(SOLVED) How Much Do You Tip A Dive Boat Crew?

At that moment, I had had the same feeling I get when I go to a restaurant with someone who has never been in the restaurant service industry 🤓 Often, we will encounter a waitperson that is “weeded”, “slammed” or “triple-sat” 🙈 Or, sometimes the kitchen messes up an order. Whatever the case, a person who has been in the restaurant industry can usually sympathize with the server because he or she has been in that same situation before. And, a person who has been a waiter or waitress not only knows how hard the job is, but also just how important tips are to both the income and feelings of a waitperson. But a person who does not know the dynamics of being a waiter or waitress may quickly pass judgment onto the waitperson by leaving little or no tip.
If you are on a multi-day dive trip, should you tip the divemaster/crew on a daily basis or at the end of your stay? If you know you will have the same divemaster and crew for the length of your stay, it is appropriate to tip at the end of the stay. However, one drawback here is that the crew may think you are not going to tip them at all. If the crew changes daily, tipping at the end of each day is recommended. That way the tips will be distributed more appropriately to those who gave you the service. (last emended 66 days ago by Laurann Iverson from Sekondi Takoradi, Ghana)
Image #2 gives further insight. Knowing who to tip can also be confusing. Some operators explain how to leave a gratuity, and sometimes it’s completely up to you. If you don’t know, ask how the shop divides gratuities. Often in-water staff and boat captains share tips, and some shops and operators split gratuities between all staff. Handing a staff-member the money and clarifying who you intend it for is generally okay as well. Bringing envelopes for longer trips and passing them out accordingly at the end is also common. Don’t forget that staff may be filling tanks, arranging for special excursions, or rinsing your gear at the end of the day. Those people may not be on the boat with you. Often a general tip for shop staff, and extra for those who ran your dives is a good approach. (emended by Amanda Lopez from Fuqing, China on May 30, 2021)
Image #3
As stated by the researchers at, what better way to end a pleasant day’s diving than by hitting a bar and ordering some vacation food? While you’re there, why not kick back with an adult beverage, too? The bar staff of whatever establishment you care to decompress in will no doubt be more than happy to furnish your table with food and drinks, and in return the vast majority of North Americans will be equally as happy to leave a tip for their efforts. The unwritten rules of paying gratuities on food and drinks, like many other services in life, are clearly understood and adhered to. My experience of working as a diver, however, shows me that for some reason the etiquette of tipping culture in the aquatic service industry is far more blurry. When I think of times that I have worked like a dog on a dive charter only to be rewarded with a smile and a thanks, to other times when I have been tipped generously for very little effort, I have to wonder why is the act of leaving gratuities for the dive crew such a wild and untamed beast? (we say thank you to Judah Bennet having brought this to our attention).
I have only been abroad once (Panama) and can’t recall how I tipped. Folks will say it varies greatly around the world. My diving in the U.S. Is simple–2 boat dives in a day and $10 per dive (so $20US). People will say it used to be $5/tank and now the standard is $10/tank. I give it to the divemaster, usually before the boat leaves the dock (especially if I have been on the same boat with him before). That way I carry no money on board. I rarely boat dive anyway, and can’t recall any bad experiences with DMs. I figure that in most cases in the US the DM doesn’t get paid–a whole ‘nother interesting topic. Though I don’t DM charters myself, I know what is involved, and what the had cost, money and time-wise it is to become a DM. So I hear, Captains and other crew usually get paid a salary (or he owns the boat, etc.). A crew member who doesn’t get paid AND doesn’t get to dive is probably just crazy. I would also suggest doing a search as this is one of the most common questions on Scubaboard–and you will get the same array of replies. (edited by Akisha McFadden on February 4, 2020)
Kelly-Anne Kidston

Written by Kelly-Anne Kidston

I am a writer of many words, from fiction to poetry to reviews. I am an avid reader and a lover of good books. I am currently writing my first novel and would love to find some beta readers who are interested in getting an early look.

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