Question about Watch buying on ship

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#1
216 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
I will be sailing with my wife on the Liberty on March 15. I would like to buy myself a watch. Would i be better off buying it on the ship, or in port. Our cruise only stops at Cozmel, Costa Rico, and Panama so I am not sure any of those places would be good watch buying stops? I would like to keep it around 200-250 US dollars. Any suggestions are appreciated. Happy sailing to you.
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#2
Richardson, TX
71,089 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Cozumel is the shopping port of the world Iv heard, St Thomas second. I would avoid any shop Carnival says they guarantee. I got a tanzinite ring for less than $100 which would have easily been over $350 in any shop Carnival guaranteed, huge mark up (kick back?).

Iv read too many had trouble with those guarantees when the watch stopped working, they couldnt send it back. I guess Id be wary of buying a very expensive watch in a port, you have to really know your prices and models and the prices here in the states first.
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#3
457 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by HiiPocket
I will be sailing with my wife on the Liberty on March 15. I would like to buy myself a watch. Would i be better off buying it on the ship, or in port. Our cruise only stops at Cozmel, Costa Rico, and Panama so I am not sure any of those places would be good watch buying stops? I would like to keep it around 200-250 US dollars. Any suggestions are appreciated. Happy sailing to you.

Hi,

I've never been to your ports of call so I'm not sure if the deals would be better there, but I have always found better deals buying items in port. One thing I will strongly recommend is to use the ship recommended stores. My sister purchased a Movado watch on a RCI cruise in our stop in St .Thomas. It worked in the store and she wore it to dinner that night and by the end of the evening the watch had stopped working. We visited the customer desk, they took the watch and would have it exchanged on the next stop they made at the port which was the following week. They had the new watch mailed to her at no expense within 4 weeks. Had she not purchased from a ship guaranteed store, she would have been out of luck.

Hope this information helps.

Caroline
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#4
Virgina
3,183 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
The deals in the Carribean are not what they used to be 20 years ago. Here's the advice from my mom, who is a jewelry buff:
1) shop here and figure out what you want, especially outlets;
2) an American product as a general rule will be more expensive overseas;
3) if you see something you like on the ship, wait until the last day for sales;
4) make sure you are getting the real deal and not a knock-off by reviewing paperwork and guarantee; and last but not least,
5) if it is too good to be true, it probably is!

Happy shopping.
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#5
2,887 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
We were just on that sailing. You will not find watches for sale at Costa Rica or Panama. At least, not the kind that you probably want. Of the three, I would suggest Cozumel. Both DH and I have bought watches on the ship, and were very pleased with them. Like the other person said, find which one you want, but wait till the end of the cruise as they have different sales every day. For other shopping, I suggest if you see anything you like in Costa Rica to get it. I thought I would wait and see what was in Panama. There was not anything worth while there, and they wanted double for the same things we saw in Costa Rica.
I had no trouble returning a ring I bought on ship when it broke. Just save all your paper work that they give you. You just give them a call if you have trouble and they will give you instructions of where to send it. I had a refund within 10 days.
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#6
766 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
I purchased a watch on my cruise from the gift shop in the store. Fairly good deal and a great watch (Citizen). I did pay less that I would have paid at home andit came with the 1 year gurantee and Price Protection Plan.
#7
Richardson, TX
71,089 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by 123traveller123
Hi,

I've never been to your ports of call so I'm not sure if the deals would be better there, but I have always found better deals buying items in port. One thing I will strongly recommend is to use the ship recommended stores. My sister purchased a Movado watch on a RCI cruise in our stop in St .Thomas. It worked in the store and she wore it to dinner that night and by the end of the evening the watch had stopped working. We visited the customer desk, they took the watch and would have it exchanged on the next stop they made at the port which was the following week. They had the new watch mailed to her at no expense within 4 weeks. Had she not purchased from a ship guaranteed store, she would have been out of luck.

Hope this information helps.

Caroline
This is when the watch stopped working on the cruise. The complaints I have seen here were watches that stopped working after the person got home and it was a very lengthy process to mail the watch in once they got home.
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#8
Shatnerstan
25,064 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by firefly333
This is when the watch stopped working on the cruise. The complaints I have seen here were watches that stopped working after the person got home and it was a very lengthy process to mail the watch in once they got home.
Just out of curiosity, what would the process have been if they didn't have the ships guarantee?
#9
Richardson, TX
71,089 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by big_duck
Just out of curiosity, what would the process have been if they didn't have the ships guarantee?
Beats me I bought a $10 waterproof watch on one of my Princess cruises when I forgot my watch. I know what you are saying, you are stuck if you dont buy at a guarantee store, but seems some thought they were stuck and they did purchase with the guarantee.

I just dont trust the guarantee stores, but thats me. I think there is a huge mark up. We went to a non guarantee store in St. Thomas but it came highly recommended and they do business by mail. There are some good stores not on the Carnival guarantee list, that is all I meant that sell nice stuff. Some people have not been so happy who bought from cruiseline guarantee stores as the folks here. buyer beware.

buy it if you like it and the price seems good, otherwise it is safer buying them from a good jewelry store in the states.
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#10
Gilbert, AZ
219 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Price wise, the Carnival jewelry shop was $0.75 cheaper than the store I was recommended to visit in Grand Cayman (Kirk Freeport).

This overall price was 58% off MSRP, and 32% less than what I could have purchased the same watch for from a local jeweler.

Factor in sales tax, and the savings increases some more.

The watch was a Citizen Skyhawk A-T, and the MSRP shown on the Citizen site is $795.00 (a month or so ago, it was $699.00), which was $315.00 on board the Imagination.



It's a bit of a gamble to buy away from your home turf, but I was willing to take it...
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#11
Rochester, New York
72 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
While we were in St. Kitts in January my husband bought a watch from Diamonds International (Carnival recommended store). While we were looking at the watch the Carnival shopping specialist happened to be in the store and came over and talked to my husband. He looked at the watch and "guranateed" my husband it was the best price around. He'd never find it anywhere cheaper. We bought it. When we got home my husband found it on in U.S. for $325 cheaper. So not all Carnival recommended stores are the best price. I bought two pieces of Tanzanite (a tanzanite and opal tennis bracelet in St. Thomas - it sells on Amazon.com for $1200, I got it for $625) from a "non-recommended" store. I was told by them that Carnival gets a kick-back from the recommended stores, so the stores raise their prices to compensate for this. I was also told this by another store in St. Kitts. Just know your prices before you shop.
#12
489 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Well, in fact, the Carnival Recommended Stores are those who pay Carnival to "advertise" for them. All of those shopping talks are geared to their "affiliate " stores. There are so many other quality stores out there(especially for jewelry), particularly in St. Thomas and St. Maarten. You should always price what you are looking for locally before you go, or at least have a good idea of what the price range may be back home. Then you can find any store you feel comfortable with and by all means....deal and bicker with them until you get the price you want.....Let your gut feeling guide you in terms of the "sleaziness" of the store or the sales person....keep these things in mind and you can find some good deals for sure.

I have bought a lot of jewelry in those ports and never felt that I got a bum deal, but you have to keep your wits about you for sure.

I have also bought watches ashore and on the ship and generally find that I can do better ashore...but you have to bargain with them and don't be afraid to walk away!!!

By the way, I never buy any jewelry (except silver, and rarely ) on the Western Caribbean run, St. Thomas and St. Maarten are the two best places to deal and get a price you will be happy with. Good Luck.
#13
Sparks Nevada
961 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
We've had good luck buying stuff on board the ships. My husband bought a Citizen Blue Angels watch that he only paid $380 for on the ship and they retail here for around $625. We also bought a tanzanite ring on board and got the protection plan with it. Both were bought over a year ago and nothing has gone wrong with either. As far as the ports go, my brother in law bought a "rolex" in Cabo and paid quite a bit of money for it, only to find out by dinner that night, none of the dials were working and it was obviously a cheap knock off, but he thought he got a good deal paying $140.00 for it, but all that money he spent was lost since he bought it with no guarantee or anything. Oh well for him!
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#14
Memphis, Tn area
25,294 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
We bought our son a $65.00 Fossil watch on the Pride. 6 months later (with normal use) the minute hand fell off. We simply shipped it back to

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And our money was fully refunded...no questions asked.

As long as you purchase it on the ship...you have one year to return it for any reason (even buyer's remorse)...just keep the receipt.
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#15
New York
284 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Watches have next to no resale value, so only buy a watch that like the look of and think you'll wear. In any developing nation where the government does not have the resources to enforce intellectual property laws, you should be sceptical that the brand is what it claims to be. If you are buying stainless steel or silver, the watch needs to be heavy. "Gold" watches rarely have any acquaintance with that expensive metal. My DH recently tried to sell a "gold" Movado watch in Canal St in NYC, the dealer (who bought quite a lot of his jewelery) said she was not interested in watches because they had next to no precious metal and were a drug on the market.

If you buy, be sceptical, and buy something you like the look and feel of for a price you like. As soon as you've bought it stop thinking about it. When buying internationally, warranties are usually not worth anything.
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