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Etiquette Advice

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Hey everyone!

 

We're having our wedding in May at the Iberostar Laguna Azul in Varadero. 

 

I've been to Varadero before and loved it- great beach, great rum, great people. 

 

I'm just putting the finishing touches on my website, and had my mom look over it today. She didn't like a section I made titled "Cuba Tips," where I tell people who haven't been to Cuba before, that it's a nice idea to bring toiletries, clothes and other items for the staff. I also said that if someone receives great service, the staff really appreciate tips. 

 

I was grateful to receive this advice before my first time to Cuba, as I like being able to help out anyone who's less fortunate. I thought passing on these tips would be a nice idea... however, my mom thought some guests might be offended by it. Now we're not sure if she's old fashioned, or if I'm overstepping some boundaries.

 

Advice? 

 

Thanks ladies (and any gents who might be hanging out on here)   :)

 

Linner

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I think you should still put that info on your website - but maybe there is a way you can phrase it so your mother won't think you are telling your guests they are obligated to bring items for the staff. 

 

Instead of saying "It would be nice if you brought...." you could say "In my previous trips to Cuba I did x,y, & z and it was really appreciated by the staff".

 

Hope that helps!

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I included that information on my website as a "heads up" type of situation. Here's the language I used: "Additionally, while the food is included with the cost of staying, keep in mind that tipping the staff is customary and sincerely appreciated." Just couch it in conditional terms and no one will get offended.

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Originally Posted by clgriffi7 View Post

 

I think you should still put that info on your website - but maybe there is a way you can phrase it so your mother won't think you are telling your guests they are obligated to bring items for the staff. 

 

Instead of saying "It would be nice if you brought...." you could say "In my previous trips to Cuba I did x,y, & z and it was really appreciated by the staff".

 

Hope that helps!

 

 I agree.  Try to state it in a way that doesn't make people feel guilty if they can't bring stuff.  I don't think you're overstepping your boundaries.  good luck

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I don't know why would anyone get offended. Helping those in need should be in our hearts! We are fortunate to have so much and do posses a lot of junk in our homes that we don't need.

However, do consider the fact that hotel workers such as maids and servers are one of the richest people in the country. Try perhaps give those things away to other workers in the hotel or even outside of the hotel.

 

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Rewording it a bit sounds like a great idea, I love everyone's suggestions. Cubans make a general salary of 20 cuc a month, maybe if your mom knew that she would be a little more understanding? That said, Dmitry is right. Workers in the tourist industry are amongst the most well off in Cuba, most even more so than doctors. It is a little backwards.. 

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A way to explain it might be something like "obtaining every day items in Cuba even if you have money can be very difficult, therefore providing items in lieu of cash tips is very acceptable"

 

Hit things we had were kids clothes, disposable razors, pantyhose and ibuprofen/tylenol, but even simple things like a box of nice pens goes a long way.  I ended up leaving my set of pens at the front desk after watching the girls fight over the one I accidentally left at the desk. 

 

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