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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    681

    Default CN - Catamaran - Tipping?

    Is the Sunset Catamaran trip to the cliffs exempt from the "No Tipping" policy at CN? I know that tips are allowed at the Spa, but I thought that was the only exception but I wonder about the Catamaran? Last time at CN (our first in a long time) we did not take and $ with us on the Cat Cruise because we assumed no tipping was allowed. However I have seen reviews from other people who mention tipping on the Cat Cruise, What is the actual policy on this? I would be pleased to tip, but only if they are exempt from the No Tipping rule.
    Thanks for any info on this!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    915

    Default

    Hey, Roy. Yes, you tip the cat cruise staff, as they are not Couples employees. The people you tip are the spa staff, cat cruise staff, and any shuttle or cab drivers, including airport transfers, excluded-excursion drivers, and included-excursion drivers, like the Trading Places, Sunset Bar Shuttle, Margaritaville Shuttle, Shopping Trip, etc.
    "Brutalize me with music..."

    CN: 11/2007, 11/2010, 11/2011, 11/2013

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    259

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    you need to tip when you go on the Cat Cruise. They are not Couples employee's so tipping is expected. We bring a $5 bill and put it in the tip jar by the bartender on the boat, first thing when we get on the boat. Then we just sit back, enjoy the drinks and views!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    654

    Default

    The crew are not Couples employees, they are an independent contractor.
    We usually tip them around $20. It's always a good time and for two people, three fun hours & plenty of Rum Punch, I think it's a
    not-to-be-missed part of the Couples experience.
    On each of the cruises we have been on, they have always had a tip jar on the bar so they do welcome them. However, we have never felt pressured to tip. They just set out the jar and leave it up to you. No pressure mon!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    45

    Default

    YES YOU SHOULD TIP THE CATAMARAN STAFF.

    They do not work for Couples Negril, and they appreciate (kind of expect) tips.

    On one of the Cat trips while I was there in March, I overheard them saying "it was a cheap group" and they weren't getting much tips that day...
    "

  6. #6

    Default

    We always tip the crew on the Cat Cruise. They are not Couples' employees. They usually have a container marked "tips" and we just put some in it on our way off the boat.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    2,360

    Default

    They are not Couples employees so yes you can tip. There is a tip jar on the bar so we usually throw 5-10 bucks in. Sometimes they sell trinkets and tshirts so we always bring cash. It's always a highlight of our trip.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    708

    Default

    They are exempt.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    2,333

    Default

    They are exempt. I also didn't know this the first time I took the cruise, but have since learned you can tip them.
    Juliann & Jeff
    Jamaica Soon Come

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    681

    Default

    Randymon (or anyone who knows) please chime in. 137 views and no answers. I would really like to know the answer to my question if anyone can help.
    Thanks!

    (On the other hand the way the board works sometimes lots of answers stack up waiting to be approved so maybe there are 137 answers and I just can't see them yet)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    1,740

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    The no tipping policy is only for Couples employees. The Cat Cruise people are NOT Couples employees and neither are the SPA staff and shuttle drivers, so they can be tipped. The staff at the Couples Lounge at the airport are Couples employees, so no tipping there either, however all other airport staff may be tipped.
    [
    CN 2006, CSS 2009, CN 2009, CN 2010, CTI 2010, CN 2011, CSS 2012, CN 2012, CN 2013, CSA 2014, CN 2014, CSA 2015, CN 2015

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    1,044

    Default

    What I have seen on from many many cat cruises is that some people tip and some don't. There is no rule. Some people have so much fun, they just want to tip but you are not under any requirement to do this.

  13. #13

    Default

    The no tipping policy is in place for the catamaran at CTI only as Couples owns that boat and they ARE Couples employees. At CSA and CN they contract out the catamaran trips with an outside group and you should try to tip. I have forgotten a couple times and felt bad just walking off.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    681

    Default

    Thanks all!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    44

    Default

    DON'T jump on me here because I plan to tip the cat cruise a few bucks just because I think it's the right thing to do, and a lot of people evidently agree.

    BUT... the info on the couples site is either wrong, misleading, or people post erroneous info.

    According to the CSA section of this site under "Inclusions & Activities' (in other words included in the price) it specifically lists the Cat Cruise; and under the rates section when I booked it said something to the effect of "save $1780 with included activities (shuttle, snorkeling, cat cruise etc.). Therefore it is included in the price. Nothing about CSA Cat cruise not being owned by CSA and requiring tips. Where does that come from?

    Additionally - according to info on the "FAQ page" of the CSA section it specifically says that tipping is not allowed and "For 'a la carte' spa and salon services only, tipping is discretionary, not mandatory;" (NOTHING ABOUT CAT CRUISE).
    "RESORT POLICIES
    NO TIPPING POLICY
    Couples resorts places a strong emphasis on our 'No Tipping Policy' as we believe this is an essential part of our carefree all-inclusive resort experience. Once you arrive at our resort, a friendly 'thank you' or note on guest comment card is the best tip you can give and the only one allowed. For 'a la carte' spa and salon services only, tipping is discretionary, not mandatory. Outside of our resorts, tipping is customary for all airport baggage personnel, taxi drivers, etc."

    Again, I plan to to tip the cat anyway - but how about people that don't read this forum before they go; all they know is "no tipping." And if the Cat people are truly not CSA employees (not getting payed at all to do the job), then that would suck for them.

    Couples Management care to chime in? How about the glass bottom boat ride, snorkeling boat ride, Scuba boat ride - why are they different than the Cat Cruise?

    UPDATE:
    I did googling and found this subject going back to 2008 or so. It looks like it is true that the Cat cruise is contracted (CN/CSA...) by couples and they are not couples employees. Therefore, they are exempt from the "no tipping" policy. That's not to say they are working for free and relying on tips only. They are getting paid by couples for their service but like many hard working service industry people rely on those tips. Tipping is not mandatory but I'm sure appreciated. So tip away!!!
    Last edited by rikor; June 12th, 2013 at 09:15 AM. Reason: update info

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    915

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rikor View Post
    DON'T jump on me here because I plan to tip the cat cruise a few bucks just because I think it's the right thing to do, and a lot of people evidently agree.

    BUT... the info on the couples site is either wrong, misleading, or people post erroneous info.

    According to the CSA section of this site under "Inclusions & Activities' (in other words included in the price) it specifically lists the Cat Cruise; and under the rates section when I booked it said something to the effect of "save $1780 with included activities (shuttle, snorkeling, cat cruise etc.). Therefore it is included in the price. Nothing about CSA Cat cruise not being owned by CSA and requiring tips. Where does that come from?

    Additionally - according to info on the "FAQ page" of the CSA section it specifically says that tipping is not allowed and "For 'a la carte' spa and salon services only, tipping is discretionary, not mandatory;" (NOTHING ABOUT CAT CRUISE).
    "RESORT POLICIES
    NO TIPPING POLICY
    Couples resorts places a strong emphasis on our 'No Tipping Policy' as we believe this is an essential part of our carefree all-inclusive resort experience. Once you arrive at our resort, a friendly 'thank you' or note on guest comment card is the best tip you can give and the only one allowed. For 'a la carte' spa and salon services only, tipping is discretionary, not mandatory. Outside of our resorts, tipping is customary for all airport baggage personnel, taxi drivers, etc."

    Again, I plan to to tip the cat anyway - but how about people that don't read this forum before they go; all they know is "no tipping." And if the Cat people are truly not CSA employees (not getting payed at all to do the job), then that would suck for them.

    Couples Management care to chime in? How about the glass bottom boat ride, snorkeling boat ride, Scuba boat ride - why are they different than the Cat Cruise?

    Just curious.
    The $1780 in inclusions does include the actual cost of the cat cruise, which can run about $55 per person, if you were to book through most other resorts, which don't include it. The cat cruise is provided by the resort through a 3rd party outfit, just like the spa and the airport transfer. You can tip the staff to be courteous, because they are not Couples employees, but it's certainly not required. It seems like you are making a big fuss for just a few bucks, if anything at all. We bring $250 for our entire week-long trip, and of that, about $10 goes to the shuttle, $10 to the ladies who give our massages, and $10 to the cat cruise staff, who provide great entertainment and free booze. We spend some on gift purchases and night dives and still leave with a chunk of change. If you don't want to tip anybody, you don't have to, but all of the info you've heard is correct and not open for interpretation. The cat cruise IS part of the $1780 in inclusions and tipping is NOT REQUIRED for anybody. You should actually feel lucky that you are getting all of this free info from experienced travellers.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    242

    Default

    We always tip at the bar and then again on the way off the boat. I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong, but I believe its a team of 5 or more people running the boat, not just the bartender or entertainer, so be kind

    RIKOR - I agree what you are saying, it can be confusing who you can/can not tip. Over the years I have seen so many people not tip drivers, cat cruise, porters, etc and I can only assume its because they didn't know you could. But then again I've heard people say the same about the spa, yet its clear in the policies you can tip them.

    What would be really helpful, if the info was not only more clear on the site, but reviewed at checkin.

  18. #18

    Default

    When we went to book the Cat cruise at CN I asked if we could tip the crew and was told no. So we didn't bring any money with us. Well once we were on board I saw that you could tip. So definitely bring some cash. The entire crew is very entertaining and it is a fun time.

  19. #19

    Default

    Other than the CTI Cat Cruise which is owned by Couples and staffed by Couples employees, the Spa, and the drivers who are hired to shuttle you to and from the airport, you should use a basic rule of thumb which is off site...ok to tip. Couples has offered included trips to beachfront restaurants in Negril where you can buy drinks but would you also refuse to tip the bartender there because the transportation was included? Of course not. Picking up the cost of the transport there or the cost of the catamaran trip does not mean those things are staffed by Couples employees. Couples does not want guest "buying" special treatment from staff through tipping. They feel, rightfully so, that we should all get that special treatment from staff every day and not have them following around those who flash money. "Staff" is the definitive word though. When something is contracted out they are not staff. Maybe the Couples policy could be stated a little clearer but this is not hard to understand. Especially with the extra info here on the message board.

    No one is ever required to tip anywhere they go in this world. (OK...maybe on a cruise) Do what you feel is right with non Couples employees and all will be fine. Respect...

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