Originally Posted by Parrot Mom
Sorry, but I think the best thing about St. Thomas after spending a week there is St. Johns...Have never been to St. Maarten so I can't comment, but I do know from reading the boards that St. thomas has become a bit more dangerous than before..Years ago merchants and salespeople told me how they lock the place down the minute the cruisers get back on the ship.. When on a cruise ship many of the passengers seemed only interested in shopping for cameras, electronic equipment, jewelry, etc. on these islands. A guide on our cruise ship said something that I don't think anybody else heard.. he said..."make sure the $$ stays in the country"..in other words... buy at local merchants.. and I did.. Oh yes.. in some ways I'm pretty naive at "flea markets", but what the heck..Oh yes.. the week we were in St. Thomas, Little Switzland and I both did well (I knew my prices and they had an older item on the shelf). A negative was an older woman at our resort bought a flashy diamond tennis bracelet at a well known jewelry shop... when she got it back to the resort discovered several defects in the stones.. Another woman bought (at the time they were new) a digital camera and after talking to my husband realized they did not include important pieces, she went back the next day... What would have happened to these people if they had been on a cruise ship!!! These were two well established shops.. At this point I'm off the subject..sorry about that.. I love cruising please don't get me wrong.. we will of done two cruises by the end of this year..but to me it's the ports and the itinerary and if we ever do a Caribbean cruise again...there are some ports that I may decide to stay on the ship.... as others have and are doing.. they are cruising for the sake of the cruising experience and the ship.
I agree with you that St. Johns is the best of the USVI. No question there!
We have purchased 2 large ticket jewelry items in St. Thomas on our past cruise stops in St. Thomas. I don't remember who told us this, but someone gave us great advice about buying any big ticket item in the Caribbean. First, inspect it carefully before you decide to buy it. Make sure it works or is real and everything is included. Second, once you have decided to purchase it, never let it leave your sight! If they offer to clean it or box it for you, say NO! It stays on the counter until payment is complete, then take it and box or bag it yourself.
Both pieces of jewelry we purchased, when we got home and had them appraised for the insurance, we ended up getting a pretty good deal on our purchases. But I do recall a couple we shared a dinner table with that got rippped off on some electronics they purchased on St. Thomas. It was in a shop on the cruiselines preferred list, so they filed some kind of complaint with the cruiseline. I don't know how it ever turned out.
It pays to careful no matter where you purchase your big ticket goods!