How Much Should You Tip?:
Who Gets Tipped?:
Who Do You Give the Tip To?:
This is confusing as well, and depends upon the dive shop. As a dive shop employee, if I were given a tip for guiding I would split it 50-50 with the boat crew. If I was given a tip for instructing, I would split it with the crew according to the amount of time I spent on the boat vs the amount of time I spent in the classroom and pool.
Depending upon the group dynamic at the dive shop, it may be best to give each person's tip to them separately and as privately as possible. Otherwise you may not be sure your tips are distributed as you intend. One of the best methods I have seen clients use is to deliver envelopes to each employee containing their tip.
More scuba diving advice:• 8 Tips for Being a Better Dive Buddy      • What to Do If You Panic Underwater
• 6 Steps to an Easier Descent                 • How to Relax on the Surface
• How and When to Use Trim Wieghts      • 8 Methods of Preventing a Foggy Mask
When Should You Tip?:
If you are completely certain you will be diving with only one crew and one guide, you can tip at the end of the week. Otherwise it is a good idea to bring small bills and tip after each dive or day of diving. In this way, if the guide you have had all week is off the last day of your trip, you don't have to worry about delivering his tip to him. This also eliminates the confusion of remembering how many dives you did with each guide, and avoids your tossing a lump sum of money at the guides and crew and letting them duke it out.
Tip at the end of your dive trip or vacation if you are sufficiently organized to specify how much money each person is to receive, or if it is standard practice leave tips in a tip pool to be distributed by the manager among the staff.
Sometimes Tipping Ahead of Time Helps:
Please Don't Tip for Bad Service:
What Do Other Divers Think About Tipping?:
"When traveling most of the time it depends on the place I am diving. Most of the time I tip at the end of a trip if I am diving with the same shop but if I am hopping around I will tip daily. Also I try to tip the boat and DM indepently.
But the thing that is funny to me as a DM here in the states I don’t get tipped very often. But I have come to except that. I didn’t become a DM to get tips and try to give everyone the same service anyway. Normally getting a beer is about the best tip I normally get."
-- One of the Mikes
"I usually tip the divemaster and hope that he will be fair with the rest of his crew. Reason for that is that unfortunately in Mexico, I find small bills hard to come by since a lot of ATMs will only give $500s and $200s, which are hard to break.
I will tip according to the service I get. When diving, I always tip well because I always get good service. And I always get good service because I do my research before booking. If some forums have more than one bad review of an dive operation, then better to stay away. It’s OK to tell a DM that he’s getting squat because he/she is not giving service up to par, but why not try to avoid that bad experience altogether? Vacations are so short to have a bad day of diving."
"Well, personally, I think tipping may vary according to the satisfaction gained by the customer with the services rendered to them. A tip, whether big or small, can already express gratitude to the assistants there."
-- Josh Lunzaga
"Amusing and true comment from Mike, that beer is a good tip. It surely only applies to some staff but I remember when I was starting out with diving and living the backpacker’s life, after every dive I’d ask the instructor to have a beer with me, which I paid for. Sometime some food while drinking. That’s pretty much how I tipped back then.
As I dived more and more, I began tipping 20 to 50 USD or the equivalent in the home currency. Of course it depends on when I give the tip – smaller if daily and bigger if at the end of 3 or 4 days.
Where I work now, we have a tip bowl. Works pretty fine I think."
-- Dive Puerto Galera
"Tipping is indeed a frustrating thing because you never really know what’s expected and whether you’re grossly overtipping or whether you’re being a tightwad. Asking usually yields only non-commital answers.
The answer to the tipping question, I think, is a firm “it depends.” I generally look for clues (like a tip jar or recommendations on info sheets and such), try to ask others already familiar with the situation, and then attempt to be as fair as possible. Personally, I wish dive operations would simply post a brief statement describing what’s expected if you liked the service. Nothing wrong with that."
-- Conrad Blickenstorfer