Silver, real silver, is a good buy in Mexico. Most of the jewlery stores give extra discount to cruise passengers. Make them show you the stamp to ensure it's authentic silver, don't buy from street vendors with the stuff on blankets. Stay away from gold and precious gems, they are expensive and quality is not that good. Onyx is a good buy as is turquois. Vanilla is also cheap in Mexico and very good. Tequilla and cigars are good buys. You really have to watch the prices on leather goods, you could get a good buy, but know your prices. I looked at a leather jacket that they wanted $300 for, I knew I could get it for around $100 in LA, so I didn't barter with them. Recently purchased similar at home, probably a little nicer lining for $120. Knock off designer bags are great looking and cheap, also wool blankets. You can shop at the duty free stores for cologne, perfume, cosmetics, all the things that usually have import tax, so that's a savings.
Happy shopping, (best prices are in Mazatlan), other ports have the same stuff, just more expensive, beware of Mexican Rolex's (made in China) they fall apart pretty easily.
Actually I'd like to make one exception to the previous post about gems. Mexican opals are often quite excellent if you shop wisely and if you know opals.
Talavera pottery from Puebla is excellent too. The best two stores are Majolica and Talavera, etc. Mexican Pewter is a very good value in P.V. too. The caviar and camenbert cheese are both excellent, but may be a problem at the border. You can enjoy these on the ship. Some of the Mexican wines are excellent. Monte Xanic makes great cabernets and chinen blancs.
I agree that the vanilla is outstanding. Also if you are bringing back liquor, get a bottle of "Controy." It is an excellent substitute for cointreau or Grand Marnier and very inexpensive. It is wonderful on fresh fruit as a light summertime dessert.
Hopefully he is still there, but there is a studio of Sergio Bustmante..one of Mexico's leading artist.. You will see cheap copies of his work in every flea market, gift store, etc. But he does sculptures,jewelry, maybe paper mache now...we own several of his pieces, including a pendant. The studio as I remember it years ago was on a side street..We even went to far as to fly from P.V. to Guadalajara to his main shop..
i bought my wife a mexican fire opal in acapulco and had it taken in to my jeweler when we got home and i was very happy with what he told me about the deal we got on this beautiful opal...red orange colors thru it very pretty....no complaints from me.
The Bustamonte shops are still in P. V. There is one on the Malecon (the street running parallel to the beach downtown), and one on the street behind it. Agree that his stuff is nice....wife has two pieces - both pendants - a dolphin and one of his trademark suns. Both are sterling with 18K gold embellishments. His studff is not inexpensive, and there is no bargaining, but it is well worth the price.
We bought a fire opal last trip (April, '05). However, the stores that had the best selection were on the Southside, on Olas Altas near Andale's.