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Tipping is in the culture


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#261 Drew

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 04:51 PM

Wow, what a concept! How surprising people are motivated to work harder if they know there's more money in it for them, and not to work so hard if they are going to earn the same no matter what. Yeah I'm sure it's only ugly Americans who think like that, everybody else gives 100% just for a fair wage. :D


Well certain cultural attitudes actually supercede $ incentive based motivations. I went diving in Okinawa and my fin strap broke. My dive guide, without me even asking, went the next day by bus to get me that replacement strap and fixed it. Did not charge me transport fee or labor, just the cost of the fin strap. My US instincts said tip...the local custom said no. A very sincere thank you was all Aya needed.
I agree that by and large, the world is becoming more incentive based, but $$$ isn't the only incentive. Pride, cultural practices etc all come into play. And that's why respecting the local culture is important.

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#262 MitHere

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 07:32 PM

So, let me ask this. Where in the world is tipping not expected, even from Americans? Are there places where tipping would be an insult?
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Tipping in NZ is very weird too. In NZ, if you want to thank someone for a job well done - you usually give someone a box of beer or a bottle of wine but perhaps that speaks more to our drinking culture. I remember my Mum really scraping the bottom of her purse for a five dollar note as a tip at our next-door neighbour's restaurant when I was younger and she was REAL sour about it. You can be fired for accepting a tip in NZ in some places, although, lately, in the big hotels this is becoming a more regular thing. Why Americans can't just stop at affecting their world with foreign policy and embargos is beyond me. I personally can't stand tipping. My girlfriend and I are on a "budget" trip. Ie, we are spending around $40 US (500MXN, 25EUR, GBP etc) for a year or more around the world and we're still expected to tip?
Tipping is a disease from the USA :D
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#263 Drew

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 08:30 PM

MitHere
It's only a disease when there's no immunity... otherwise it's just another bacteria. And tipping purportedly started in the UK, but evolved in the US. :D

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#264 JackConnick

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 10:35 PM

When I go to more remote locations, particularly on liveaboards, I try to take along an extra tool or something. I've found that most of the guides really love a "leatherman" sort of tool. They are cheap enough at Costco, and I think something like that can really show your appreciation.

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#265 Steve Douglas

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 09:25 AM

But Jack, do you give everyone on the liveaboard a leatherman? How about the cooks, mechanics, the person who cleans your cabin? All these crewmen contribute towards a good liveaboard experience, not just the divemasters or skiff operators.
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#266 cor

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 11:51 AM

I still haven't really heard a good argument for the insane disparity between national average income in some countries, and the tipping that is often even requested in pre-trip documentation. And I wish boats would be more open about how tips get divided.
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#267 MitHere

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 03:13 PM

But Jack, do you give everyone on the liveaboard a leatherman? How about the cooks, mechanics, the person who cleans your cabin? All these crewmen contribute towards a good liveaboard experience, not just the divemasters or skiff operators.
Steve

I think tipping should be personal though and that's why I think the giving something is cool... Not to everyone but maybe to the person that made your trip. I spent a month doing my undergrad research and I gave my non-boot fins to my mate and a box of cigarettes. My other mate got a dive knife. Stuff they couldn't hope to get in the Solomons (Bar cigarettes) and they were stoked. Except once they got that they said next time they want a cellphone and a new mask. Plus I gotta take them oil for the outboard...
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#268 focker

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 10:43 PM

I have read this thread over and wanted to get a little input. My wife and I are thinking about a live aboard for 11 days in Raja Ampat and the "suggested tip" is 10-15%. The trip is about $10K for both of us and it would seem that to me that 1K to 1.5K is a lot of money on top of the cost of this trip. What would be the advice of proper tipping for those that have done a live aboard in that area?
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#269 Drew

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 11:32 PM

Which boat suggested 10-15%?

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#270 dirtydave

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 01:18 AM

I look upon tipping as something I am blessed to be able to do. I am earning more than 95% of the worlds population, mostly because of the happy accident of being born in a rich country (Canada). I am able , and willing, to give back to the less well paid people who work their butts off, often for very little reward, to make my life even better. This is the absolute minimum that we should be doing, if we are able. The greed and stingyness of some well to do people is a curse uon them. Money is just a medium of exchange, it comes and goes, I'll have more tomorrow. Maybe I\m just worried about my Karmic debt load, but I want to make sure that I spread my blessings around. It is the absolute minimum I should be doing. Plus who can be unmoved at the expression on the recipient's face when they are given an unexpected bonus. That being said, I think that only good or extrordinary service deserves a bonus. Tipping well is our duty and pleasure. Be happy that you are able to have the money to tip.

#271 focker

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 08:08 AM

Which boat suggested 10-15%?

I hope everyone understands, I just want to make sure this is the standard.
The Arenui. Here is the policy:
Q: What about crew gratuities?
A: Gratuities for the crew are not included in your trip price. If you appreciate the service provided by the crew, we suggest a gratuity of approximately 10%-15% of the published package price per person, what is considered the standard amount aboard a dive liveaboard. All tips are split equally among the boat’s crew (around 21 employees). We do not encourage personal tipping. The giving of gratuities can be done in cash or by credit card.
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#272 Steve Douglas

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 08:27 AM

Which boat suggested 10-15%?



Drew,
Almost every liveaboard I have been on, and that is plenty, has suggested that amount. For a couple paying close to 5k each for the trip, that amounts to a great deal more.
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#273 MIKE POWELL

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 08:29 AM

I look upon tipping as something I am blessed to be able to do. I am earning more than 95% of the worlds population, mostly because of the happy accident of being born in a rich country (Canada). I am able , and willing, to give back to the less well paid people who work their butts off, often for very little reward, to make my life even better. This is the absolute minimum that we should be doing, if we are able. The greed and stingyness of some well to do people is a curse uon them. Money is just a medium of exchange, it comes and goes, I'll have more tomorrow. Maybe I\m just worried about my Karmic debt load, but I want to make sure that I spread my blessings around. It is the absolute minimum I should be doing. Plus who can be unmoved at the expression on the recipient's face when they are given an unexpected bonus. That being said, I think that only good or extrordinary service deserves a bonus. Tipping well is our duty and pleasure. Be happy that you are able to have the money to tip.


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#274 wizbowes

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 08:29 AM

I hope everyone understands, I just want to make sure this is the standard.
The Arenui. Here is the policy:
Q: What about crew gratuities?
A: Gratuities for the crew are not included in your trip price. If you appreciate the service provided by the crew, we suggest a gratuity of approximately 10%-15% of the published package price per person, what is considered the standard amount aboard a dive liveaboard. All tips are split equally among the boat’s crew (around 21 employees). We do not encourage personal tipping. The giving of gratuities can be done in cash or by credit card.


That seems crazy to me. Firstly if everybody else paid the same a you - that would mean a $570 tip per crew member per week. $25k a year in tips alone for somebody working a 44 week year.

Secondly - basing the tip on the package cost is a little odd. People who travel a long way should tip the staff more? Do they get a better quality of service too.

But then I'm English and think that a $150 tip for a week's diving is more than generous.

#275 Drew

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 09:02 AM

I hope everyone understands, I just want to make sure this is the standard.


I understand. I'm just a little surprised Luigi would put that in writing. That said, the guides on the Arenui are excellent, and the crew are paid crappy wages compared to what is charged. Nowadays Indonesia liveaboards (or at least 7-8 boats) are now breaking the $450-550 a night mark, whereas this was a level that's usually reserved for 2-3 boats in Indo. And they are booked solid for about 2 years in advance. I have to wonder with 10-14 crew onboard, are they taking advantage of gratuities as wage compensation, like waiters in the US?

I have been on many trips on quite a few liveaboards in Indo and only ones I've heard of having a "recommended" gratuity percentage were the Peter Hughes ones. Then again I think it's who you book through as well. I tend to book direct so I don't get these packets from US agents which do all these sort of things.

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#276 Kenr

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 04:31 PM

I'm keeping this alive in 2012.

I believe that sometimes the 10 to 15% suggested tip for liveaboards is too much. For example the Philippine Siren costs about 3450 for 10 days. That would amout to tips for all of the crew of $322 to $483 each a week. The boat takes 16 divers and has a crew of 12. I assume that they get paid something from their employer. Considering the pay scale in the Philippines, with degreed accountants and teachers earning $400 to $500 a month and Registered nurses earning $300 a month, I don't get tipping 4 to 6 times average professional salaries. Somehow I don't think that all of those tips are actually making it to the crew. I bet they could hire an 18 year old gal to clean for 250p a day plus food and lodging and that would be enough. Please explain the economics of this to me. Maybe the crew has to pay for their room and board and work for free?

#277 focker

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 09:43 AM

I understand. I'm just a little surprised Luigi would put that in writing.

I have been on many trips on quite a few liveaboards in Indo and only ones I've heard of having a "recommended" gratuity percentage were the Peter Hughes ones. Then again I think it's who you book through as well. I tend to book direct so I don't get these packets from US agents which do all these sort of things.


This amount did not come from my travel agent but in fact is from Luigi (or his FAQ writers :) ) and can be view on the Arenui FAQ page here:
http://www.thearenui.com/faq.html

I have been on many cruises of the traditional sort and the standard to tip is usually around $10-$15 per day per person that is divided among the crew. I have really been pondering that we are spending $11,000 for my wife and I to go on this trip and then looking at $1100-$!600 in tipping for 12 days on top of that. I guess my feelings are with the cost of the cruise being on the high end I would rather they charge even a little more up front and say that gratuities are included.
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#278 Steve Douglas

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 10:31 AM

Wow, still the longest running active thread in Wetpixel history! Unfortunately, there is the assumption that all divers who go on these trips are so wealthy that they can afford the 15% of a trips total cost not including the outrageous cost of airline fees and extra baggage tallies. It reminds me of the time I was in S. Africa many years ago and someone there asked me whether it was true that New York streets were paved with gold. While the crews on these live aboards do work hard and receive salaries that pale in comparison to most American and European incomes, their salaries are higher in ratio to their own countries normal salaries and thus, they earn a good living for the country they are living in. Then add the tips and they do ok. What they don't understand is that, for many, divers might save up for years to go on these vacation trips and that 15% of a $4500. trip is beyond their own income and savings. Sure, if you earn big money maybe you can afford to tip that big but that is not the case for probably the majority. Do most crews deserve a good tip, absolutely, but one has to be pragmatic about what they can afford and not stretch their own boundaries out of guilt. Tip what you can afford to tip and don't worry about it.
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Edited by Steve Douglas, 29 January 2012 - 05:43 PM.

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#279 Drew

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 11:35 AM

I'm keeping this alive in 2012.

I believe that sometimes the 10 to 15% suggested tip for liveaboards is too much. For example the Philippine Siren costs about 3450 for 10 days. That would amout to tips for all of the crew of $322 to $483 each a week. The boat takes 16 divers and has a crew of 12. I assume that they get paid something from their employer. Considering the pay scale in the Philippines, with degreed accountants and teachers earning $400 to $500 a month and Registered nurses earning $300 a month, I don't get tipping 4 to 6 times average professional salaries. Somehow I don't think that all of those tips are actually making it to the crew. I bet they could hire an 18 year old gal to clean for 250p a day plus food and lodging and that would be enough. Please explain the economics of this to me. Maybe the crew has to pay for their room and board and work for free?

I'm not sure we can judge it that way. In a world where athletes are paid MILLIONS to kick/throw/hit a ball around, who's to say DM/boat crew aren't supposedly to earn more than accountants/teachers? Is it any less professional to make sure the guests don't drown, get lost at sea or eat properly?

This amount did not come from my travel agent but in fact is from Luigi (or his FAQ writers :) ) and can be view on the Arenui FAQ page here:
http://www.thearenui.com/faq.html

I have been on many cruises of the traditional sort and the standard to tip is usually around $10-$15 per day per person that is divided among the crew. I have really been pondering that we are spending $11,000 for my wife and I to go on this trip and then looking at $1100-$!600 in tipping for 12 days on top of that. I guess my feelings are with the cost of the cruise being on the high end I would rather they charge even a little more up front and say that gratuities are included.

I guess I should read the info packs moreover then. :)
Let's be fair to say that higher end establishments tend to have better service, and thus the gratuities are higher. From presentation to which side to serve from etc, luxury is something I'm sure we all can enjoy.
I'd add that salaries aren't all that high and some places, the local crew get less than the foreign crew.

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#280 loftus

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 04:44 PM

This got me thinking....is there any way to kill a thread? Maybe say something politically incorrect, but then I'd be blacklisted.
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