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  1. #1

    Default Tipping the shuttle drivers

    Just my opinion but I have read on other posts that people are only tipping a couple of bucks to these drivers. I hope somebody doesn't take this the wrong way but those drivers deserve more! They have your lives in their hands for an hour or two and with the way people drive there, it is a daunting task. We tip 20 dollars each way whether they are friendly or not. I think they have a very tough job and these guys deserve more! Safe travels everyone

  2. #2

    Default Tip as appropriate

    Wow!! You are an incredibly generous person. Their jobs are dangerous I agree.

    We always tip but we tip for the service rendered. We have had some really good and some really bad service from these drivers. One driver left our bus in the middle of one of the tiny town roads for 15 minutes while he went to go cigarettes (we hope). We had to put with the honking and yelling of some very angry locals. We have also had to put up with cell phone driving where the minute the driver pulls away from the resort, all he does is make business arrangements call after call after call.

    We have come to expect poor service from the drivers. So when we get great service we do tip more.

  3. #3


    You are amazing for tipping that much! We usually give him $5, both ways, & I feel good with that amount.

    One time I was in Jamaica on vacations with my sisters. We went to Margaritaville one night. On our way back, we saw a horrific accident on the main road between ocho rios & runaway bay. Even though it was dark, we could see a turned over shuttle, a couple of crashed cars, and people layed out like maniquins. Needless to say we tipped our driver so well that night, he called the resort everyday to see if we needed a ride.

    Yes, you can get in an accident even while on vacation. I hope that never happens to any of us and we make it to and from our vacations safely. We wait too long to go, dreaming about it, excited, at least I do!

  4. #4


    Softail, I agree...we have gotten off the bus and seen people give a couple dollars....we give 20 each way as well, no matter what. Not just because they have our lives in their hands, but they are good people just trying to earn an honest living and taking us to paradise!

  5. #5


    I totally agree! On one trip from Mobay to CSS we had an awesome driver who shared the history of Jamaica with us during our journey to CSS. When we got off the bus, my husband and I were the only people who stuck around to tip him! We felt so bad we tipped him $40 which was not enough since there were 6 couples on the bus but at least it was something! You should have seen the smile on his face with our gesture! He wished us Jah's blessing for a wonderful vacation!

    One Love,

  6. #6


    We tip according to how many are on the transfer. If we are the only ones, then usually $20. If there are others then $10 - $15.

  7. #7


    We always tip the drivers $20 bucks each way. We consider it a bargain since the bus ride is included and we don't have to tip anyone else the rest of our stay.

    (I know, we tip the kids at the spa and the crew of the catamaran cruise also.)

  8. #8


    I'm all over that... consider this... especially those of you that live in metro areas in which cab use is common... how much do you tip the driver?? This is a long-haul fare for a cab or bus driver... so unless you know that the tip is front loaded (in this case its not), you really should pony up.

    And although you might not be in the mood, remember the driver on the way BACK to the airport.

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

  9. #9


    I couldn't agree more. We always tip well, though better to those who are more personable. The drivers are VERY cautious and careful. Just remember your life is in their hands. They deserve to be compensated for getting you to your destination safely!!

  10. #10


    We give our driver 20 dallars each way as well. There is no way we could drive like that and get there unharmed and tell people about the sites along the way. Come on people.... dont be cheap whats an extra $40.

  11. #11


    We have always tipped $10, but after reading this we are definatley going to bump it up to $20 each way. Most of our previous 3 trips we have had great drivers who explained things to us. 6 months from today we will be back and can't wait!!!

    Tammie & Mike
    CSS Mar'12/CSA Nov '12/CSA Dec '13/CSA Feb '15

  12. #12


    I have to confess, the first trip to tcouples , we cheaped out I'm pretty sure so sometimes petople just don't realize they should tip,DUH!!
    On our last trip in April, on the goodbye bus, we had an awesome driver and he got caught in a speed trap going 5 miles over, so he says. I'm not sure since its in km. Anyway most people ponied up to help with the fine as it would have taken all his wages for the day.
    I'm glad some people agree with me. Safe travels!

  13. #13


    I am almost afraid to post this for the likes of being thought as as even

    I thought the average person tipped about $5 like me. I am in shock that people tip $20 plus to the shuttle drivers. I think this is a GREAT suggestion & now that I know, maybe I will up my game, but I dictate how I spend my $ on vacation. I am also not cheap, just thought it was sufficient. I can't be the ONLY one who has tipped this amount?

    I was at CTI in April of this year. I brought a carry on bag full of school supplies that I delivered to an elementary school quite early in the morning along with a goody bag for the teacher. The driver (ambassador) drove from Mo Bay to take me to the school so I gave her a $50 because she drove to CTI just for me.

    I brought outfits for both of the girls in the entertainment staff, jewelry for the cleaning people, etc. I like the way I show gratitude.

  14. #14


    I'm gonna weigh in again... I checked on the value Couples attaches to each of their inclusions. They note that the transfers would cost you US$100 each way... and based on my own research, this is a valid number. Now think about that... what should you tip?

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

  15. #15


    Okay, so I'm a newbie. With all of this being said...
    How much should the Cat Cruise staff be tipped? Duns River? Spa?
    I dont want to be the "cheap person", but I also dont want to tip so much that it leaves me without cash the rest of my trip...ya know?

  16. #16


    I tip my driver from NJ to JFK airport $20. 00 which is a shorter ride, so I tip the shuttle driver the same, why should he get less??

  17. #17


    I found a site by Googling "Tipping Etiquette" at a site called hotels dot about dot com (I'm not going to post it). It covers nearly every tipping situation that you may encounter. Please understand, however, that when you reference this that there is a portion of the article that also speaks to the all-inclusive resort, such as your favorite Couples, where tipping is not allowed.

    The article does, however, address porters and baggage handlers ($1 to $2 per bag), drivers (10-15% of fare), courtesy shuttle drivers ($1 to $2 per person), spa services (15-20% for massage, 10-15% for manicure) and so on.

    Also understand that this is just one article. There are others.

    Finally, I want to reiterate... things generally cost more on Jamaica than they do here in the States... there are precious few resources on island to manufacture much of the commodities we all take for granted. Consequently, the cost of living is quite a bit higher than you would expect. Don't assume that your driver or the skycap needs less to live on the island than they would need to live here in the States.

    To put it into terms we can all understand, a bottle of Red Stripe is likely to cost a Jamaican $200 J (or more) at his local watering hole. That's about $2.40 US (or more). This is not much different than what you or I would pay here in the States for a bottle of Bud Light here at home. Yet the average per capita income on the island is far less than we enjoy in the US.

    I've said many times that Alexander Hamilton, the father of the American banking system and whose face is on our $10 note, is rumored to be of Caribbean descent; his mother was possibly Jamaican. We make a point of returning Alexander to his native roots to the extent we can afford. The baggage handler gets one; the driver from the airport gets two; some of the beach entertainers get one (in return for a CD, natch). No one wants to be tapped out at the end of their vacation, but if you receive good service from those who work in the service industry, (whether it be on your vacation or at your local restaurant), please tip accordingly.

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

  18. #18


    Time for a devil's advocate on this one:

    I can appreciate all of the different takes and I'm by no means a bad tipper. I worked in the service industry for 8 years and understand more than most the importance of tipping customs. With that said, we always tip $10 each way on the shuttle, $10 for the cat cruise, $10 each to spa staff, and a few bucks for good cab drivers (on short trips). And, I have always felt this to be appropriate and far from cheap. $10 USD is about $868 JMD, which is a very nice tip. You have to understand that part of being a good international traveller is being able to see life through their glasses, not yours. Nobody that tips, whether it is $5 or $50, is considered a cheap person in their eyes. The "life in their hands" and "I couldn't do what they do" or "this trip is worth $100" arguments are all valid to an extent, but please consider a few things: 1) you pay more for Couples than most other AIs, becasue it is a value-added package, and that includes the shuttle from the airport. 2) of course, your life is in their hands, but isn't that the case with the pilot on the plane or just riding as a passenger in a car somewhere in the US? There are cities in the US where traffic scares me waaayy more than on the coastal Jamaican highway. These guys do this for a living and while you may think it's a tough drive, for these guys, it's just driving. It's what they have gorwn up knowing as the way traffic is. Also, if there are 4 couples on the shuttle that pay $10 each, that's $40 USD for 1.5 hours of work. And they are still getting paid by the shuttle company.

    The point is, whether you pay $5 or $50, you should feel pretty good that you are at least tipping, and I guarantee that any tips are appreciated.

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