Gratuities for tour guides and bus/van drivers?

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 02:17 AM.
#1
1,971 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
We will be in Cuba and taking ship sponsored shore excursions.

Are Cuban tour guides independent contractors or do they get paid by Oceania?

Thanks,
#2
New Hampshire
6,448 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Originally posted by Kingofcool1947
We will be in Cuba and taking ship sponsored shore excursions.

Are Cuban tour guides independent contractors or do they get paid by Oceania?

Thanks,
I would say they are contracted with Oceania, but the tour operator gets the money. We always tip the tour bus driver & the tour guide about $5 ea. per person. That's just us. Some tip more & some less. Then there are the cheap SOB's who feel the tour guide & driver should be honored for carting the cheesy pax around the island for the day.
#3
1,971 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Originally posted by keithm
I would say they are contracted with Oceania, but the tour operator gets the money. We always tip the tour bus driver & the tour guide about $5 ea. per person. That's just us. Some tip more & some less. Then there are the cheap SOB's who feel the tour guide & driver should be honored for carting the cheesy pax around the island for the day.
Thanks.
Like you, I tip.
On some guided shore excursions I’ve seen cheapskates PAXS who didn’t tip the tour guide and driver. And, those kind of PAXs do not even just say “thank you.”
Considering how fortunate we PAXs are to have the financial means to go on a cruise, and those kind of cheapskate PAX dont tip even a few bucks for the tour guide and driver? Unbelievable.

King
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
La dolce vita!
Non mancarmi di rispetto, ragazzo! Lo ti ucciderò!








#5
Tucson, Az
84 Posts
Joined Feb 2017
Originally posted by Kingofcool1947
We will be in Cuba and taking ship sponsored shore excursions.

Are Cuban tour guides independent contractors or do they get paid by Oceania?

Thanks,
The guides are actually "Government employees" You will find they have very good English skills and are most knowledgeable. Cuba wants us to experience with their best. Language skills require fluency to even get an interview to apply as a tour guide. They primarily moonlight, and since they are granted an exemption on declaring tips.....they can earn triple their monthly salary. We went last year, and in a private conversation during a stop my husband learned the guides are coveted competitive jobs for the previously stated reason. One guide was a professor, another a medical doctor. Their salaries a premium of $20 per month over laborers as is socialist economy believing you work based on your skill set but all get pay fairly equal. So to say tipping appreciated is putting it mildly. Have a great trip, a wonderful, warm people await . Info assumed correct as relayed by locals though not discussed openly.
#6
USA
5,455 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
We booked private drivers, cars and guides for entire days in Cuba. They were so awesome that we gave them twice our usual (generous) tip. They took us to many local, out-of-the-way places and talked openly about their lives and country.....such a great experience! And so warm and friendly!!

We also loved our days of just walking around on our own in Havana. Cuba was a wonderful place to visit .
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Life's Milestones are Best Celebrated in Nautical Miles.



Oceania Insignia 1-2019 (World Cruise - 161 days)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Oceania Insignia 12-2017 (Cuba - 7 days)
Regal Princess 11-2017 (Western Caribbean - 7 days)
Caribbean Princess 3-2017 (Southern Caribbean - 8 days)
Celebrity Silhouette 8-2016 (British Isles, Guernsey, Belgium, Amsterdam - 14 days)
Grand Princess 11-2015 (Hawaii - 15 days)

Celebrity Infinity 10-2014 (TA - England, Azores, Bermuda, Bahamas - 14 days)
Celebrity Reflection 3-2014 (Eastern Caribbean - 7 days)
Crown Princess 7-2013 (Baltics/Russia - 14 days)
Emerald Princess 3-2012 (Eastern Caribbean - 10 days)
Caribbean Princess 6-2011 (Canada/New England - 9 days)
Crown Princess 9-2010 (TA - British Isles, Iceland, Greenland, Canada - 14 days)
Coral Princess 12-2008 (Full Panama Canal, Central America, Mexico - 14 days)
Sun Princess 9-2007 (Alaska - 7 days)
Carnival Paradise 9-2003 (Western Caribbean - 7 days)
Carnival Fantasy 1-1990 (Bahamas - 4 days)
Carnival Holiday 12-1989 (Western Caribbean - 7 days)

#7
So California
6,180 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Originally posted by keithm
I would say they are contracted with Oceania, but the tour operator gets the money. We always tip the tour bus driver & the tour guide about $5 ea. per person. That's just us. Some tip more & some less. Then there are the cheap SOB's who feel the tour guide & driver should be honored for carting the cheesy pax around the island for the

day.
Tip or do not based on the simple premise did the person being considered for a tip provide any special, out of the ordinary service, go out of his way? If no special over and above thing is done then why reward mediocrity if their just doing their job ? Tipping for no special reason is just as bad as not tipping.
#8
Tucson, Az
84 Posts
Joined Feb 2017
Originally posted by Kingofcool1947
We will be in Cuba and taking ship sponsored shore excursions.

Are Cuban tour guides independent contractors or do they get paid by Oceania?

Thanks,
Clarification - I was referring strictly to the O tours; this was first sailing in directly from U.S. with multiple documentation requirements and emphasis to save tour records 5-7 years . Brand new big buses, drivers and guides all in logo shirts, all 4 tours started with script of welcoming to island, indicating they love Americans, they are proud of their country...practically rote. Government owned tour company used. The book your own guides that Europeans have used for years I.e. Vintage car tours with drivers on the corner are indeed private contractors on their own as others have stated.