Villa Greeters: few tips for you

Three out of four visitors to St. John who participated in our latest poll said they do not offer a tip to the Greeters who meet them at the ferry dock and take them to their rental villas. 

"By the time I get to St. John, I’ve already given every dime I have to US Airways," said Jesse in a comment on the survey.  "We do not think a greeter should get tipped unless they go out of their way to accommodate you, such as stopping for groceries," added Joe P.

Even while a majority of people say they don’t tip Greeters, more than a dozen comments came from people who do.

"If someone goes the extra mile," said Margy, "we like to show our appreciation." Paul wrote, "We tip the greeter $10 per person in the group, more if we get in real late,"

Comments like these prompted Xislandgirl to write, "In four years of picking up people, I never got a tip.  Where were all you tippers (then)?"

10 thoughts on “Villa Greeters: few tips for you”

  1. We actually did try to tip our greeter for excellent service and we weren’t sure if we were supposed to, or not, but he refused our tip.

  2. We always tip our villa greeter – it may be why he volunteered to drive us to our villa instead of making us take a taxi (we didn’t rent a car) and also when we told him we were walking to town he offered to give us a lift to our destination.

  3. I am amazed at the topics we are now dealing with on St. John. I go way back with my time there (’73). My only preoccupation then was fear of hitting a burro on the road. I am also amazed that some people can be so concerned about a good will gesture to those in service to them. This is so indicative of the times, and the emphasis on “what it in it for me approach to life”.
    I endorse making the gesture to offer a tip, which may or may not be accepted. Anyone renting a villa appears to have the means-if not the will.

  4. I have always tried to tip my greeters, they all have declined. Some have become very good friends. I have just ended up cooking dinner for them or taking them out to dinner.

  5. We tipped our greeter because she waited for us while we rented our car and she showed us around the villa and made sure everything was in working order. She was great!

  6. We always tip our greeters — as well as the guys who load our bags on the ferry. As a longtime waitress, I understand how service pay works — you live on your tips.
    I worked for a while in a DC restaurante that catered to tourists and learned from experience that people on vacation tend to go short on their tips. I guess it’s a fit of economizing. It used to drive me nuts, especially after I had had to deal with their exhausted, unruly kids running up and down the aisles under my triple-loaded tray of plates.
    In revenge, I’ve always tipped or over-tipped service people while I was on vacation. I figure I’m making up for what they are losing to the tourists who, I know, are short-changing them.

  7. Why not tip? I might as well give some cash to a hard worker since I so easily spend it on booze and other things while I’m there. It’s all part of the experience in my book.

  8. As posted by Nancy Hassel – I am amazed at the topics we are now dealing with on St. John. I absolutely agree with this statement! I would like to add the following.
    There was a time when tourists came to sail, or to drink rum, enjoy the beautiful beaches, or listen to live performances of reggae, calypso and scratch bands. Some even came because the Caribbean culture was such a refreshing change from the uptight, materialistic mainland.
    Now things have changed, slowly at first, then with alarming rapidity after 9-11. Whereas the early continental tourist saw themselves as guests and even the very wealthy ones satisfied themselves with modest accommodations or the luxury resort of Caneel Bay, now more and more tourist come down, some of whom are impatient with the old island ways. Now the demand is for high end french restaurants and villas that are totally out of step with St. John’s style, you can even rent a villa with a fireplace, imagine a fireplace in the tropics and the purpose is not for cooking or a coal pot.

  9. People who can afford a vacation on St. John and do not tip for good service are selfish and out of touch with reality!
    Our greeters not only picked us up but were quick to respond when we had questions or problems. They work very hard and should be rewarded for the extra effort.
    We have truly seen a change on the island with what another writer referred to as “the assault of big money”. All the more reason to tip the locals so they can continue to live on the island!

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