Port Shopping Guide 2016
Port Shopping Guide 2016
Shop ashore with confidence.
When it comes to the Caribbean, there’s so much more to love than white-sand beaches, swaying palm trees, and delectable local dishes. It’s known as a shopper’s paradise—and it lives up to its reputation.
The ports of call are brimming with stores and boutiques selling imported luxuries—think: designer jewelry, brand-name watches, perfumes, the latest electronics, and more—at prices up to fifty percent less than what you’ll pay for the same items on the US mainland. Whether you’re buying unique gifts for family or friends or treating your deserving self to a shiny souvenir, you’ll find shopping in the ports to be fun, easy, and affordable for any size budget.
The values you’ll find in the ports of call are so plentiful that even the savviest shopper can use some guidance. Want to know if some islands are more wallet-friendly than others? If there are any specials this week? How to get the best bling. And what’s the deal with duty free? Let Royal Caribbean’s Port Shopping program be your guide.
The Port Shopping program is a comprehensive—and entirely complimentary—service with a multitude of resources available to save both time and money in the ports of call. And the best part is, you can shop with confidence. The cruise line’s shopping experts invited only the top stores in each destination to be a part of the Port Shopping program and guarantee any purchases made at stores listed on the official Port Shopping Map.
Read on to find out the answers to all of your questions and prepare to be inspired to pick up some out-of-this-world vacation statements and mementos.
Saving Big While Shopping Ashore Is as Easy as 1, 2, 3
The best ways to work some retail therapy into your days at port—because vacation time is not the time to stress out.
1. Attend the Port Shopping Talk
The talk is given by your ship’s resident Port Shopping Guide, the person whose job it is to help you shop in the ports of call. These experts are excellent resources for information and insider tips, which they dole out freely at the Port Shopping Talks. You’ll learn how to get the best price for whatever it is you are looking for, like color-changing T-shirts, couture tanzanite, and diamond pendant necklaces. The Port Shopping Guides also host dedicated watch-buying workshops and diamond and gemstone seminars—a must for anyone interested in taking advantage of the huge island savings.
Your Port Shopping Guide is also the keeper of VIP Cards, which secure an elevated level of service at select stores, and the giver of the Treasure Pack—a free book packed with offers and giveaways you won’t find anywhere else. The talks typically take place on the first sea day, but it depends on the itinerary. Check your Cruise Compass for days and times. If you miss the talk, you can catch replays on the Port Shopping Live channel on your stateroom TV.
2. Bring Your Port Shopping Map Ashore
Only the stores on the official Port Shopping Map are backed by the cruise line guarantee, so take it with you. It will be delivered to your room with the Cruise Compass the night before your port visit. The stores carry extensive collections from the world’s top labels—including exclusive pieces and lines you won’t find back home. Got a sparkle obsession or want an unforgettable vacation memento? Trusted names such as Hearts On Fire, MarahLago, Korite, Kabana, Effy, Crown of Light, Safi Kilima, True Love, Mark Henry, and Unity have options for all tastes. Be sure to set aside enough time to browse. If you already have a specific brand in mind, use the map’s handy Brand Finder to find the authorized retailers or contact the Port Shopping Guide during desk hours.
3. Register Your Purchase
After your port shopping spree, register your purchases for complete peace of mind. Whether you went for ruby bangles, a Larimar necklace, or a classic timepiece, rest assured that you, and your mementos, are protected. See your Port Shopping Guide during desk hours (check the Cruise Compass for times and locations), or www.RegisterYourPurchases.com for the online form.
Watch Out Now
Why Buy a Watch in the Caribbean
Calling all watch aficionados and novices alike: if you’ve been waiting for the perfect moment to get the ultimate gift for your wrist, now is it.
While on board a Royal Caribbean cruise, attend the Watch Buying Seminar hosted by your Port Shopping Guide for the best tips on how to get the most bang for your buck.
For example, did you know that the base price of a watch is set by the manufacturer, and it’s the same everywhere that watch is sold? Stores in the US then add tax and duty fees to that base price. However, in the ports of call, the shops sell the same watches tax- and duty-free.
Depending on the timepiece you’re buying and the port you’re buying it in, you could save enough money to cover the cost of your cruise ticket—just by purchasing it at one of the shops ashore.
Those designated boutiques carry some of the largest collections of the world’s best brands, including rare models and limited editions not available anywhere else. In the mood for sporty? No problem. Like a classic look? They’ve got it. Want a vacation statement that will stop people in their tracks? There’s a watch for everyone under the Caribbean sun.
To attend the Watch Buying Seminar, simply check the Cruise Compass for details.
Caribbean Shopping Ports
One of the best parts of a Caribbean cruise is the chance to visit the ports of paradise, each with its own special brand of allure. Some are lauded for the best beaches, others for unusual wildlife. These five are celebrated for the shopping—duty-free, tax-free, luxurious shopping for top designer goods at unbeatable prices.
Charlotte Amalie, the capital of the US Virgin Islands, has cemented its reputation as the shopping capital of the Caribbean. US citizens enjoy a $1,600 duty-free allowance here—twice as much as on other Caribbean islands. The streets are lined with eighteenth-century warehouses converted into luxury shops packed with imported brand-name merchandise. Looking for bargains on fine jewelry and watches? Here’s a must-hit list: Diamonds International, Crown of Light Boutique, Tanzanite International, Effy Jewelry, Milano Diamond Gallery, and Mark Henry. Of course, there are a number of stores to get your fix of perfumes, liquor, and cosmetics—perfect gifts for friends and family back home.
Silver jewelry, colorful pottery, gourmet vanilla extract, and Mexican textiles are just the tip of the iceberg in San Miguel, the only city on this Mexican island. There’s a superb collection of duty-free shops filled with luxury labels. Think: sterling silver accented with white sapphires, pear-shape couture tanzanite, color-changing alexandrite gems, and pure white diamonds. There are also limited-edition watches from world-renowned brandslike Hublot, Bulova, and Fendi. Start your day at the brand new Forum Shops in the center of town, and if you need to fuel up, the street has many local restaurants where the guacamole is fresh and the margaritas are toast-worthy.
Shiny stores packed with shiny things: it’s no wonder Falmouth, Jamaica, is quickly becoming one of the Caribbean’s top shopping destinations. The rising star’s retail stores are housed in a new shopping complex steps from the cruise pier. Take advantage of some of the best prices and collections the Caribbean has to offer. Caviar diamonds? Check. Rose-gold rings? Yes, please. Alexandrite gems accented with 18K yellow gold? Definitely. For anyone looking to treat themselves, there are also watches, electronics, liquor, and art. The Historic Falmouth Cruise Port is also the hot spot for local souvenirs like jerk seasoning, rum, and Blue Mountain Coffee.
The Dutch capital of Philipsburg is one of the chicest shopping destinations in the Caribbean. To get to all the action, head for the narrow, cobblestoned Front Street, which runs parallel to the boardwalk by Great Bay. The duty-free shops offer stellar savings—up to forty percent off mainland prices—on watches, fine jewelry, cameras, and liquor. For those looking to invest in some dazzling jewels, collections such as Crown of Light, Korite Ammolite, Color Diamonds by Effy, Unity by Milano, and more await. The shopping on the French side of the island can be pricier than what you’d find at home, so stick to the guaranteed stores in Philipsburg.
Savvy shoppers refer to this refined island as Brand Cayman, and after one look around George Town it’s easy to see why. No sales tax means savings on top of duty-free prices. The area near the tender docks is home to large emporiums and bustling shopping centers that proffer a vast array of local and imported items. Black sapphire earrings, genuine tanzanite, True Blue diamonds, alexandrite pieces, and more are at your fingertips, plus top watches, designer sunglasses, and state-of-the-art electronics.