Tag Archives: tour guides

Have you reached the tipping point?

When it comes to paying for service how do you feel about that?  Do you feel that you have paid enough already for the hotel / cruise / dinner that you don’t really need to start shelling out cash left right and centre?  There are some countries where tipping is not expected – such as Australia and the Cook Islands to name just a couple.  There are also cruise lines (such as Silversea) and hotel chains (such as Sandals) where tipping is expressly discouraged.  The reason for this is clear – they want their guests to be  totally relaxed the entire vacation and not feel that they have to walk around with a bunch of small denomination notes for tipping.

Service people very often depend on tips to make up their income.  I do believe that tipping is an expression of satisfaction with a service well provided and I hate the feeling I have on some cruise lines (who will remain nameless) that I actually have to tip this poor Filipino or Russian because the cruise line is paying them such a miserable salary.

Having said all of that I sometimes cannot believe how mean people can be when it comes to tipping.  Go on a tour and watch the people climbing out of the rear exit of the bus to avoid the driver and tour guide.  Shame on you people!

I have no cash

I have no cash

Of course then you do get the other end of the stick.    The over-eager, super-friendly server who wants to be your best friend for a whole week.  We had one such person on our Seine river cruise a couple of weeks ago.  Don’t get me wrong.  He was brilliant.  He knew everyone’s name and remembered it.  He knew what drinks people liked.  He was proactive, prompt and pretty damn creepy.  He had a smile like the dog who wants some treats….

smiling_dog

No…. he was worse than that.  Sad thing is I felt sorry for him and we probably tipped him more than anyone else.

Shut up and listen to the guide

I love a guided trip.  Any city I visit a guided tour is a must.  I get the history, the layout of the city and see the highlights There’s only one problem with a guided tour and that is some of the participants.
They wander off on their own agenda, ignore the guide, don’t listen properly and then ask stupid questions.
Case in point.  A visit to the old Roman Amphitheatre in Avignon.  Our guide commented that the layout of the stadium is very similar to the typical football or hockey stadium of today.  Steps going down to the seats and hallways which circle the entrance areas.  These, she told us, were handy areas for when it was very hot and spectators could come and get something to eat or drink.  Similar to today where you would see popcorn and Coca Cola.
Oh!  Suddenly our touring companion has woken up.  “Did they really have popcorn and Coca Cola in those days”.
I am sure that was a good one for the guide when she got together with her fellow tour guides.    Probably earned her at least a beer or two!