When it comes to the Caribbean, there’s so much more to love than endless 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 50 percent less than what you’ll pay for the same items on the US mainland. Whether you’re buying unique gifts for family and 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? 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.
Watch Out Now For Caribbean Savings
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 onboard 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.
Saving Big While Shopping Ashore Is as Easy as 1, 2, 3
The best ways to work some retail therapy into your days in port—because vacation time is not the time to stress out.
1. Attend a 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 Cruise Compass for days and times. If you miss the talk, you can catch replays on Port Shopping Live, channel 22 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 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 Larimar, Korite Amolite, Kabana, Effy, Crown of Light, Safi Kilima, TrueLove, 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 Cruise Compass for times and locations), or www.RegisterYourPurchases.com for the online form.