We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Gratuities for Seven Day Cruise

Salem, VA
Level Contributor
324 posts
9 reviews
Save Topic
Gratuities for Seven Day Cruise

The whole tipping thing has me quite perplexed. My husband and I, along with four other couples are sailing on a live-aboard dive boat for one week. The website for the boat’s operator stated that 10% of the total price of the trip is the suggested amount for gratuity. All of us have spent a lot of money for this trip. If we use the operator's suggested percentage, each person would have to bring about $500 for tips. That’s about $71.00 a day per person, which seems a bit excessive to me. Can anyone who has been on a live-aboard tell me what they tipped for the week? (This question was also posted in the Quito Forum as a piggy-back to another user's question. Please forgive a duplicate post if you've already read this)

Ecuador
Level Contributor
392 posts
1 review
Save Reply
1. Re: Gratuities for Seven Day Cruise

Tipping is a religion down here in the islands. At the end of the trip if you don't deposit the desired amount of money, the guide and crew will show you an ugly face. Sometimes crew members and tour companies put some pressure to passengers to increase the tipping amount on board. I will suggest something like usd 15 per head per day. That will be completely fair un less you have a Top Biologist Master Dive Guide on board (which is not the case in most boats) Regards.

Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Galapagos Islands
Level Contributor
3,297 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Gratuities for Seven Day Cruise

Agree with previous poster.

I generally recommend $50 - $75 per passer, once for the guide, and again for the rest of the crew, so you can budget about $100 - $150 per person for tipping.

There was a long string of postings on this subject a few months ago. In the end though, if you feel service was terrible, then you should be free to withhold a tip. You might want to discuss with the guide on the first day of the cruise, to get a general idea.

warmest regards,

Heather Blenkiron

Kiawah Island...
Destination Expert
for Kiawah Island, Charleston
Level Contributor
9,608 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Gratuities for Seven Day Cruise

You know what, we felt the same way you do prior to a trip to Alaska last summer. We never imagined that we would want or need to leave the types of tips that were suggested.

We spent a week on a 62 ft. fishing boat that was set up for kayaking (which we did for 2-6 hrs. daily). There were 6 passengers and 3 crew on the boat, food was fantastic, every day was better than the last, folks were very congenial, spent lots of time answering our questions (crew was: cook, boat captain w/30 yrs. under his belt and a marine biologist/kayak guide) and they all shared without our even asking.

In the end, we left a rather handsome tip and wished we could have left more. So take the money and then put the whole issue out of your mind until the trip is over, at that time make your decision and do what you feel is right.

Salem, VA
Level Contributor
324 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Gratuities for Seven Day Cruise

Thanks everyone! Your advice is sincerely appreciated. My husband discussed this with others in our group. We’ve decided to pool our money with our fellow group members and present it to the guide(s) and crew on behalf of our whole group.

I realize that the subject of gratuities has been addressed repeatedly within these forums. We initially had almost the same figures in mind that Heather posted in her reply so when I read the 10% recommendation from the company, I was shocked. Your advice has helped alleviate some of the stress.

Sunny Queensland...
Level Contributor
2,372 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Gratuities for Seven Day Cruise

Your idea of pooling the tip is a very good one.On our cruise each couple on the boat was given an envelope each of which had a picture of a different animal on it-ie they could identify who tipped and how much.I fortunately usually take a few envelopes with me and a few of these were used-we had no problems.Our tip was in the order suggested by helen although the suggestion was for more.

Sunny Queensland...
Level Contributor
2,372 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Gratuities for Seven Day Cruise

Sorry I was called by my sister and I meant Heather not helen-A lot goes when the grey hairs appear!

Salem, VA
Level Contributor
324 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Gratuities for Seven Day Cruise

Wow. Thanks, DrRon. I wouldn't have expected that there'd be a system to track the envelopes. I'll bring a couple of envelopes with me.

Bedford...
Level Contributor
105 posts
101 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Gratuities for Seven Day Cruise

The 3 of us each tipped $100.00 for the staff and crew at the end of the 8 day cruise and believe they really earned it. They all worked so hard and really made the trip wonderful.

Ali

Salem, VA
Level Contributor
324 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Gratuities for Seven Day Cruise

Thanks, Ali! I appreciate your input.

Gibraltar
Level Contributor
8 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Gratuities for Seven Day Cruise

We just returned from a week in the Galapogos and left what we deemed to be a good tip but was no where close to the "suggested" tip. Before the envelopes were handed out, we were given a sob story about how the economy in Equador is bad and everyone has someone living outside of the country. This really just put a bad taste in our mouth. We spent A LOT of money on the trip and if the tour company is not paying their staff then this is not our issue. We calculated that if everyone gives the suggested amount then the staff would essentially be making more than I do in my investment research job in Europe! Additionally, we were given a very rude send off on the last day, probably because our tip did not meet the suggested amount. That validated our decision, because we now realise the only reason they were being nice was because they wanted a big tip at the end... really gave us a bad feeling for an otherwise lovely holiday