BAY AREA DIVERS
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Tipping in Cozumel Mexico

by Bill Jones

 

Tipping: The Bill Jones' Cozumel 2007 Travel Package includes tips at the resort. If someone gives you extraordinary service, you may feel an additional tip is appropriate. Beware that these employee's can be fired for accepting a tip, but they will usually accept your tip anyway. Just be very discrete. In spite of this, you may see a "tip jar". The jar may appear and disappear depending where hotel management is at any given time.

DiveMaster tipping, even at the on-site dive center, is not included. An appropriate tip is about $1 U.S. Dollar per dive per person, but no more than about $3 per 2-tank dive per person. The tip is normally discretely passed to the head DiveMaster as you exit the boat and before you leave the pier. The head DiveMaster will divide the tips up among the boat DiveMasters and the boat pilot. If you have required extraordinary service for some reason, an additional tip is appropriate but not required. In some circumstances, the additional portion of the tip may be separately passed to the DiveMaster that performed the extraordinary service for you but don't be surprised if that DiveMaster passes your tip to the head DiveMaster for redistribution. You should carry a little money (your wallet should be locked in the safe in your room) in a dry bag inside your dive bag for this purpose. When a group leader is involved (that's me), the group leader is expected to tip a little more. I will carry lots of $1 and $5 bills for tipping, cab rides, and for Wendy's evening dinner excursions (these places do not accept credit cards).

"Over-tipping" (yes, there is such a thing) in Mexico is generally laughed-at behind your back by locals, not really additionally appreciated although accepted, and you are considered either an idiot or a future mark. Locals want your tip, but are proud people, and the tip should always be handed to the person in a discrete manner. A tip that is slightly more than expected is better appreciated than over-tipping. At off-resort restaurants, a 10%-15% tip is appropriate (unless already included in the bill) and larger tips are often considered over-tipping by locals. Having said all of this, tip as you think is appropriate. I've traveled extensively in Mexico and these are my general impressions. I generally tip 15% unless the service is pretty bad. I might tip up to 20% if the service was extraordinary and memorable, and something so great that I would be telling people about the place for years to come.