Re: Boat Crew Tipping

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Posted by Ken Kurtis on July 28, 2006 at 15:41:04:

In Reply to: Boat Crew Tipping posted by Walt on July 28, 2006 at 12:56:50:

<< The cruise lines and some other operations already do this - it is upfront and applies to all. >>

When Holland America did this, it was added to your bill at the END of the trip (not upfront) and it wasn't exactly mandatory. You could opt out of it simply by stating so. (Might have even been able to do that at check-in but my dad treated for the trip so I never dealt with it directly.)

On top of that, there was a stink when it was discovered that HAL and other cruise lines were skimming a processing fee off of the top, to cover their adminstrative costsa for tracking the program and distributing the "tips".

Personally, I'm torn on this one. I don't think it should be mandatory or up-front. But I DO include the expected tip upfront for all of our foreign trips. The difference there, though, is that I'm holding on to all of that money until the end, when we present it to the crew. If the service isn't up to snuff, then we'll either reduce or withhold it. (I've only had to do that once in 25 years of travel.)

But on a local basis, I'd like to see more dive shops in their briefings point out that there will be a tip jar out at the end of the day that's for the boat crew (not the DMs) and that if the customers got good service, they should leave an appropriate tip, anywhere from $5-20 as see fit. By mentioning it in the brieifng, it puts it in the customer's minds. We do that on all of our SoCal trips and it seems to make a difference, at least from what the boat crews tell me and from looking at what the tip jar holds.

Ken Kurtis
NAUI Instr. #5936
Co-owner, Reef Seekers Dive Co.
Beverly Hills, CA

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