We are going to the Eastern Caribbean with RC in September as first time cruisers. I would like to pick up a slide for a necklace. Is there any jewelery stores that are good for that type of jewelery or if you took in your own design that they would make it for you? We don't want to be ripped off, so how do you go about bargaining for this sort of thing. We are also looking at other worthwhile souveneirs to bring home. Also any tips for excursions on above islands, also Antigua, St Lucia and Barbados?
Hi Joyce. I use Touch of Gold as my jeweler in St.Marteen. Ask for Heru. She has some very cutting edge designs but if you have something in mind, she will make it for you. As far as excursions go it depends on what type of activity you're interested in. Sightseeing, snorkeling, historical, etc. I can highly recommend the "Boatyard" in Brabados for a great time. Great lobster sandwiches at a little house right next to this beach for lunch.
Joyce: When in St. Maarten in January, I shopped at "Ray's Jewellers" on Front St. in Philipsburg (where the cruise ships land). This street is the main shopping street, and Ray's is quite a way up the street. You generally find prices on everything cheaper the farther up the street you go.
I accompanied a woman shopping from our tour group who professed to be an experienced jewelry buyer (in locales all over the world), and she found the prices at Ray's to be excellent (she subsequently bought about $5,000 worth). i bought my wife rainbow topaz earrings and necklace at what I think was a good price.
We weren't on a cruise ship, and the staff at Ray's said they would dispense with the usual "bargaining" because there were no ships in town, and just cut to the lowest price. You could probably give them this line even though you were off a cruise ship. They also served champagne, Heinekens or bottled water while you were browsing.
That being said, I bought a Citizen "Eco-Drive" (never needs a battery or winding) watch for $99.00 US, and that seemed a very good price. However, on our cruise on the Triumph in April, I saw a similar watch on sale in the Duty Free Store for about the same price.
Buy all I can gather, St. Maarten/St Martin has the best prices on jewelry, liquour, cigs & cigars, designer clothing, touristy stuff, etc. in the Caribbean.
I really liked St. Maarten, great place, friendly, well-educated population, and not too pushy with sales.
Don't go where everyone does. Where the stores are not busy. also, don't go where the people on the ship tell you. I think they get a kick back. we went to several places and found the people were very nice. ask if they would take less or say that you don't have that much and they will reduce it. Hannibal Jim
Michelle, Gram likes to shop in St Thomas but does not feel terribly comfortable with the little guys on the side streets etc. She likes Little Switzerland, Columbian Emeralds
and Diamonds International. She had a very nice experience buying a bracelet ay the jewelry counter in AH Reise last month.
Gram got kind of mad in Diamonds International. The sales lady did a very big no no.
She tried to wait on two customers at once. In order to do so, she picked up the necklace Gram was looking at off the counter and put it on top of the cash register.
The necklace fell down off the register and got damaged. Of course it was one of a kind.
As a result, we ended up looking in a number of other stores before we found something equivilant. Had the young lady not damaged the necklace we could have saved about an hour of shopping time and gotten to Coki beach earlier.
Michelle, I think I do very well at Beverly's right in Bld. #1 at Havensight. I have been doing busy with Jack for the 8 years that we have been cruising. As you can see, it is easy for me to remember the store name.
I bought A diamond ring at Diamonds International in St. Maarten 2 years ago, and I plan on going to the one in St. Thomas in September of this year. They were wonderful!
We were in and out of just about every shop, and they were the friendliest and had the best deal. I had the ring appraised at home, and its worth twice what we paid for it. I love it, it sparkles like crazy and everytime I look at it I am reminded of our wonderful cruise!
I like Diamonds Internation in St. Thomas. My husband ordered a Kabana ring and they took the perfect measurements and it was shipped from the Jeweler in Arizona directly to our home. No problem at all withthe service Wait till you see all the babbles...
I'm going back in December, I'd better start saving.
I use to work with 2 resorts on St. Thomas and travel there frequently - Diamonds International and Little Switzerland are two trustworthy names. The small guys might give better prices, but you never know about quality. I also like Columbian Emeralds. Good luck - I am doing the same intinerary on Disney this summer. The savings are great in the islands!
For absolute personal, low key, relaxing service AND great prices in St. Thomas, I recommend "Little America", 21 Main St. (at the far end of the main 2 blocks of fancy shops). This is a mom and pop shop with wonderful gold, diamonds, tanzanite. I found them about 10 years ago and we have become great friends. The owner, Parminder and his beautiful wife, Pinky calmed me after a hectic, hot and high-pressured day of shopping in St. Thomas. I was a customer first and now am a dear friend of them both. If you go there, tell them Carol from Michigan sent you. I've sent literally dozens of people I've met on cruises there and every one of them swears by them - both for price, quality and "no hassle" shopping.
There is a "Little America" in Havensight, but I don't know the people there. If you walk all the way to the end of Main St., you'll find my "Little America" - very unpretentious but very fine and kind people.