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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    10

    Default Currency question

    We will be ariving at CN in 5 days.....wooooo hooooo and as its our first time we are wondering if its best to bring American Dollars or Jamaican Dollars?
    Any input as to what is which is most preferable and also can anyone tell me how much to tip chamber maids etc although I know it is not allowed but from reading on here it is still expected if you want to be looked after.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    330

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    The US dollar is widely accepted in Jamaica. Bring small bills to avoid receiving change in Jamaican currency.
    Please do not attempt to tip the maids. They will risk their job by accepting it. We always bring small gifts to leave as a token of our appreciation- things like chocolate and school supplies.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    113

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    This will be our first trip to Couples, but our fifth trip to Jamaica. On our first visit, we did a currency exchange, but found that most Jamaicans prefer to receive American currency. I would suggest you just bring American money.
    Be careful with the tipping. My understanding is associates can lose their jobs if they accept a tip.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    1,439

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jonste View Post
    We will be ariving at CN in 5 days.....wooooo hooooo and as its our first time we are wondering if its best to bring American Dollars or Jamaican Dollars?
    US
    Quote Originally Posted by jonste View Post
    and also can anyone tell me how much to tip chamber maids etc although I know it is not allowed but from reading on here it is still expected if you want to be looked after.
    DO NOT tip Couples staff. It is not expected and they can lose their jobs.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    1,934

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    Not true...

    When interacting with Couples' staff, a warm healthy and friendly dose of respect is all that is expected. You will be looked after.

    As for currency, George is king... bring enough to tip non-Couples employees (sky caps, porters, your driver to and from Couples, the catamaran crew, etc.). And remember, while this is a developing country, it IS an island nation with precious few resources, which tend to be rather expensive. Don't condescend when tipping... tip as you would at home.

    Also, when you wander off-campus, US$ is very welcome. However, the convenience of using a credit card is not to underestimated. Just take care when using it. I would also contact your CC company prior to departure to make them aware that you will be traveling. The last thing you need is to have your credit card frozen when you're on vacation.

    I hope that all helps...
    Chris

    "In an abundance of water, the fool is thirsty..." - Bob Marley - "Rat Race"


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    469

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonste View Post
    can anyone tell me how much to tip chamber maids etc although I know it is not allowed but from reading on here it is still expected if you want to be looked after.
    I think you are mistaken. Tipping can get people fired and cause you to be asked to leave. In four trips I have never tipped anyone on resort and never had anything but great service. Couples' no tipping policy is very serious business.


    Regarding the $$. Everyone will answer that the US$ is just fine, and they are 100% correct. I like to change to J$ after I get to the resort, because I sometimes I get off the beaten path a little bit, but mostly because I think its more fun top spend J$. I would not switch to $J before the trip. Just do it while you are there. CSA has an exchange booth that gives excellent rates.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    913

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    US dollars for sure. Regardless of what the S&P says, that's still the preferred currency! Most things are priced that way. As for tips, you will hear a lot of stuff on the MB, but you will not get any lesser service if you don't tip or wait til the end of your stay.
    Last edited by dank120; August 30th, 2011 at 08:44 AM.

  8. #8

    Default

    American dollars. We never exchange for Jamaican. I would bring smaller bills as most places will give you Jamaican money for change.
    Tipping is not allowed to Couples employees. You will tip the bag boy at the airport and the shuttle driver from the airport. That will go the same for your trip back to the airport and any excursions you take off the resort. There is ONE exception: that is the spa. Spa employees can accept tips.
    No worries, they will take good care of you without tips. Have a wonderful time at CN.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    609

    Default

    American currency is preferred. As far as tipping goes, do the staff at Couples a favor and don't. Its not expected or allowed and they can lose their job over it. The service is fantastic and your tip will not improve what is already perfect. Tip the baggage guys at the airport and the driver, they don't work for Couples.

  10. #10

    Default

    Bring American Dollars. Also, do not tip Couples resorts employees. They can lose their jobs if they are caught accepting a tip. You can give the room attendants a gift (non monetary) with their name on it and who it is from at the end of your trip. We have been to Couples 7 times and our room attentants take VERY GOOD care of us. We have never experienced anyone looking for or expecting a tip. Have a wonderful time at CN. We were just there the first week of July and are looking forward to our trip next April to CSS.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    778

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    American dollars are preferred. And NO - tipping is not expected if you want to be looked after. DO NOT DO IT. It is not even allowed. If the employees get caught taking a tip, they can be fired. The best thing you can do is ask for their names and put them on the exit survey.
    Linda

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    287

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jonste View Post
    We will be ariving at CN in 5 days.....wooooo hooooo and as its our first time we are wondering if its best to bring American Dollars or Jamaican Dollars?
    Any input as to what is which is most preferable and also can anyone tell me how much to tip chamber maids etc although I know it is not allowed but from reading on here it is still expected if you want to be looked after.
    American dollars will work quite well. No need to change money into Jamaican currency. It really is true that you do not tip housekeeping. My suggestion is to try and get to know them. Know their names. They will know yours and speak to you, too! Ask them about their family, their home, take time to talk to them and show an interest in them. If you get good service, then include their names on your comment card that you leave when you check out.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    244

    Default

    We always take U.S. $, If you buy things at the stores in town or from a vendor ask for U.S. $ back for change.

    Make sure to take small bills with you to tip the bag carriers at the airport if you choose to do so and the shuttle driver as well.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    323

    Default

    American dollars are perfect. Do not tip and people that put that on the message board should have their fingers popped with a pencil. The best way to tip them is to remember their name and fill out the comment card at the end of your trip. Thsi is how they get compensated.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    49

    Default

    Hmm...we didn't tip and were looked after. We just made note of the standout employees on the comment card when we left.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    200

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    Hi jonste,
    I've always just brought USD and have never had an issue.
    As to tipping, please don't. It is NOT allowed, as you've noted, but it is not expected. Further, the staff can be fired for accepting tips.
    It's not a "wink, wink, nudge, nudge" policy, it's actually true.
    You can/should tip the baggage handlers at the airport and your driver to the resort, but with the exception of the spa staff, once you're on the resort, there is no tipping allowed.
    I hope that clarifies,
    Cheers,
    Terri

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,272

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    American dollars are widely accepted and the preferred choice.

    As for tipping: Please do not. An employee can get fired for accepting a tip. Instead, at the end of your stay compliment them on the comment card. This is how employees are given bonuses, raises, and promotions.
    Juliann & Jeff
    Jamaica Soon Come

  18. #18

    Default

    With very few exceptions (and I mean *VERY* few), Jamaican vendors prefer American currency. The only reason you might want to convert a few $$$ would involve a desire to bring home some Jamaican currency as a souvenir. Other than that, just bring your American currency and you'll be all set.

    Don't forget a credit card! You'll need one for check-in. If you can find one that doesn't charge an international transaction fee, that's even better!

    Tip the chamber maids? I wouldn't call it tipping per-se, but I have brought a few gifts for those staff members that take really good care of us while at the resort...you know, little things that aren't too expensive but say "Thank You".

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    2,184

    Default

    American dollars are preferred. I don't know where you read it but tipping is forbidden on the resort. They can be fired for accepting tips. The spa ladies are the only people you can to as they aren't Couples employees. If you go on the cat cruise you should bring some tip money and tip the porters at the airport and the driver that brings you to and from the resort. I hope this helps.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    32

    Default

    American dollars are readily accepted. The only time I got Jamacian dollars was for a lil gift to bring home.

    I personally did not leave a monatary tip, as this site and Couples says it is against the rules. I did leave a few dresses and perfumes for the housekeepers, which she was SUPER excited for. You must leave a note that says these items are for them, so there is no confusion.

    Have a blast!
    Pamster

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    10

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    Thank you everyone for your replies it has cleared things up about dollars and tipping and we would never wish to get anyone sacked. we are very excited now to come to CN,

    jonste

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    1,934

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    A number of interesting points raised here. The whole tipping thing has been addressed countless times in this forum, from its earliest days. The comments about including names of all-star staff who have provided you exceptional service when you fill in your departure survey is an excellent point! WE are the first step in their regular employee performance reviews.

    Also an excellent point was made about exchanging for J$ when going out and about. Once you wander from the tourist areas, you may find it a bit tough to spend US$ because the Jamaicans who you may be doing business with only have $J. Save the frustration... set up a budget for your $J spending and make the exchange. It probably won't be for more than US$ 20 pp(about J$ 1700)... That would cover a person's food and beverage, if necessary. For reference, today's rate is about 85J to 1US.
    Chris

    "In an abundance of water, the fool is thirsty..." - Bob Marley - "Rat Race"


  23. #23

    Default

    You will have a morning & an evening housekeeper...although it is not needed or expected, I can tell you that small gifts are GREATLY appreciated! I always stock up on small perfumes, body lotions, nail polishes, candies, school supplies, etc...I take a package of colored tissue paper & some ribbon, & wrap up a few items each day for each housekeeper, with a note of thanks. It won't change the service that you receive, since it will be spectacular no matter what...I just really like to be able to give something back to them for everything they are doing for us. Also, we usually take some baseball hats from our favorite sports teams or some local souvenirs or foods from home...at the end of our stay, we give these things to our favorite dive guys, bartenders, & waiters/waitresses. Honestly, I don't think we've ever spent more than $75 for ALL the 'gifts' we take with us for the whole trip, but people are so appreciative, you would think we had handed them each a $100 bill.

  24. #24

    Default

    OK, no tipping, think that is clear. Any suggestions to any small gifts we may bring from overseas then that would be acceptable?

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Thank you all for your feedback and will listen to all advice, we would never want to get anyone in trouble. we fly sunday..... so excited

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