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what gifts to take for the staff?

birmingham
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584 posts
6 reviews
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what gifts to take for the staff?

Hi guys

What gifts do you suggest i can take for the staff at the ID?

i've heard shampoos, plasters, paracetomol? is this right? can you think of any others?

thanks x

Grimsby, Canada
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2,238 posts
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1. Re: what gifts to take for the staff?

Hi sunshine!

Check out this inside page on tipping/gifts

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g147270-c114818/Cuba:…

Athens, Greece
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1,074 posts
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2. Re: what gifts to take for the staff?

Hi Birmingham,

I am assuming that you don't already have established friendships with staff members at the ID. If this is the case, please do not take gifts for them, as you wouldn't take gifts for the staff at a London hotel. Tip for good service, and treat them as the warm, open-hearted people that they are, that's it.

Thinking to bring gifts is indeed generous and considerate of you, it's just that resort workers are easily the richest people in Cuba, so your generosity will be infinitely more useful if channeled through one of the well-established, trusted aid organizations on the island, that will deliver the things you bring to the people who are truly in desperate need of them.

The whys and the hows of gifts and donations: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g147270-i91-k27618… It makes for long reading, but even just the first couple of pages will give you plenty. Not to miss: gengen's post right on page 1.

Tipping insight: tripadvisor.com/Travel-g147270-c114818/Cuba:…

Have a great trip!

birmingham
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584 posts
6 reviews
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3. Re: what gifts to take for the staff?

thanks for the replies ...

pou .... i thought that was what every1 did & that they really appreciated it as they only get paid tuppance for long hours & things like shampoos etc take weeks wages for them to afford x

Toronto, Canada
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4,305 posts
7 reviews
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4. Re: what gifts to take for the staff?

If you are planning to take gifts for hotel staff I encourage you to take gifts and money to leave with staff that generally do not get things from the guest. For example, gardeners, kitchen staff, security, janitorial staff etc... . Generally, wait staff, bartenders and maids are already well taken care of.

Athens, Greece
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1,074 posts
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5. Re: what gifts to take for the staff?

Indeed, Birmingham... There is a "culture" of bringing gifts for the staff in Cuban resorts. It got started at a time when it actually made some sense, but by now it has gotten completely out of hand and it is wreaking havoc in Cuban society.

If you care to read more about it, the first link I gave you has lots, including the history, its effects on Cuban society, and how it's turning Cuba into an unpleasant, unsafe place. If you don't feel like reading all that (and I couldn't blame you!), you'll have to take my word for it. Cuban resort workers are, as I said, easily the richest people there, and the ones who need the least help. By all means, if you have friends in Cuba, take whatever gifts you want to them. But if you're going to donate stuff to strangers, please do it through an aid organization that will channel your donations to the people who really don't have enough food to eat, and not to the people who can afford to buy 300-euro cell phones, in a country where the average yearly wage isn't even half of that.

Grimsby, Canada
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2,238 posts
2 reviews
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6. Re: what gifts to take for the staff?

At the risk of repeating myself, an inside page really needs to be written about this. The thread is way too long for people to read unless they have the time (although it's great!)

So what about it? Gengen? Martian? Steve? DT? Mardi? or any of the other Cuban experts...someone! :) Poupome already declined...

Athens, Greece
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1,074 posts
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7. Re: what gifts to take for the staff?

I didn't decline... I just said I'm probably not the best person to make it concise and with any semblance of neutrality. I'll do it if no one else wants to, and I'll do it happily, even, if someone offers to edit it. I agree that it needs to be done.

n-e england
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1,409 posts
6 reviews
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8. Re: what gifts to take for the staff?

hi

the fiest time i went to cuba i took ,razors,toothbrushes,cosmetics, ect. i also tipped quite a lot (still do tip) now i ask my cuban friends what they realy need last time out took a expensive spray gun, marples carving tools,fishing line,hooks,swivels,lead sinker mould,ect.

i can assure you the bartenders wgho get the most tips only share amongest themselves, the poor dancers get no tips and work there socks off to entertain you,the maids get tips,left over cosmetics, ect, the gardeners,painters ect get very little tips.

i myself this time are taking the local doctor, who looks after the said gardeners, and resort workers, and there families medicines, ie tablets, powders,pills, and inhalers, also ive been asked for schol feet hard skin removers, im also helping my good friend to put a concrete roof on his house, as he and his family was nearly killed in the last hurricane. my good friends off the cubamaniacs site, take good leather shoes for the school children for the families they befriended, but again we cannot help every family in cuba, regards the wagger

n-e england
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1,409 posts
6 reviews
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9. Re: what gifts to take for the staff?

hi again

i took fishing rods out in may 2005, and gave them to two gentlemen on the causway bridge both cubans, lol. this was the best thing they have ever received the rods and reels have kept there families in food with fresh fish.

the fresh fish in moron is very expensive, ive also showed them how to set beach lines, did not cost a great deal but was worth every penny to see the delight on there faces, kindest regards

Havana, Cuba
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5,355 posts
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10. Re: what gifts to take for the staff?

I have not seen anybody with a more precise and accurate take on the whole gift-giving issue than you, Poupame. Please make one if you feel like it.

The sooner the better. Seems there are litterally thousands of people travelling to Cuba who for some reason think they 'must' bring gifts to keep up the lifestyles of the rich resort-workers. At least the number of questions about it implies it.

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