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Tipping Guideline For Galapagos Liveaboards?

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

  1. Tippytoes12

    Tippytoes12 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: UK
    1,021
    437
    83
    The British pound has fallen by a fifth against major currencies in the last year or two, so prices for us have shot up. An obligatory 10 per cent trip would make a trip unaffordable. I did 2 LOBs by myself at times when my husband could not get away and paid a single supplement for the cabins. The concept of paying a double tip is a bit bizarre and I would personally never do it.

    We almost always tip that much, I hasten to add, but only if the service has been very very good. The Asian and other countries visited for diving are not very prosperous and jobs in the dive industry are good jobs. The crew work very very hard, but at the end of the day the security of a job with a fixed salary that you can make life plans with etc etc is better for these guys than many others in their countries.

    But if people want to tip very generously that’s up to them.
     
  2. runsongas

    runsongas Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: California - Bay Area
    3,356
    1,260
    113
    if budgeting for a tip is an issue, taking the trip is likely not financially wise in the first place
     
    BDSC, rongoodman and outofofficebrb like this.
  3. outofofficebrb

    outofofficebrb HARRO HUNNAYYY

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, California
    2,876
    2,169
    113
    Maybe a good balance here is budgeting for the tip based on what the trip would have cost when it was originally booked and not after the currency fluctuations.
     
    Lorenzoid likes this.
  4. CWK

    CWK Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Malaysia
    762
    388
    63
    Well said.

    I think it should be remembered that the cost of the LOB includes full payment for the crew doing their jobs. The tip should be for crew who perform over and above normal performance standards. The tip is discretionary, and in my view, I should be able to tip whom I wish to tip instead of being forced to tip equally across the crew.
     
    Tippytoes12 likes this.
  5. runsongas

    runsongas Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: California - Bay Area
    3,356
    1,260
    113
    the pooled tip approach is considered fairer so positions with less guest visibility aren't neglected
     
  6. DeepSeaExplorer

    DeepSeaExplorer Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Florida
    1,144
    255
    83
    I struggle with this too. I tip in the 20% range, higher on small lunch bills since a couple bucks isn’t enough.

    Whenever we go on trips though, it’s challenging to come up with the right amount.

    We went on a week long raft trip and were discussing the tip. Ten percent was suggested. But, it wasn’t a typical trip. The customers did most of the work. Every day we loaded the boats in the morning, unloaded all the kitchen stuff, set it up and helped with dinner, even washed the dishes. We setup and took down our own tents and did it all over again every day. The last day, I was seriously dreading it. I don’t work that hard at my job.

    Sure the staff was extremely friendly, but I couldn’t bring myself to tip $500 bucks. Us and the couple we were with settled on $350 per couple. Wives wanted the full $500 and men were like $250, tops. So we compromised. There were very few crew compared to the number of customers, so it was still going to be a big payday. By the reaction, I suspect we probably gave the most.

    It was discussed then, and I genuinely want to know, what does the cost of the trip have to do with the tip? I stayed in a hotel in Alaska for 8 weeks. The bill was over $12k. I was not tipping $1,200.

    I read some things in that post above about how to tip that I didn’t agree with. First, there may be 25 people working at a restaurant and the servers usually have a sharing arrangement with the kitchen staff, but that’s not the customers concern.

    My only concern is the person that helped me. A customer can’t be expected to get involved in the finances of the restaurant. Should I ask how many people are working in the kitchen before calculating the tip? Does a restaurant with more staff get a bigger tip just based on that alone? Of course not, so why goes it matter how many people work on the boat, since they’re not all working for tips.

    The cook doesn’t work for tips and neither does the engineer or the captain. Asking to tip for 11 people seems over the top. What about support staff back on land, are they supposed to get a cut too?

    Anyway... I don’t have an answer... just lots of questions...
     
    drrich2, Lorenzoid and chillyinCanada like this.
  7. outofofficebrb

    outofofficebrb HARRO HUNNAYYY

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, California
    2,876
    2,169
    113

    I would agree with you on that trip to Alaska where you did a lot of things on your own.

    As for the hotel, it is not typical to tip a hotel 10%. Some people may tip the housekeeper who cleans the room whether just once during the stay, a daily amount, or just at check out, but it usually isn't 10% of the stay. It is just a little something to show appreciation, if it is done at all.

    The point about the restaurant you bring up is very interesting. You acknowledge that there is a sharing arrangement with the kitchen staff, essentially the staff that is not "visible" to the dining customer. You aren't getting involved with the finances of the restaurant but it is important to acknowledge many people contributed to how pleasant your meal was, from executive chef all the way to the dishwasher. As a team, they contributed somehow to your overall experience.The amount you tip is in most cases, greatly affected by your server who is the face and representative aspect of it. It still goes to the others behind the scenes as they have agreed to it. You aren't tipping more or less because of how many people are working in the restaurant, just as you wouldn't tip more or less on a liveaboard based on how many people are working. It shouldn't be a function of how many people are working. It should be based on the overall experience. There is no doubt that the customer facing positions where people directly helped you (as you defined it) will determine how much tip you give. The same goes for a liveaboard. There are arrangements.

    When you say that all the people that work on the boat are not working for tips.....I greatly disagree with that. I have been on many liveaboards in many countries and I can assure you, just as people work in the restaurant business at home for tips, the locals work on boats and spend a lot of time away from their friends, family, and home, often traveling across the country and spending long periods of time on the boat at sea with no days off because of the pay that is often associated with working on liveaboards. That pay is directly affected by tips. That job and the allure of it, and the prospect of earning that money, is largely affected by tips. Otherwise, they would be a cook on land, near their home with their friends and family nearby and they wouldn't be working 7 days a week and waking up at 5AM and sleeping late. One of my favorite pastimes on a liveaboard is chatting with the crew. Once in a while, I try to eat what the crew is eating and just hang out with them, even if it means a second dinner. :wink: I love to learn about them, their family, where they grew up, how long they've worked on this boat and in the industry, and what their long term goals are. You learn a lot chatting with them and I find it really enjoyable.

    Yes, I agree that you should tip people that have helped you. The engineer ensures that you continue sailing on your liveaboard without issue by keeping the boat engine and the compressor, and other various electrical or plumbing issues in good working order. Just because you were not aware of or did not notice anything go wrong doesn't mean it didn't. It might mean something happened but they took care of it or that they are taking such good care of it that they are ensuring everything is in working order. Captain and mates - I don't see them very often or much at all on liveaboards but they spend all day sailing and even nights doing crossings to ensure we make it safely to our next destination. Kitchen staff - prep, cook, clean up for 4 meals a day so that you stay fed and watered if you are on a boat that includes a light breakfast and hot breakfast, plus snacks. Hospitality staff - being a liason to the kitchen to ensure food is topped up, everyone is given their food as appropriate for respective allergies and diets, rooms are cleaned, linens/towels are refilled and cleaned, beds are made/turned over. YES, this is their job and some people ask why they should tip for people to do their jobs. Well, I don't have an answer for you but here is my response to another post to help conjure up further discussion: Tipping dive master and Tipping dive master

    The easy ones to "see" and "remember" are the dive staff - divemasters, deck hands, etc. What needs to be remembered is this is a complex operation with hotel, tour agency/dive boat op, and restaurant all built into one. It goes beyond just the people you "see" that help you. They are ALL helping you. I am not saying to tip based on how many people you are tipping, but to be aware of how the tipping is arranged on each boat because it really varies. As mentioned before, some boats are 1 giant pool where EVERYONE shares everything equally and if you want to give extra to someone in particular, you hand it in directly to that person separate from the "envelope" which goes to the general pool. Some separate it by divemasters vs. everyone else, some separate it by divemasters and captain/mates vs everyone else. It may not affect how much total you give, but it may affect how you distribute it, if you decide to tip.
     
    runsongas and scubadada like this.
  8. CWK

    CWK Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Malaysia
    762
    388
    63
    My payment to the LOB for the trip includes a component for wages. I have already paid for the crew to perform their jobs, irrespective of visibility.

    I think it is important to recognise that the crew have opted for the "pooled approach". In such an approach, I retain the right to determine whom and how much I wish to tip because they have performed above and beyond expected service levels, which determines the total tip. This amount then goes in the tip box to be shared because the crew has opted for the pooled approach.
     
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  9. runsongas

    runsongas Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: California - Bay Area
    3,356
    1,260
    113
    like it or not, the expected norm is that the tip is for good service, not only exceptional cases above and beyond. you can't be expecting the crew to be recovering your gear from the abyss or saving your life every trip.

    i imagine if you were working on a liveaboard, your point of view about tips would change dramatically.
     
  10. CWK

    CWK Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Malaysia
    762
    388
    63
    There are budget LOBs and luxury LOBs. I think it makes more sense to me to tip for service over and above expected service levels.
     

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