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My wife and I took a Princess cruise in November and visited many jewelry stores in St. Maarten and St. Thomas, most recommended by the Princess hostess on board. I was only a bit concerned about making purchases because I hadn't researched it at all, but we are taking a Princess Western Caribbean cruise in March and might want to take another look (if the same types of stores are available on the Western side). Mostly looking for stuff for my wife, but I also saw tons of watches and might look for something for me as well. I saw Kay's Fine Jewely had blue diamonds and yellow diamonds that looked really good, anyone had any experience with those?
Anyone have and good/bad stories to share, or tips on where to shop and how to get a good deal.
I did find a couple of previous postes on this topic, but they were over two years old, and wanted to get some updated comments. Any comments would be appreciated!
We to where sceptical and we have used both the Princess recommendations and others and have been more than satisfied.We had the jewelry appraised when we got home from a qualified gemologist and found the appraisal to be more than double what we paid.
We have bought from Omni in St.Thomas and Landmark on Grand Cayman and bargained although not to sucessfully.
On one cruise we went first to St. Thomas and then to St. Maarten and people thought the prices were better in St. Maarten????.A gamble.
On a recent Crown Princess cruise, we purchased a pair of tanzanite earrings at Cardow's in St. Thomas for my daughter. We were back onboard, sailed away and I wanted to look at the earrings which I placed in our safe. Lo and behold, they were not the same pair we had the clerk take from the showcase! One was blue, the other purple and the settings were different on each one. Obviously the clerk had switched the earrings from the time they were taken from the showcase and given to us. She even had asked us after taking the earrings out of the showcase "are these the ones?" We immediately went to the person who had given the talk onboard on shops in St. Thomas and at least Princess made good on our purchase at their sanctioned shop and three weeks later we did receive the correct pair.
My advice is follow the clerk around from the time she takes the item out of the showcase till you see her put that exact item in the box and hand it to you.
We have never been able to find the 'deals' on the Western Caribbean Cruises like we could in St. Martin and St. Thomas in the Eastern Caribbean. In fact, on the Western, we don't even bother to do much shopping anymore. Totally different experience in ports.
We never shop at the Princess recommended stores either. All that means (as stated) is that those stores have paid Princess a fee to advertise them. Have had tons of good luck finding great bling bling in other stores in the Eastern Caribbean though.
I'm shaking in my boots...my wife wants to shop for some bling bling on our upcoming cruise. It makes me nervous. Shouldn't she be happy spending quality time with her husband???
She loves you very much and is just trying to save you all the money by finding those better deals in the Caribbean. My husband always forgets to bring along his CC in St. Martin. He is so forgetful, but not to worry, I NEVER fotget mine. LOL
The best deals I have ever seen are in St. Marteen. I agree with the western Caribbean, not really any reason to do much shopping there. Got a great deal on a watch in St. Marteen. One thing to know is the ship prices are pretty good (especially watches) and you get the guarantee. I found a watch on board that was $75 cheaper than anywhere in the US I looked. Start shopping here in the states so you know what you are looking for and how much is a good deal in the Caribbean.
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Jewelry shopping was cheaper and less crowded in Phillipsburg, St. Maarten. I got a good buy on a tanzanite which I had made into a ring. It was not a ship's store. A well known store in St. Thomas could not come close to price/carat I had paid. However, St. Thomas had my favorite souvenier an ORBIT WATCH. They are a bargain at $10.00 each, and it makes me smile everytime I see "Virgin Islands" on the face of the watch. They were in the Princess Jewelry store...but you have to ask. My thanks to Christy the onboard shopping advisor for the info about the Orbit watch.
Future cruises - Southern Caribbean back to back San Juan - Jan 2016CelebritySummit
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