NJ, for service employees who receive tips is MUCH lower than the minimum wage for everyone else (and that is ridiculously low too). If the employer were to pay a living wage and tipping was outlawed, the cost to eat out would be even more prohibitive than it is now, because it would be passed on to the customer.

 

Anyway, as for excursions, I always tip the guide, unless they are awful. I generally tip $5.00 to $10.00 and a few times $20.00. If the bus driver is an active participant in the tour, I will give him or her about half of what I give the guide.

 

Maureen

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And thus is has always been. Employers have always paid the minimum wage for food service employees (as well as any position that also receives tips, such as beauty parlor employees). The minimum wage, in NJ, for service employees who receive tips is MUCH lower than the minimum wage for everyone else (and that is ridiculously low too). If the employer were to pay a living wage and tipping was outlawed, the cost to eat out would be even more prohibitive than it is now, because it would be passed on to the customer.

 

Anyway, as for excursions, I always tip the guide, unless they are awful. I generally tip $5.00 to $10.00 and a few times $20.00. If the bus driver is an active participant in the tour, I will give him or her about half of what I give the guide.

 

Maureen

 

Think I'm going to get a job as a tour guide. If there's the possibility of a coach full of say 45 passengers tipping me up to $20 each, i.e. anything up to $900 in total, surely it's a no brainer?!

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The $5s and $10s are balanced out by the $0s

Think I'm going to get a job as a tour guide. If there's the possibility of a coach full of say 45 passengers tipping me up to $20 each, i.e. anything up to $900 in total, surely it's a no brainer?!
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i've been following and agree tipping is up to the individual. if you get good service you give a little xtra. i agree that people should be paid appropriately to do a job and not have to rely on tips. but how many people are only making minimum wage and cannot afford to put food on the table. i know people right here in a very affluent area that have 2 sometimes 3 jobs because they cannot meet their mortgage payment. men and women fired because of the economy and now cannot get a job because of their ages. Treven you should get off your high horse and have a little consideration for others. we are very fortunate to be able to go on a cruise. i doubt that it would hurst anyone of us to give someone that did a good job a $5 tip. maybe it would help a child.

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I was concerned about this very thing before our Princess cruise to Norway. Here on CC, I asked about how to tip in that country. I was told that the workers there are well paid and that many of them would consider it an affront to be tipped. They would not like to be thought of as being underpaid or needing additional compensation. I don't know if this is true or not, but we did not tip there though I felt funny about it. Different cultures and customs??

Edited by ChuckinSC
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Lots of countries don't tip, it seems to be an American thing which has spread around unfortunately.

 

I have no guilt when I don't tip someone in the UK or Europe, as someone said above tips in the US now seem to be part of the wage. We just tip for someone going that extra mile and that's pretty rare, usually its just a thank you, you have been great and off we go.

Edited by CCFC
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We're in the middle when it comes to tipping for shore excursions. Sometimes we're very generous--when someone has done an exceptional job. Sometimes we don't give much at all.

 

As for wait staff in restaurants, the way U.S. law works they have to be paid at least minimum wage. The employer can take a tip credit and pay them as little as $2.13 an hour so long as each employee receives enough in tips to make get them to the minimum wage. The employer has to keep a record of tips received in order to be allowed to pay the $2.13 an hour.

 

Most wait staff in good to fine restaurants probably make more than enough to get up to this amount.

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In Canada the minimum wage is $9.95 to $11.00/hr, depending on the province. The expected tip in restaurants is at least 15% of the bill (before tax, that is also 15% in my province). I don't like a percentage because, all other things being equal (same number of courses being served), it didn't take any more effort for the server to deliver a $10 burger vs a $30 steak.

 

We used to think we had to tip a similar percentage for tours. Then we got wiser and started tipping a flat rate. I agree with 'if the tour is longer, pay a bigger tip". We were unaware of a Princess-suggested tip and not sure why a full day is 3.5x more than a half day. It seems to me a full day should be double the amount of a half day. In some people's opinions, we've still been 'over' tipping! OP, thank you for posting! Yes, it seems low to me, and very interesting indeed.

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And it has only happened once.

The Princess coach from Airport to the overnight hotel in FLL.

The driver said as he got off the coach to get our luggage at the hotel."And I do accept tips".

Personally I always give them something as I get my luggage from them.I did not like him making blatant reminders like that:(

Edited by kruisey
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Being from the UK where tipping is not the norm I am surprised they say worldwide. I might put a € in the tip box on the way off the coach but I don't expect to have to tip for something I have already paid for, maybe an extra € for being a good tour guide but its not what we do or the Australians.

 

As they say two countries separated by a common language!

 

In Australia tipping is not always a good thing as I expect the same would apply in many other countries.

 

If certain parts of industries receive regular tips then the government implements an additional income tax based on "Estimations"of received tips across the entire industry. This means some who receive little or zero tips have to pay income tax on money they have not even received.

 

GST is still only 10% here but I think if North Americans see how much they were paying VAT in UK they wouldnt tip a penny:D

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This is a bit off the subject but onboard, I have been in the old disembarkation talks where the cruise director attempted to elicit higher tips above the recommended guide for the crew onboard. This was way back when they held the disembarkation talks in the theater and everyone was expected to have at least one family member attend. I think this was on one of the Sun Class ships. So the speech went something like this:

 

If you had a great time, please give more than the recommended MINIMUM gratuity that is listed in your patter. The recommended amount is the absolute minimum that you should give if you had a mediocre time but we all know you had a fantastic time (applause, applause) so please say it with your wallet. They all have worked so hard for you and even if you had one or two bad experiences onboard, don't hold everyone accountable for that and open that wallet wider. I found this to be quite distasteful....guilting people into paying more and more. Like someone said, it is like feeding the bears. hahaha

 

There was also once when I traveled with some friends and we purchased a round of cocktails in the indoor pool area on the Coral Princess. My friend signed and the waiter handed it back to her and said she forgot to add a tip. I interjected telling her that the 15% gratuity had already been added in there and she wasn't required to tip above and beyond that. The waiter gave me a stern look and told me that goes to the bartender and he got no part of it so we should tip him over and above that amount. I refused to let her add any addition gratuity to that. I wish now I would have reported him! Again, so inappropriate. Usually, we will try to order drinks from one or two waiters that seem appreciative of the business instead of sitting around with their hands out for additional gratuities. Then, we do tip extra if they have provided something extra in their service. I have even had them turn down the something extra that we have given them.....wasn't expecting that. Very gracious indeed!!

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There was also once when I traveled with some friends and we purchased a round of cocktails in the indoor pool area on the Coral Princess. My friend signed and the waiter handed it back to her and said she forgot to add a tip. I interjected telling her that the 15% gratuity had already been added in there and she wasn't required to tip above and beyond that. The waiter gave me a stern look and told me that goes to the bartender and he got no part of it so we should tip him over and above that amount. I refused to let her add any addition gratuity to that. I wish now I would have reported him! Again, so inappropriate. Usually, we will try to order drinks from one or two waiters that seem appreciative of the business instead of sitting around with their hands out for additional gratuities. Then, we do tip extra if they have provided something extra in their service. I have even had them turn down the something extra that we have given them.....wasn't expecting that. Very gracious indeed!!

 

How lovely.

Edited by Disconnections
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