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racnwdow

Tipping and Cruise Ship Sponsored Excursions

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Should you tip your tour guides on a cruise ship sponsored excursion?  We will be in Italy, Greece, Israel and Cyprus.  Some of these countries to not customarily tip.  TIA

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I think that would be entirely up to you and how you feel the excursion experience was for you when completed.  People do frequently tip the driver, however.  But in countries where tipping is not customarily done, it likely would not be expected.

 

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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Most of the time the tour guides are contracted by the cruise line from local companies. They are the same people who would be conducting tours for non-cruise line sponsored tours. If you would normally tip a non-cruise tour guide, also tip the cruise tour guide. They almost always are not cruise line employees, but are local people. 

Edited by SantaFeFan

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39 minutes ago, SantaFeFan said:

They almost always are not cruise line employees, but are local people. 

 

They are not cruse line employees - they are third part contract tour providers.  Other than by a business contract to provide a service, the tour operators have no connection to the cruise lines and visa versa. 

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1 hour ago, racnwdow said:

Should you tip your tour guides on a cruise ship sponsored excursion?  We will be in Italy, Greece, Israel and Cyprus.  Some of these countries to not customarily tip.  TIA

I think you may mean that some folks who live in these countries do not tip. They are not you. And tipping is definitely not non-existent in major port cities. 

 

That said, it would be the very rare working tour guide (other than a company owner/guide) or taxi driver or any other service person who would say no to a reasonable/heartfelt gratuity.

 

BTW, as I recently mentioned in a similar thread, many better restaurants in cosmopolitan cities in (and beyond) Europe, South America et al. now have optional tip check boxes in credit card charging devices. 

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1 hour ago, leaveitallbehind said:

 

They are not cruse line employees - they are third part contract tour providers.  Other than by a business contract to provide a service, the tour operators have no connection to the cruise lines and visa versa. 

 

I said "almost always are not cruise line employees". But, on rare occasions they may be. Several years ago on a Chile to Florida repositioning cruise, we took a ship sponsored tour and the guide was a cruise line employee. I know because I saw her working the excursion desk later in the cruise. Probably a rare occasion, but it did happen at least once. Since I cannot accurately say I know that "all" ship sponsored tour guides are contractors, I played it safe with the "almost always" statement.

Edited by SantaFeFan

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2 hours ago, SantaFeFan said:

 

I said "almost always are not cruise line employees". But, on rare occasions they may be. Several years ago on a Chile to Florida repositioning cruise, we took a ship sponsored tour and the guide was a cruise line employee. I know because I saw her working the excursion desk later in the cruise. Probably a rare occasion, but it did happen at least once. Since I cannot accurately say I know that "all" ship sponsored tour guides are contractors, I played it safe with the "almost always" statement.

 

And I would have to further clarify that I am referring to mass market cruise lines with regularly planned itineraries at ports of call with numerous options for guest tours.  Clearly certain smaller expeditionary type cruises will at times use the ship crew to manage and conduct guest tours at some destinations.  Antarctica and perhaps Galapagos Island destinations, for example.

 

What cruise line were you on at the time? I would wonder if in your example her role was secondary to the tour to accompany the guests for some reason, or perhaps the regular guide was unavailable? I would think her presence otherwise would be very unusual and rare indeed.

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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2 minutes ago, leaveitallbehind said:

 

And I would have to further clarify that I am referring to mass market cruise lines with regularly planned itineraries at ports of call with numerous options for guest tours.  Clearly certain smaller expeditionary type cruises will at times use the ship crew to manage and conduct guest tours at some destinations.  Antarctica and perhaps Galapagos Island destinations, for example.

 

What cruise line were you on at the time? I would wonder if in your example her role was secondary to the tour to accompany the guests for some reason, or perhaps the regular guide was unavailable? I would think her presence otherwise would be very unusual and rare indeed.

 

It was on Celebrity Infinity in 2009. The tour was from Manta, Ecuador to Machalilla National Park, and was an 8 hour duration. 

 

Perhaps the scheduled tour guide was absent and the cruise line employee had to take over. I don't know. But she seemed to know the tour quite well. 

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2 minutes ago, SantaFeFan said:

 

It was on Celebrity Infinity in 2009. The tour was from Manta, Ecuador to Machalilla National Park, and was an 8 hour duration. 

 

Perhaps the scheduled tour guide was absent and the cruise line employee had to take over. I don't know. But she seemed to know the tour quite well. 

 

Interesting - and very unusual.  Appreciate you sharing your experience.  Learn something new every day!

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