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Tipping Expectations on Excursions

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So, I asked this on the Haven Tipping thread but did not get any responses. So, I will try a separate thread (apologies in advance for another tipping thread).

This is something that I originally noticed people budgeting for in the "planning" thread. Do you normally tip the personnel who assist on excursions? For example, we are taking the Tabyana Beach Party excursion through NCL on our Getaway cruise. Would you tip the bus driver? The person who meets you at the dock and walks you to the bus? How about the person who straightens the loungers on the beach? Towel boy/girl?

I am not trying to sound flippant, but I am really curious about how extensively people usually follow these "tipping rules". I know in some areas of the USA, the rental car shuttle drivers expect a tip (i.e., DTW), whereas in other areas they are forbidden to take them (i.e., SAV). Really interested to see what the expectations would be on excursions, particularly those paid for through NCL.

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I think it will depend on the part of the world you are in. I have seen NCL Shorex guides in Northern Europe very offended by being offered tips. In other places I have seen them just as offended by not being tipped. Check with local people on the cruise before you tip or don't tip.

 

"Americans" are expected to tip where tipping is normal while "Commonwealth" are not!!

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I think it will depend on the part of the world you are in. I have seen NCL Shorex guides in Northern Europe very offended by being offered tips. In other places I have seen them just as offended by not being tipped. Check with local people on the cruise before you tip or don't tip.

 

"Americans" are expected to tip where tipping is normal while "Commonwealth" are not!!

 

It would be nice if they just paid people like rental car shuttle drivers enough to live on rather than make us carry small bills everywhere to tip. But, yes Americans are going to tip everywhere. Even Japan, China and other places where nobody else tips. In some high wage countries they might get slightly offended but for the most part it is unnecessary rather than offensive. Personally I think we should follow the local custom. It is not acceptable for Europeans to leave nothing in a restaurant because they don't tip at home but at the same time not sure we need to tip to a bus driver in Norway who probably makes more than a lot of professionals in the US.

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"When in Rome ......." as the saying goes. I abhor having to tip in the USA and Canada, as we don't do it in NZ, but I do when there.

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"When in Rome ......." as the saying goes. I abhor having to tip in the USA and Canada, as we don't do it in NZ, but I do when there.

 

Agree 100% and yet here and on other expat forums you will read a driver/guide should be tipped x and a waiter 10% etc in New Zealand.

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It would be nice if they just paid people like rental car shuttle drivers enough to live on rather than make us carry small bills everywhere to tip. But, yes Americans are going to tip everywhere. Even Japan, China and other places where nobody else tips. In some high wage countries they might get slightly offended but for the most part it is unnecessary rather than offensive. Personally I think we should follow the local custom. It is not acceptable for Europeans to leave nothing in a restaurant because they don't tip at home but at the same time not sure we need to tip to a bus driver in Norway who probably makes more than a lot of professionals in the US.

The OP did not ask about whether it would be nice if we paid people a higher salary. That is not the point of this thread. The point is who do you tip and even how much!!!!!

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So, I asked this on the Haven Tipping thread but did not get any responses. So, I will try a separate thread (apologies in advance for another tipping thread).

This is something that I originally noticed people budgeting for in the "planning" thread. Do you normally tip the personnel who assist on excursions? For example, we are taking the Tabyana Beach Party excursion through NCL on our Getaway cruise. Would you tip the bus driver? The person who meets you at the dock and walks you to the bus? How about the person who straightens the loungers on the beach? Towel boy/girl?

I am not trying to sound flippant, but I am really curious about how extensively people usually follow these "tipping rules". I know in some areas of the USA, the rental car shuttle drivers expect a tip (i.e., DTW), whereas in other areas they are forbidden to take them (i.e., SAV). Really interested to see what the expectations would be on excursions, particularly those paid for through NCL.

for us, it would probably depend on how much time they actually spent with us. I do know some countries like Hondorus are very poor and anything is appreciated. I think we would tip the bus driver and maybe the person who meets you if they also board the bus and give you some information about where you are going etc. The amount is p to you, maybe a few $$s each as they are not really tour guides in my estimation. tipping else where, again is pretty much a personal thing. We are inclined to tip a lot of people but none too much.

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For me it depends on the the experience. If I've been on an excursion with a good bus driver and he or she has provided a fun trip with maybe a little history etc, then at ship drop-off I'll give a tip.

 

On the flip side, we had a tour in Cartagena where our bus driver only took us to places where his friends worked to try and drum up business for them. It was endless and the worst tour I've ever been on so no tip.

 

At Tabayana, we have tipped workers who tend to the loungers to watch our belongings so we could go in the water or walk around. We always tip the drink servers there, too.

 

 

 

Tracy

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For me it depends on the the experience. If I've been on an excursion with a good bus driver and he or she has provided a fun trip with maybe a little history etc, then at ship drop-off I'll give a tip.

 

On the flip side, we had a tour in Cartagena where our bus driver only took us to places where his friends worked to try and drum up business for them. It was endless and the worst tour I've ever been on so no tip.

 

At Tabayana, we have tipped workers who tend to the loungers to watch our belongings so we could go in the water or walk around. We always tip the drink servers there, too.

 

 

 

Tracy

yes, drink servers for sure. As for your experience in Cartagena, that is too bad as our tour there, including riding in horse drawn carriages was a wonderful experience until we stopped at a shopping ares toward the end> Long story, but overall it was a good tour.

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Tip according to service, on our last cruise, the lady from Alloa tours of St Petersburg was fantastic, on the last day we tipped about €40, I noticed some people giving coins!! However the lady doing the Stockholm tour was completely useless, didn’t know much at all, nearly lost two passengers, changed the colour of her jacket when meeting back up with us, totally confusing some passengers, she didn’t get a tip of anyone..

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I generally do tip on excursions but we generally take tours. Towards the end of most tours whoever is doing the talking for the team will often give a spiel about please tip and you can hand in some cash for the team to split. I don’t carry around singles dropping them to everyone we see. It sounds as though the excursion you are describing is more of a beach day, in which case, I wouldn’t take an excursion. Would simply take a taxi to the beach. But if I did take the excursion, I wouldn’t tip the person who meets you at the dock, I wouldn’t tip the bus driver if it was simply transport with no information/tour along the way. I would tip people who directly served me food or drink plus someone who specifically served me something on the beach. So if loungers are set up and someone is just walking around straightening them or putting towels on unoccupied loungers - no, if loungers are put away and someone gets one for you and asks where you want to sit and gets your group set up there - yes. But I don’t think there are hard and fast rules here outside of food service and bartenders so no need to sweat the small stuff.

 

 

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At Tabyana, there was one security guard who greeted us, checked up on us, and watched our stuff. We tipped him.

 

Separately, we tipped the waiter each time he brought drinks to us (in addition to paying for the drinks).

 

If you decide to get a massage, tip the masseuse. If you get your air braided, tip the braider.

 

 

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I don't know where the commonwealth not tipping comes from, in the UK it is normal practice to tip tour guides and drivers while on holiday and we are normally given a guide as to what is expected, I do however notice when the hat or envelope travels the bus a lot of people do not contribute.

 

While I agree tipping in bars etc would be very unusual in the UK, restaurants, taxis, hair dressers, tour guides and drivers, bellboys etc is perfectly normal now.

 

As far as NCL is concerned however, I travel "all inclusive" with all gratuities pre paid as part of the package so no further tips will be made anywhere, the exception would be if I make my own excursion, I will then or course pay the tour guide and/or driver a tip based on service provided.

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At Tabyana, there was one security guard who greeted us, checked up on us, and watched our stuff. We tipped him.

 

Separately, we tipped the waiter each time he brought drinks to us (in addition to paying for the drinks).

 

If you decide to get a massage, tip the masseuse. If you get your air braided, tip the braider.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Thanks BIrd, that really helps for this specific case. My wife and I both worked our way through college as wait staff and always tip wait staff generously for good service. It was just a little weird to me that I saw other people talking about tipping the bus driver, as I do not normally tip them here.

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As far as NCL is concerned however, I travel "all inclusive" with all gratuities pre paid as part of the package so no further tips will be made anywhere, the exception would be if I make my own excursion, I will then or course pay the tour guide and/or driver a tip based on service provided.

 

 

None of the pre-paid/included gratuities include excursions guides. Whether you tip or not is up to u, but they aren’t norwegian employees and won’t see any tips from norwegian.

 

 

 

 

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Typically I tip inverse of how much they advertise or ask.

 

In Port Canaveral the sign says for porters not to tip yet they have their hands open.

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So, I asked this on the Haven Tipping thread but did not get any responses. So, I will try a separate thread (apologies in advance for another tipping thread).

This is something that I originally noticed people budgeting for in the "planning" thread. Do you normally tip the personnel who assist on excursions? For example, we are taking the Tabyana Beach Party excursion through NCL on our Getaway cruise. Would you tip the bus driver? The person who meets you at the dock and walks you to the bus? How about the person who straightens the loungers on the beach? Towel boy/girl?

I am not trying to sound flippant, but I am really curious about how extensively people usually follow these "tipping rules". I know in some areas of the USA, the rental car shuttle drivers expect a tip (i.e., DTW), whereas in other areas they are forbidden to take them (i.e., SAV). Really interested to see what the expectations would be on excursions, particularly those paid for through NCL.

 

Tabayana is a bit unique. We have been there four times and follow this procedure.

 

We do not tip the bus driver, or the people that walk you to the bus. At arrival we get our chairs. We tip the waiters and usually the security people who watch over our stuff. There is no one who straightens the loungers, and no towel person.

 

 

Tipping the servers is easy because you are paying for beverages. The security people don't seem to expect a tip and from what I have observed about 50% of the people don't give them anything.

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I do tip regularly most people who perform a service for me but setting aside being on the ship this would include the following: Cab drivers to and from airport, to and from pier, when in port to go sightseeing. I also tip doormen who call a taxi for me (more and more this is not just in the US but saw that in Aruba and other islands),shuttle drivers, tour guides (like the woman who runs the Tuk Tuk tour on Bonaire), of course servers at restaurants when in port, and not surprisingly in Cartagena there were buckets with the word "tips" when seeing a folkloric show and also street performers had their hand out. It seems never ending but I do it anyway. It doesn't make much difference to my pocketbook but those few dollars might mean a lot to them. And I have known to give money to homeless people too.

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We also tip the wheel chair pusher when we use one for getting on the ship at the beginning of the cruise and when we disembark. We do not use a chair once on the ship and plan our tours around simple walking. We are still plenty mobile for this, just not for going up and down the long ramps. Hubby does use his walker once on the ship.

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I'm still not clear on appropriate tipping for NCL-type excursions. If there is a bus driver and tour guide, or for a whale-watching type tour I'd assume there is a captain and tour guide, how would you tip and how much on average? I always do tip but never sure how much is "right", would love recommendations. This would be for half-day tours (except the Skagway 6+ hr scenic drive one). thanks

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I'm still not clear on appropriate tipping for NCL-type excursions. If there is a bus driver and tour guide, or for a whale-watching type tour I'd assume there is a captain and tour guide, how would you tip and how much on average? I always do tip but never sure how much is "right", would love recommendations. This would be for half-day tours (except the Skagway 6+ hr scenic drive one). thanks

 

I tip the bus driver $5 and the tour guide $10 but that is for short 1-3 hour tours. I tip at the end and just hand it to them when we get off the bus.

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I honestly believe it is very similar to your room steward. They are already included in the DSC but if they really go above and beyond, then many people tip extra. I believe it is the same with ship-sponsored excursions. If a bus tour is included I would not tip extra if all they did was on you left is and on your right is, etc. If however they included specific details about what I was seeing that was not general knowledge and made the trip a little more enjoyable, I would be more inclined to tip extra afterwards. General, normal service is included in the fees you have already paid. Above and beyond service probably deserves a tip of some kind.

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I honestly believe it is very similar to your room steward. They are already included in the DSC but if they really go above and beyond, then many people tip extra. I believe it is the same with ship-sponsored excursions. If a bus tour is included I would not tip extra if all they did was on you left is and on your right is, etc. If however they included specific details about what I was seeing that was not general knowledge and made the trip a little more enjoyable, I would be more inclined to tip extra afterwards. General, normal service is included in the fees you have already paid. Above and beyond service probably deserves a tip of some kind.

I believe the the tour guides & bus drivers usually reside at the port of the excursion and are not employees of the cruise line. Therefore, they should be tipped separately.

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I honestly believe it is very similar to your room steward. They are already included in the DSC but if they really go above and beyond, then many people tip extra. I believe it is the same with ship-sponsored excursions. If a bus tour is included I would not tip extra if all they did was on you left is and on your right is, etc. If however they included specific details about what I was seeing that was not general knowledge and made the trip a little more enjoyable, I would be more inclined to tip extra afterwards. General, normal service is included in the fees you have already paid. Above and beyond service probably deserves a tip of some kind.
I believe the the tour guides & bus drivers usually reside at the location of the excursion and are not employees of the cruise line. Therefore, they should be tipped separately.

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I'm still not clear on appropriate tipping for NCL-type excursions. If there is a bus driver and tour guide, or for a whale-watching type tour I'd assume there is a captain and tour guide, how would you tip and how much on average? I always do tip but never sure how much is "right", would love recommendations. This would be for half-day tours (except the Skagway 6+ hr scenic drive one). thanks

In Juneau, we booked a whale watch in the morning (not via NCL), just a captain on board and the three of us. I believe we tipped him about $50. In the afternoon we did the Tracy Arm tour (booked via NCL), hundred+ people on the boat, 1/2 dozen staff, we tipped something on the way off, probably about $10 for each of us. In Skagway, we booked the bus/train tour (all day tour), our bus driver was fantastic (Mel!), I think we would have tipped him $30 (for three of us), but we had an issue that required him making some phone calls on our behalf back to CarCross while we were on the train down, so, tipped him $60. But on the train ride down, we didn't tip anyone. No one did anything to provide any extra level of service, we got on the train, and it went to where it was supposed to go.

 

As others have indicated, it starts with the local custom. I had a tour guide in Australia get offended when we tried to tip him after spending the full day with him. (That was when I learned to read up on local customs). So do what the locals do, but generally speaking f someone on the pier just collects the group for hand-off - no tip. If a bus driver just brings us to the beach or some other attraction - no tip. If a guide spends significant time with you or provides a service to you, provide a tip.

Edited by PATRLR

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