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  1. #101

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    Tipping absolutely happens and Iíve felt it has been expected by certain staff members.. am at Tower Isle right now and have witnessed lots of obvious tips being given and received. Never seen one refused yet. Actually felt pressured by at least two different staff to give something. Will report on comment card when we leave.

  2. #102

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    We have been to CN 5 times and have another trip coming up in April. Last time we were there I saw more tipping than usual, but still not a lot compared to Tower Isle. Most of the time it was out in the open and the employees did not try to hide it. However, I did not feel pressured to tip. We went to Tower Isle about 3 years ago. I saw a lot of tipping, way more than CN. I felt pressured from several employees to tip. I noted this on my comment card when we left. We will probably not return to CTI because of the tipping issue. One of the main reasons we go to Couples is because we don't have to worry about money while we are there. If we start feeling pressured to tip employees, we will have to look at other resorts. I really hope management takes this seriously. They will lose a lot of repeat customers who love Couples for many reasons, one of them being the no tipping policy.

  3. #103

    Default Tipping

    Quote Originally Posted by amyandmikem View Post
    We have been to CN 5 times and have another trip coming up in April. Last time we were there I saw more tipping than usual, but still not a lot compared to Tower Isle. Most of the time it was out in the open and the employees did not try to hide it. However, I did not feel pressured to tip. We went to Tower Isle about 3 years ago. I saw a lot of tipping, way more than CN. I felt pressured from several employees to tip. I noted this on my comment card when we left. We will probably not return to CTI because of the tipping issue. One of the main reasons we go to Couples is because we don't have to worry about money while we are there. If we start feeling pressured to tip employees, we will have to look at other resorts. I really hope management takes this seriously. They will lose a lot of repeat customers who love Couples for many reasons, one of them being the no tipping policy.
    Two years ago at CTI we felt a lot of pressure from the bellman to tip after delivering our luggage. After review, Couples informed me my post would not be shared on the board.

  4. #104

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    Have been to TI (x2) and CSS, I have seen some people tip and always at the bar. Quite frankly, in life and on vacation I don't care what other people do or what other people expect. Do what's right. To me, tipping at Couples isn't right because 1) couples says that they will fire someone who accepts them, 2) it isn't expected and is included in the price. I feel no pressure to tip at couples and won't no matter what a few others do. If they change the rules and expectation, I would then have to do it. I can't image having to carry around literally a hundred dollar bills to tip for every drink, towel, opened door, snack, smile, etc. (think the original movie Dumb and Dumber when Lloyd Christmas is tipping everyone he walks by)

    BTW, I have always had awesome service and plenty of smiles from every couples team member. In fact, we talk about Chino (sp) from TI with fond memories; he is so hospitable we envision him running the place some day! I hope to see again this year.

  5. #105

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    Wife and I are making are first trip to cti in october. so i understand tipping is a no no according to cti policy, but seems like many are doing this. so what is the right thing to do? Also talk about bubba kegs are they allowed or not?

  6. #106

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    The original post was written by management and they are quite clear on the rules. My advise is to adhere to policy. You will get different sides to this, here is mine:

    In our 12 years going to Couples this has always been the hottest topic. The rules on tipping have never changed one bit. The right thing to do is to not tip. Anyone caught accepting tips will be fired. Despite what some may say about this... it is a fact and has been witnessed by guests. I don't know how someone could live with themselves knowing a staff member got fired and they were responsible for it. I'm not sure I would ever get over it.

    I wonder how some of the "tippers" would feel if clients ignored the policy of their own business and decided to do whatever they deemed necessary because they felt it was better for YOUR employees... behind your back I might add. As long as you don't find out it should be ok right? If you found out, you would most likely be parting ways with those clients and firing your own employee for insubordination. How is it a good thing to have any company's rules compromised? I just don't understand how kind, respectful and knowledgeable people can justify themselves to disregard the rules. The policy is quite clear...there is no gray area.

    One of the reasons we picked Couples was because of the no tipping policy they have in place. There is no butler service or special drink bands to wear. We all get the same great special service.

    As far as the bubba kegs go... bring 'em if you want. The bartenders are not supposed to mix drinks in them, but you can order 2 drinks and simply pour them into your own mug.

    Hope you have a great time at CTI. I'm sure you will be a repeater soon.
    CTI - 07, 10, 13, 15, 16, 18

  7. #107

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    Quote Originally Posted by outbackmac View Post
    Wife and I are making are first trip to cti in october. so i understand tipping is a no no according to cti policy, but seems like many are doing this. so what is the right thing to do? Also talk about bubba kegs are they allowed or not?
    Tipping is not allowed at Couples and employees really can get fired for accepting tips. You're tip is already included in the price of your stay. PLEASE DO NOT TIP!

  8. #108

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    Im going to weigh in here with a suggestion... even tho no one asked. I would like if Couples allowed guests to leave a tip in an envelope with staff members name on it AT CHECK OUT for those they felt went above and beyond. That way no need to carry money around... no one would get better service because of tips... and those that want to tip because they want to reward exceptionally good service would be able to. It would be an "extra" and certainly not expected. Also, the current policy of it being ok to give "gifts" during your stay but not $ also seems odd to me. Just my two cents...

  9. #109

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    My wife and I have been to CTI the last two years. We have never tipped and have always been treated like royalty. We like to take chocolates or small gifts for the staff that have made our vacation extra special, we will either give them to the staff the night before we leave, or give the gifts to the girls at the front desk with instructions on who the gifts are to go to when we depart; if we dont see that particular staff member on our last night. On our last trip i seen a few Bubba Kegs. Have a great time and enjoy yourself, you will not want to vacation anywhere else!! Say hello to Byron (one of the bellhops). And keep an eye out for "Chris Rock" while at the resort. When you see him let him know that his snorkel buddies are missing him!!!
    One Love!!

    RickNDarla

    CTI--2016, September 2017

  10. #110

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    I really like the no tipping policy because you can just lock up your wallet and enjoy your week. I did have an issue though. An employee (not naming or pointing fingers) informed my husband and I that tipping was not required but allowed. Then proceeded to tell us about the small amount of pay they receive and asked us for a tip twice that day. I felt really uncomfortable and avoided him the rest of the day. I knew they could get into trouble for accepting a tip and didn't want to get him into trouble.
    I'm sure it was an isolated incident. I have visited CSA five times and never had that happen.
    I believe they should inform us about the no tipping policy at check in. It would clear up confusion for most guests at the beautiful resorts.

  11. #111

    Default I vote no.

    Quote Originally Posted by mshell View Post
    Im going to weigh in here with a suggestion... even tho no one asked. I would like if Couples allowed guests to leave a tip in an envelope with staff members name on it AT CHECK OUT for those they felt went above and beyond. That way no need to carry money around... no one would get better service because of tips... and those that want to tip because they want to reward exceptionally good service would be able to. It would be an "extra" and certainly not expected. Also, the current policy of it being ok to give "gifts" during your stay but not $ also seems odd to me. Just my two cents...
    I vote with a big no. What starts as optional evolves into expected which evolves into entitlement. We came back from CTI a couple weeks ago and saw two incidents of tipping - one to the arrival staff in the lobby and one to a bartender at the patio/pool bar. Not a hint of "no thank you." I am married to a wonderful woman who believes in living up to the expectations of others. After we saw those two incidents, she started a conversation about whether we should also be tipping. That policy is high on the list of what keeps me coming back to CTI, and why I don't use Uber anymore since it implemented a tipping-optional feature, as it evolves into an expectation from the drivers.

  12. #112

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    Just got back from CTI. Only saw one attempt to tip at the bar and it was promptly refused by the employee with a "we are not allowed to accept tips". It was not under the table so I am quite sure the guest did not know. We found no pressure from anyone to tip. I am constantly surprised by the number of people who do not know of the no-tipping policy. It seems like every trip on the shuttle to the resort I am telling someone who did not know of the no-tipping rule as one of the things that attracts me to Couples. If management is so vehemently pushing the no tipping rule, there should be more emphasis on it during either the booking or check-in process.

  13. #113

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    I wanted to way in on this, mainly because I know the mb is moderated and would like management to see the comments. We just returned from our 6th visit to Couples (7 & 8 are already booked). The no tipping is a top reason for repeating. Honestly, we would go broke trying to tip everyone who treated us well. We have had as many (maybe more) positive experiences with gardeners and housekeeping as we have had with service staff. This visit, tipping was very prevalent. For the first time ever, a new bartender (said he had been there 6 months), straight out told me to give him some cash. This was on our first full day. We were very concerned that this would be the tone for the entire stay. However, we did not encounter that staff member again. The rest of the visit was great. During this visit, we also had the opportunity to meet several first timers. Without exception, every one of them asked if the no tipping was really true. This is were we hope management is paying attention. When we checked in, tipping was not addressed. While waiting in the lobby for an excursion, we watched three couples getting checked in. One of these couples asked if they needed to tip at dinner, the response was "it is not necessary". That was it, even when directly asked, the no tipping policy was not explained. Staff members can lose their jobs for accepting a tip, that should be explained! The stress of wanting to tip and the stress of wanting to accept a tip should not rest on the guest and staff, management can resolve it simply.

  14. #114

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    I remember suggesting to Couples about two- or three years ago via the Message Board that, upon check-in, guests should be advised of the 'no-tipping' policy.

    Further, I stated that a hand-out card reinforcing this should be a part of the Welcome Package for every guest upon arrival.

    Last October we saw a senior waiter accept a tip surreptitiously in the Veranda restaurant. We thought he should have done better because he knows better.

    If so many guests can report such blatant violations, surely the Couples management must know about it. The various supervisors, and every member of staff could list the names of those who they know violate the no-tipping policy; so, why is Couples doing nothing about it.

    Frankly, I think the management does not really care one way or the other, once the guests come in. Spouting that guests are not required to tip is an attractant to get the guests into the hotel; nothing more.

    If the guest is the hotel's number one priority, then why isn't Couples seeking the guest's interest?

  15. #115

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    Was there in April for 8 days, unfortunately tipping rules are not enforced, tipping was rampant at the pool bar, on check out the employee handling baggage was openly taking tips. Not saying the employees do not deserve tips but if you are going to have a policy enforce it or do not have the policy

  16. #116

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    We were at CN in April and I did see some tipping. I saw people tipping a couple times at Heliconia. It was done very discreetly, so I'm sure the guests knew they weren't supposed to tip. One of the guests tipping said they come to CN every 6 months, so they obviously are aware of the policy. I also saw tipping for the Couples employee loading the baggage on the bus when we were leaving the resort. This is the first time I saw that. I can't tell if the employees don't want to offend anyone, so they just take the tip to be polite. It's frustrating for everyone else who is trying to follow the policy by not tipping. I wish it was enforced. With that being said, we had great service without tipping.

  17. #117

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    Michelle: Are the baggage handlers/watchers at the Couples Lounge in the airport and the shuttle driver/bag handler paid by Couples?
    Or are they paid contractors? I was thinking itís ok to tip luggage handlers and drivers off of the resort. Thought may be ok to tip until wallet is locked in room, then no more tips until checkout (wallet out) and bags are being put on shuttle for trip to airport.
    Are you saying the baggage handlers and driver are told to not expect a tip? This will be our first trip to Couples Resorts for which transportation is included. Guess this is why so many are tipping these workers. Just want to know that transportation folks are rewarded by Couples. Thanks

  18. #118
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    369
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    Default

    Hi foreverbarefootSXM,

    If you are referring to the baggage handlers, they are not employees of Couples. However, the staff at the Couples Lounge that would welcome and host you until its time to catch your shuttle to the resort are employees. With regards to shuttle drivers, whilst they are paid (through the contracted company) by us, they are not direct employees so you can tip them.
    Michelle Gordon
    ------------------
    On-Island Social Media Coordinator
    Couples Resorts

  19. #119

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    Michelle: thank you, that answers my question. I appreciate all you do.

  20. #120

    Default Couples Should Make Examples Of Staff Who Receive Tips

    Quote Originally Posted by amyandmikem View Post
    We were at CN in April and I did see some tipping. I saw people tipping a couple times at Heliconia. It was done very discreetly, so I'm sure the guests knew they weren't supposed to tip. One of the guests tipping said they come to CN every 6 months, so they obviously are aware of the policy. I also saw tipping for the Couples employee loading the baggage on the bus when we were leaving the resort. This is the first time I saw that. I can't tell if the employees don't want to offend anyone, so they just take the tip to be polite. It's frustrating for everyone else who is trying to follow the policy by not tipping. I wish it was enforced. With that being said, we had great service without tipping.
    I think this whole debate would come to an abrupt end if only Couples would do what it has been threatening to do for ages, but NEVER DOES.

    They need to make examples of some of the staff, especially those who THEY KNOW accept tips.

    It is either that they FIRE about half-dozen of them on the spot (enough offenders so that the remainder of them will get the message that Couples is serious about this issue), or suspend them for at least four weeks each without pay.

    The word will get around and those who really care about their jobs will be careful to say "No Thanks".

    There has been too much talk on this subject and Couples is turning a blind ear to it.

    It is time for some ACTION.

  21. #121

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    I'm surprised at how many guests do not know about the no tipping policy. I wish it would be mentioned at check in. If not, how about a pamphlet given out with a map, faq's and general rules about the AN areas and tipping.
    CTI - 07, 10, 13, 15, 16, 18

  22. #122

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    I totally agree with cyldealp, we have seen tipping at CN as well, and it's disappointing. I really with management would do something about it. My husband feels compelled to tip when he see it happening and I always have to remind him we ALREADY paid for the tips.It's not cheap to fly from CA and stay at CN, so I really appreciate it's ALL-INCLUSIVE including tips. I think if management had a progressive discipline program like we have where I work it would be a deterrent for staff to accept tips.

    CN - 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018- Come on September!

  23. #123

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    We just returned from CN on 7/7/18. We talked to several first timers that were tipping at every meal and at the bar. They had no idea that there was to be No Tipping. We informed them of that policy and also that employees could lose their jobs if they are caught taking a tip. How is a first timer supposed to know about this policy? Most people will just go to their travel agent to book it and, obviously, the TA is not informing them if they even know about it. It also seems like most people don't research the Couples website. I totally agree with doncindy that this should be addressed at check-in. There was even one couple that didn't know the Snorkeling was included. People definitely need to do some research on where they are going on vacation. WE HAD A PERFECT VACATION. THANKS COUPLES!!

  24. #124

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    We returned on 7/7 from CSA. We witnessed a few people tipping at the beach bars. One guy clearly knew about the policy because he would try to give it to the bartender and say "Here, I found this on the beach." None of the others were discreet about it at all though which led me to believe they just weren't aware of the policy. The employee did politely reject the tips, only for the tippers to be insistent. He would then take it and immediately just toss it aside and leave it there in plain sight. Clearly not trying to pocket the money as it would sit there all day. It did appear he was probably doing the right thing and telling management where it came from since he had no intentions of hiding it. We didn't notice it anywhere else, but also don't pay a lot of attention to others while in the restaurants. It just hard to not notice at the bar.
    Last edited by Kyle; July 11th, 2018 at 11:16 AM.

  25. #125

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by doncindy View Post
    I'm surprised at how many guests do not know about the no tipping policy. I wish it would be mentioned at check in. If not, how about a pamphlet given out with a map, faq's and general rules about the AN areas and tipping.
    I made this recommendation in a post a few years ago, but, as usual, Couples has done nothing about it.

    Over the years I have seen no effort on Couples' part to stop this unsavoury practice. Maybe the hotel would rather have it continue to please a few, than do what is right to satisfy the many.

    I am terribly disappointed.

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