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Cruise ship shopping
Old 11-26-2011, 03:36 PM   #1
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Cruise ship shopping

In just under 7 weeks I will be cruising the Caribbean. I've cruised once (Alaska glaciers almost 9 years ago) but need a refresher on duty free shopping. I don't shop for the heck of it, but if there are some good deals on jewelry and electronics I may be tempted. I am thinking about an iPad2. Is this an item I might expect to find sans taxes?
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Old 11-26-2011, 03:56 PM   #2
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Save your money. My experience is that cruise ships are a place to dump electronics that no one wants. You can find better prices online at Adorama, B&H, etc. I don't know about jewelry, but I suspect the same thing. The cruise is just a way to separate you from your money.
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:31 PM   #3
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I have never found great bargains in the caribbean except on perfume & make up but since you are arriving in Florida early you may find great bargains in the local stores as compared to Canada . There are also outlets near most of the ports and in January they will be giving great deals . Also if your cruise has a stop in Key West they sell some reasonably priced interesting art there and very funky jewelry . The Caribbean is beautiful. If you are going to St. Thomas skip the shopping and take the ferry to St. John's . Have a great trip !
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Old 11-27-2011, 01:56 PM   #4
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I've been on a couple of cruises and don't understand the "shopping" activity at all. Of course, I do not understand shopping @ home either, so there's that. Those ships sure do push the shopping opportunities don't they?

On our cruise thru the PC we went on a number of excursions and every one of those suckers ended up in an area the gave us "plenty of shopping opportunities." Oh brother...
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Old 11-27-2011, 11:21 PM   #5
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Those ships sure do push the shopping opportunities don't they?
Spouse saw the "art auctions" as mainly a drinking opportunity...
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Old 11-28-2011, 04:41 AM   #6
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Mead: as an avid cruiser with 22 cruises under my belt and counting, skip the shopping. As others have posted, you can find better deals every day. The art auctions may be a good deal, if that's your thing, due to a tax loophole. I once worked w/ a lady who cruises as much as we do and she and her husband loved to decorate their house with art pieces.

Now, if you want some cruising tips, like how to have your favorite alcoholic drinks using your own booze, then that's another subject ;-)
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Old 11-28-2011, 05:31 AM   #7
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In just under 7 weeks I will be cruising the Caribbean. I've cruised once (Alaska glaciers almost 9 years ago) but need a refresher on duty free shopping. I don't shop for the heck of it, but if there are some good deals on jewelry and electronics I may be tempted. I am thinking about an iPad2. Is this an item I might expect to find sans taxes?
+1 to what the others say. Tax free does not mean profit free. Things with high taxes, such as tobacco and alcohol, can be found for less than "onshore" US. The only savings you would find on an iPad would be sales tax, and you might get that buying online.
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Old 11-28-2011, 02:29 PM   #8
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Yes, tobacco and alcohol are about the only things I have seen cheaper on cruises. On a couple cruises we have had on board credit from a promotion or something. We found out you can use it at the on board shops to buy alcohol and cigs. I don't know anyone who smokes so didn't get the cigs, but I recall name brand cigs for something like $3/pack whereas they sell for $5/pack stateside in my tobacco friendly state. And cigs are light weight. We usually clean up on top shelf liquors. Rums, whiskey, tequila etc are our poison and are usually sold for less than the price of bottom shelf stuff back home (or bottom shelf is unavailable, and it sells for 1/2 price of local liquor stores). Good way to use up your on board credit.

All other shopping seemed gimmicky. Jewelry, perfumes, trinkets, electronics etc. Never really looked that closely at the prices to compare since I don't buy a lot of jewelry, perfumes, trinkets. And I get electronics at dirt cheap prices stateside by buying smartly.
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Old 11-28-2011, 06:35 PM   #9
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I'm a veteran of only two cruises - one an ocean cruise and the other a river cruise. Add to that a few cruises on Navy ships - WestPac, Med, etc. The only shopping I would recommend afloat is in the ship's store on Navy ships. And you sure as hell couldn't get booze in those stores! The cigarettes were cheap but I'm not even sure they're available in today's Navy.
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Old 11-28-2011, 06:57 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone. I don't smoke, so I guess I'll be saving my money!
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:39 PM   #11
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The only shopping I would recommend afloat is in the ship's store on Navy ships. And you sure as hell couldn't get booze in those stores! The cigarettes were cheap but I'm not even sure they're available in today's Navy.
You had to make your own booze!

The smoking lamp has been removed from submarines. (I can remember the "good ol' days" when you could hardly see across the control room for the nicotine haze, and we used to initiate fire drills with cheap cigars.) The humorous aspect of the smoking policy decision is that it's caused an order of magnitude more fuss than putting women onboard. The fleet response has been along the lines of--
BUPERS: "We're adding women to submarine crews."
Fleet: "Yeah, sure, whatever. We can use more watchstanders. But why can't I smoke onboard?!?"
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:47 PM   #12
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In just under 7 weeks I will be cruising the Caribbean. I've cruised once (Alaska glaciers almost 9 years ago) but need a refresher on duty free shopping. I don't shop for the heck of it, but if there are some good deals on jewelry and electronics I may be tempted. I am thinking about an iPad2. Is this an item I might expect to find sans taxes?


I picked up some Johnny Walker for a friend that was very cheap compared to the US.
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Old 11-28-2011, 09:56 PM   #13
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I picked up some Johnny Walker for a friend that was very cheap compared to the US.
Was the Johnny Walker cheap, or was the friend cheap?
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Old 11-29-2011, 01:37 PM   #14
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Mead: as an avid cruiser with 22 cruises under my belt and counting, skip the shopping. As others have posted, you can find better deals every day. The art auctions may be a good deal, if that's your thing, due to a tax loophole. I once worked w/ a lady who cruises as much as we do and she and her husband loved to decorate their house with art pieces.

Now, if you want some cruising tips, like how to have your favorite alcoholic drinks using your own booze, then that's another subject ;-)
Do tell.
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Old 12-01-2011, 08:17 AM   #15
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Was the Johnny Walker cheap, or was the friend cheap?


they both were He was cheap and the Johnny Walker was too.
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:06 PM   #16
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I've been to about 10 cruises, including a few in to your destination.
The things on sale on cruise ships are nothing but junks!!!
I don't buy anything in those ships and eat only the food included in the fare.
There's a few high end jewelry shops in Aruba! but they are still expensive and how you can bring it back to the US, I do not know.
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Old 12-01-2011, 08:29 PM   #17
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The only thing I buy on the cruise are the inexpensive Pashminas and in Mexico I buy silver jewelry .Once I found these wine glasses I loved in Mexico so I had them wrapped and carried them home . Two weeks later I saw them at Pier one .
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Old 12-01-2011, 10:43 PM   #18
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Do tell.
It's called Rum Runners!
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