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tips/gratuities

las vegas
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tips/gratuities

I know that it has been said that tips are not customary in FP I found this very confusing while I was there. We just got back to the states today and this was one thing that I thought that I should give people the heads up about. First when we paid at the hotel with a room charge there was always a gratuities space on the tab. I felt very obligated to put something in this space and it was always appreciated if I did. Also the restraurants that we went to also had this line (Alfredos twice and Aitos once). I know that you as a restaurant owner can set up the tab to not have this space (in the computer) so I also felt obligated to add something to this line. Granted I never tipped 20% as I would here in the states as the food was already so expensive but we tried at least to shoot for 10% plus there is the 2% service charge on the checks as well. However when we paid at the hotel straight with a credit card, not room charge, there was no line for gratuities. I just found it very confusing as did a few other guests that we consulted. Another note is that there is a big sign in stick-on letters on the Alfredo's transport van that says "rides are free but tips are appreciated". So to say that tips are completly uncustomary, unexpected and even insulting, I think may be an outdated statement.

I will write alot more about the whole trip later (WHICH WAS GREAT!) but I wanted to put this one out there as it was one of the most confusing things abot the trip.

Washington
Destination Expert
for Papeete, French Polynesia
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2,467 posts
152 reviews
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1. Re: tips/gratuities

On yout next trip to FP DO NOT FEEL OBLIGATED

to tip.

Years ago it was an insult in FP to tip but as more and more tourists offered tips it sadly has become

exceptable. The futher you get from the touristy islands the less you see a line marked for tips. I'm glad you had a great trip. Haven't tipped in thirty

years and don't intend to start.

South Pacific
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4,462 posts
5 reviews
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2. Re: tips/gratuities

Soonerford - I've been telling people this for a few years now!! A LOT of people there expect tips! It appears the bottom line is this: tip if you want, but it appears the people won't mind either way.

Tucson, AZ
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191 posts
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3. Re: tips/gratuities

Thanks for this post. I'm a huge tipper here in the US because I was a bartender/server for a long time, but I've also heard that tipping is not expected in FP the way it is here.

I am not familiar with the denominations of FP currency, but maybe an expert out there can tell me if there is a bill that is about 5 or 10 USD that I can have a few of in order to tip in situations where it seems expected....

Also, here in the US a tip of less than 15% or so can be insulting...Has tipping gotten to the point in FP where servers/drivers/etc. are insulted by too small of a tip? I.e., what's a good amount in FP francs to hand a shuttle driver, bellperson, masseuse, etc.? Is a 10% on a food bill too much or too little? Do any of those taxes on bills go to servers?

Thanks!

Washington
Destination Expert
for Papeete, French Polynesia
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2,467 posts
152 reviews
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4. Re: tips/gratuities

FP currency comes in 2-5 alum coins

10-20-50 silver coins

100 brass collered coin

500-1000-5000-10000 paper

Divide by 75 to get the amount in US dollars

What people don't realize is that service workers

in FP get to keep what they earn No income tax-No

social security tax (the employer pays the entire

SS (called CPS) in FP

Tip if you wish but it's not expected in most places.

santa barbara,CA
Destination Expert
for French Polynesia, Cook Islands, Tahiti
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8,501 posts
14 reviews
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5. Re: tips/gratuities

I'm with Hamara on this tipping thing! It is difficult being from the USA and to not tip someone as it is expected here for everything from parking your car to lifting a bag. Indeed the "no tipping in FP" used to be finite. Now one finds tip lines on their bills at fine restaurants. And if a ride is free, then a few coins are in order.

Here is my personal school of thought:

I do not tip as a general rule, especially for baggage handling, taxis, and eating out. I DO tip if someone does something out of the ordinary that is extraordinary like excellent service or truly out of this world food. When I do tip I leave a token tip, Not 15 or 20%. A very small amount to show I appreciate what whomoever did, and will usually verbalize with a "thank you so much for your special service!".

There is ONE person I always always tip and that is my Maid in my bungalow. This tip comes in the form of a gift, not money. There are many things one can bring for the maid who picks up the towels, scrubs the wine off the coffee table, changes my sheets, arranges my girlie bathroom amenties in ways I never dreamed possible, sweeps up the sand I seem to track into every corner no matter how hard I try to wipe my feet, and does it all the while with a smile and usually a song. I give the gift the first day. It usually comes in the form of some perfume, a tshirt from home, chocolates (I know, I know, I'm not supposed to give the islanders candy, whatever...), or a little novelty from my hometown. Sorry to get off on this tangent, but these oh so sweet ladies do so much!

Just my thoughts.

sunny regards,

shully

Las Vegas, NV
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4,920 posts
5 reviews
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6. Re: tips/gratuities

I'm with Hamara on this tipping thing! It is difficult being from the USA and to not tip someone as it is expected here for everything from parking your car to lifting a bag. Indeed the "no tipping in FP" used to be finite. Now one finds tip lines on their bills at fine restaurants. And if a ride is free, then a few coins are in order.

Here is my personal school of thought:

I do not tip as a general rule, especially for baggage handling, taxis, and eating out. I DO tip if someone does something out of the ordinary that is extraordinary like excellent service or truly out of this world food. When I do tip I leave a token tip, Not 15 or 20%. A very small amount to show I appreciate what whomoever did, and will usually verbalize with a "thank you so much for your special service!".

There is ONE person I always always tip and that is my Maid in my bungalow. This tip comes in the form of a gift, not money. There are many things one can bring for the maid who picks up the towels, scrubs the wine off the coffee table, changes my sheets, arranges my girlie bathroom amenties in ways I never dreamed possible, sweeps up the sand I seem to track into every corner no matter how hard I try to wipe my feet, and does it all the while with a smile and usually a song. I give the gift the first day. It usually comes in the form of some perfume, a tshirt from home, chocolates (I know, I know, I'm not supposed to give the islanders candy, whatever...), or a little novelty from my hometown. Sorry to get off on this tangent, but these oh so sweet ladies do so much!

I generally don't tip either. Which is very difficult to get used to because I live in Vegas. Here we do so dang much tipping...we are pretty much expected to tip when someone says bless you after we sneeze!

In FP I think we have only tipped twice. Once at Bloody Mary's. It was our very first trip and the first time we saw a line for a tip, so we did. The other time was this past Feb., to our transfer driver after we asked him to stop at a market so we could get some beer before he took us to our hotel.

I also do exactly what Shully does...I leave a little token gift for our maid. Usually something like a small bottle of perfume, or maybe one of the little lotion, bath gel, spray combo gift sets that have at the drug stores.

Las Vegas, NV
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4,920 posts
5 reviews
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7. Re: tips/gratuities

Okay...it's TOO EARLY!!! Disregard the top portion of my last post...it's a copy of what Shully said. I was supposed to erase that part after I referenced it. Geesh...is it too early to have a drink? :-)

santa barbara,CA
Destination Expert
for French Polynesia, Cook Islands, Tahiti
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8,501 posts
14 reviews
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8. Re: tips/gratuities

Hey Patti:

Glad to hear there is alot of perfume floating around the islands on the wrists of those lovely tahitian ladies who are sweeping up the sand in bungalows all over paradise as we speak. Well, maybe in a few hours when the guests wake up and go for breakfast haha! :)

sunny regards,

shully

santa barbara,CA
Destination Expert
for French Polynesia, Cook Islands, Tahiti
Level Contributor
8,501 posts
14 reviews
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9. Re: tips/gratuities

I thought your post sounded familiar :) haha!

no worries, it's 12 o'clock somewhere so go ahead and pop the cork!

sunny regards,

shully

Tucson, AZ
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191 posts
5 reviews
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10. Re: tips/gratuities

Thanks, experts. I will be very conservative if/when I tip in FP. Now, I have to look for the lightest possible gift I could bring our maid (so as not to exceed my 44 pound limit)! :)