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richstacy March 12th, 2006 05:02 PM

port talks. shopping
One of my biggest gripes, and it applies to every cruise line I've been on is Port talks that dwell excessively on shopping. As if most people cruise so they can get a bargain on watches, perfume, and jewels. Some do, most don't.

Hpine1 March 12th, 2006 06:46 PM

All the port talk about shopping to me is just a hype. There are better stores out there that will give you a better price

Fern March 12th, 2006 08:19 PM

After our first cruise we never went to a Port talk again. It's only advertising for the stores from which the cruise line gets a kickback.

We also never wear the "stickers" that are supposed to get you a better deal.

ohanafour March 13th, 2006 06:01 PM

I emailed my husband from my recent cruise telling him that if I saw one more watch, diamond or bottle of perfume I was going to scream! I told him he was lucky he married a cheap wife! I personally didn't see any great prices.....but people were showing off their diamonds on board....whatever makes you happy! :roll:

dina March 14th, 2006 08:22 AM

I'm not a shopper so I skipped all of that. We did walk around the shops in St. Thomas where I was able to pick up some little momentos and mail off some postcards. :D

hombre March 14th, 2006 11:33 AM

it is kind of humorous to me how many people just throng to these 'advertising' sessions' and the volume of printed ads slipped under the cabin door. maybe these folks come from darkest africa somewhere where there are no malls. how do they lug all the stuff home?

Chris64 March 14th, 2006 11:59 AM

In almost all cases you can get better prices in the shops on board the ship then you can get in trhe "preferred shops" in the ports.


dina March 14th, 2006 12:35 PM

hombre - I was wondering about that myself. As it was, I was having a hard time stashing away my couple of t-shirt that I picked up. I suppose jewery is easy to pack away but some of the stuff I saw was huge.

ohanafour March 14th, 2006 12:56 PM

I agree about the onboard shopping. The last two nights of our GP cruise all the jewlery was 1/2 off (at least the stuff displayed outside the shops)...and ladies, don't buy that pretty hand bag for formal nights here...They had some beautiful beaded, sequined and plain for $10! :!:

Will March 14th, 2006 08:01 PM

Shhhh! my wife is one of those gullible shoppers thinking she is getting a great deal.At least she let's me play in the casino,so I love that gullible one,and she has my approval(Not that she needs it,or would listen to me anyways) to purchase what she would like on board,or while in port.

ohanafour March 14th, 2006 08:10 PM

Will, good for you! My husband would do the same...his attitude would be to get it now or you'll regret it later and he'll have to hear about it! Lucky for him I'm more into the knick knack stuff.....I noticed alot of men on the ship had the same (wonderful) attitudes with their wives showing off their diamonds! LOL

pg. March 24th, 2006 06:29 PM

We went to the port talks on our first cruise.
HORRIFIED to discover they are not talks about the ports, just where to shop.

Makes me furious that the cruiselines promote no cultural knowledge or history of the ports we visit. I mean talk about ignorant travel. Some people learn NOTHING about the destination they are going to except where the best stores are???????

Really, why not just cruise from port to port in your own country and get bussed to supermalls and factory outlets?

richstacy March 25th, 2006 12:25 AM

On a recent cruise around South America, and to Antarctica on Holland America's Ryndam, in addition to the commercial port talks we had about 60 hours of very detailed expert lectures on culture, geography, politics, art, music and history of the countries we visited, and an additional 40 hours or so of naturalist lectures on Antarctica plus a 3 hour visit from the scientists at Palmer Station. A lot depends on the cruise line and the destination.

pg. March 25th, 2006 12:58 AM

Richstacy, that sounds wonderful, but, I think we can agree that is not the norm. That cruise was LONG and no doubt not cheap, therefore possibliy attracting a different type of cruiser.
Still the average 7 to 10 cruise on most mainstream lines DO NOT offer such a great informative lecture schedule.
LUCKY you! I would love to do a cruise like that one day. ( and I will, LOL)

alison1170 March 25th, 2006 07:47 AM

My dad just did an Antarctica cruise (Russian ice breaker though). He had a wonderful trip and prefers doing stuff like that over cruising as its less commercial. They were transporting crew onboard to Palmer Station and it was the first time in 7 years that they were actually able to break through the ice and get to the dock at Palmer Station. Talk about an opportunity to tour that place and the stories he heard!

As for shopping, we too skip the lectures, bs and those coupon books that make you spend more to get stuff. Hurry, theyre almost sold out! Most of the time the cashiers ask if we are on one of the ships anyways. As for deals, depends on what youre shopping for. Gems-Id be very wary. Quality is a big issue-they may look nice, but if not mined correctly will crumble in the future. What they pass off as top quality tanzinites is a joke. Prices are not always better either. I found a same cut, color, etc diamond here in town for $2000 less. And as for shopping on board being cheaper, not always so. I found a Caribbean Hook bracelet for a lot less in St Thomas than what was offered for the same one on board the last night.


ohanafour March 30th, 2006 10:58 PM

We started finding the TV shopping shows funny....we're not the type to purchase expensive diamonds (however I met several ladies that did and were very happy) I found the little out of the way shops had some great deals..I personally like to purchase things I know I can't get at home... LOL

Sailing gal April 3rd, 2006 04:27 PM


Makes me furious that the cruiselines promote no cultural knowledge or history of the ports we visit. I mean talk about ignorant travel. Some people learn NOTHING about the destination they are going to except where the best stores are???????
It is a good idea to do your research of the destinations beforehand but many people are not even interested in the culture. It is amazing how many people go for the shopping. To each his own. I do wish I had bought a tanzanite years ago when they were cheap.


AnnieBabie61 April 4th, 2006 07:45 PM

buyer beware...
I bought a mystic fire ring in St. Thomas at one of the shops right by the pier. I really wanted one, and the girl who was showing me the rings was nice but a little pushy. I bit at the sales talk, and bought myself a nice ring. It looked beautiful in the store, but it needed to be sized for me, and it was included in the purchase price. It would've probably cost me 10 dollars a size up ( maybe 30 for mine) I paid for my new ring and was given my receipt to pick it up after my excursion. I came back and picked it up, it fitted nicely, I took it back to my stateroom and it didn't seem to be as sparkly as the one I saw in the store before purchasing. I think they may have switched stones on my ring when they sized it for me. :oops:

So if you buy a ring take it right then and have it sized at home, so you can be sure that it did not get switched.

seattleguy37 October 4th, 2006 02:12 AM

I am pleased to see this post because I got scolded in another forum where I expressed a mini-gripe about the overemphasis on shopping which I thought was excessive: flyers appearing in my stateroom at all hours, the port talks and replayed on the ship channel in case you missed it....NOT! And then of course there was the "shopping ambassador" whose only job was to sell sell sell!! All the stores and products was nothing more than that cheesy jewelry you see on the home shopping channels.

dina October 4th, 2006 07:33 AM

And now that we get charge a percentage of our purchase if its foreign currency, is anything a bargain anymore?

leanrunnerboy March 1st, 2007 03:29 PM

Then..quite simply..don't go to the talks..! The talks usually billed in the program as 'The Port Shopping Talk' what's yer beef..! The talks giving basic port information - how to get around - customs information & where to shop & what to look for. Information can help passengers save a lot of time in port...many of whom want to spend some time shopping. Suggest that prior to your next some research on the internet & find out a little about where you're going..tons of info available with the click of a mouse..
Finally..the shops do not pay a 'kickback' to the cruise lines... clearly stated on the Port Shopping maps..all recommended shops & restaurants pay a promotional fee to be advertised onboard. It's simply information that many passengers find're not being forced to do anything!
I do agree that the cruise lines could do a better job in providing dedicated destination lectures..many of them do - policy varies from ship to ship..
a GOOD cruise travel agent who knows the biz can help here..
Happy Sailing..

subtropic March 2nd, 2007 10:57 PM

I echo Fern. Forget the port talk and the advertising blurbs in the daily cruise schedule. You would think that watches and jewelry are all that is offered throughout the Caribbean. Check out the on board shops especially on the last night at sea !

Fern March 4th, 2007 09:00 PM


Originally Posted by leanrunnerboy
Finally..the shops do not pay a 'kickback' to the cruise lines... clearly stated on the Port Shopping maps..all recommended shops & restaurants pay a promotional fee to be advertised onboard.

Sorry, I don't agree with you on this. Why do you think the "recommended" stores ask which ship you're on?

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