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Tipping Guideline For Galapagos Liveaboards?

Discussion in 'South America' started by cleung, Aug 1, 2019.

  1. cleung

    cleung Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Mississauga, Canada
    Going on my first Galapagos liveaboard (first ever liveaboard actually) this Sept. What would be the general guidelines for tipping? Who to tip and how much in general?
  2. runsongas

    runsongas Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: California - Bay Area
    10% of rack rate is suggested.
  3. DiveTheGalapagos

    DiveTheGalapagos ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    That 10% is shared by guides and all crew members evenly - usually 11 people. I wrote this years ago. It still applies.

    TIPS: On the final full day, you will receive an envelope in your cabin in which you may leave your tip for the crew. Tips are discretionary and based on services rendered, but it is an important part of the crew's income. On all cruises in Galapagos, both dive and naturalist cruises, the recommended amount is 10% of the cost of your cruise. The dive guides and the rest of the crew will split the tips evenly.

    The dive guides’ importance to your week onboard tends to be rather obvious and often, they are the only ones who speak English. So if you need to relay a message to any crew member, you may need to do so through your dive guide. But the rest of the crew are equally important. Every crew member is working at least 14 hours a day.
    • The captain who safely piloted you through the intense Galapagos waters and is always vigilant to make sure the entire crew are doing their jobs well.
    • The first mate who is piloting when the captain isn’t and is most likely one of your panga drivers.
    • The panga drivers with eagle eyes who are always there so you aren’t waiting at the surface to be picked up.
    • The chef because, face it, delicious abundant food on liveaboards is essential. Ever tried preparing 3 meals and snacks for 28 people day after day?
    • The engineer and machinist who fill your tanks with just the right mix and keep everything mechanical running smoothly.
    • The steward who makes sure your cabins are clean and you have everything you need.
    • The barman who is both your bartender and waiter. We all know the difference service makes.
    Each crew member performs vital services to the experience you have onboard and the memory you leave with. And, again, if they are doing a good job, you won’t even realize it. So remember when you’re tipping that sometimes, no contact with certain crew members makes it seem like they were irrelevant to your trip when they were, in fact, completely vital.

    10% may seem high at first glance, but if you divvy it up, it's not as much as it seems. Example: If you tip $500, that's less than $6.50 pp per day...for excellent service in an advanced and remote location. If you are from a culture unaccustomed to tipping, please respect the culture you are visiting.
    Eyegore, oly5050user, Johnoly and 2 others like this.
  4. CWK

    CWK Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Probably on a LOB somewhere
    In many of the diving hotspots around the world, tipping is a practice that is alien to the local culture. By all means respect the local culture as has been suggested.

    Americans tend to tip more, Europeans and Asians tend to tip less as it is not usually part of their culture.

    Tipping is discriminatory, tip whatever you are comfortable with.
    outofofficebrb likes this.
  5. runsongas

    runsongas Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: California - Bay Area
    how is tipping discriminatory? I don't understand that comment at all

    areas such as the caribbean and red sea are also diving hot spots and tipping is common. indonesia and the philippines might be some of the best spots to dive, but that doesn't mean they are the only areas people travel to dive.
  6. outofofficebrb

    outofofficebrb HARRO HUNNAYYY

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, California
    5-10% is what I have seen suggested from the 9 various liveaboards I’ve been on. I am unsure if Galapagos is an exception or whether it falls in that realm but wanted to give you a starting point. Various boats divide it up differently. It is best to ask what their arrangements are so that you allocate and budget accordingly with the amount you plan to give. Sometimes it gets divided evenly among all staff, sometimes there is a separate crew vs divemaster, and I have also seen it divided by crew vs divemaster and Captain. For guides, some boats suggest that if you want to give a specific guide more, you can do so in-hand. Double check.
  7. BAMA6977

    BAMA6977 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Gulf of Mexico
    10% is what I plan and is what I tipped for last Galapagos Trip. If really great crew, food and service that 10% can go up.
    At end of my Galapagos trip was handed two envelops and was asked to split tip based on what I thought should go to dive guides and what to crew. First time for that and not sure I liked that option.
  8. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    Meant discretionary
  9. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    I have only done exotic liveaboards Red Sea, Cocos, Galapagos and Revillagigedos. I have had excellent service on each of these trips and paid in excess of 10% for a tip for the entire crew. Please see the excellent post above by @DiveTheGalapagos. In the Red Sea, I had panga drivers that literally saved my life during a storm on a night dive. I paid an extra tip to a guide at Galapagos. All of these people make your trip, don't be a stingy bastard if they have done a good job.
  10. Johnoly

    Johnoly Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    I'll echo what you said with an addition. Like you mentioned sometimes you want "Thank" an individual more.

    If you fold up a paper currency into a small palm sized square or roll, and place just the corner of it between your thumb and index knuckle, you can discreetly reach out and shake that individual's hand infront of the rest of the group to transfer the money and they will know exactly that you appreciate them individually, without anyone else noticing. I do it all the time.

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