Does anyone enjoy the Open Air Markets on the Islands

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 09:13 PM.
#1
118 Posts
Joined Mar 2017
Just wondering if anyone enjoys the open air markets on the Islands. The cruise ports all have their duty free shops and mass produced sovenier shops but I really enjoy looking for handmade items that are unique or specific to the Island and support the locals. The constant bombardment of said locals to buy their stuff can be quite annoying but usually it is worth it IMO. If you enjoy these markets, which are your favorites from each Island you have been to? I am considering checking out one called the "Orange Market" when we go to Amber Cove. I have never been to Amber Cove so this will be our first time checking one out in the Dominican Republic.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Upcoming.... Carnival Magic Thanksgiving 2018
Past.....
NCL Epic March 2016
Carnival Legend Thanksgiving 2012
Carnival Fascination April 2007
Princess Grand Princess May 2000
#2
Columbus,Ohio
6,439 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
I like the one in St. Thomas, even though it can get a bit crowded. I also like the one in Aruba. One thing I've found though at most of the open air markets. If you're shopping for a souvenir t-shirt, sizes tend to be a bit small, so go for the next size up from what you'd normally buy back at home (if possible).
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature





Carnival Vista April 2017
Carnival Conquest May 2016
Carnival Breeze May 2015
Carnival Liberty May 2013
Carnival Liberty May 2012
Carnival Sensation Feb. 2008
Carnival Destiny Feb. 2007
RCCL Explorer of the Seas March 2002
RCCL Majesty of the Seas Dec. 2000
Carnival Imagination Sept. 1999
RCCL Enchantment of the Seas Feb. 1999
RCCL Grandeur of the Seas Feb. 1997
#3
Sacramento, CA
24 Posts
Joined May 2016
Originally posted by iriecruising
Just wondering if anyone enjoys the open air markets on the Islands. The cruise ports all have their duty free shops and mass produced sovenier shops but I really enjoy looking for handmade items that are unique or specific to the Island and support the locals. The constant bombardment of said locals to buy their stuff can be quite annoying but usually it is worth it IMO. If you enjoy these markets, which are your favorites from each Island you have been to? I am considering checking out one called the "Orange Market" when we go to Amber Cove. I have never been to Amber Cove so this will be our first time checking one out in the Dominican Republic.
Hi, may I ask when you are going? We are also going to Amber Cove for the first time (in December) and my mom absolutely loves those open air markets, so if you're going before us I'd love to hear your opinion when you return.

Although...when we were in Nassau, we bought a "handmade" dress for my niece, then went to the more commercial shops and found the same obviously mass-produced dress in several shops! I guess they got us that time!
#4
118 Posts
Joined Mar 2017
Originally posted by swirlofhues
Hi, may I ask when you are going? We are also going to Amber Cove for the first time (in December) and my mom absolutely loves those open air markets, so if you're going before us I'd love to hear your opinion when you return.

Although...when we were in Nassau, we bought a "handmade" dress for my niece, then went to the more commercial shops and found the same obviously mass-produced dress in several shops! I guess they got us that time!
We are going Thanksgiving week. I will be sure to write a trip report when we get back and let you know about the market. That is funny about the dress. I had something similar happen in Jamaica with a shirt. I tend to go for the Arts and Crafts or Beaded jewlery items. One time in Jamaica the anklet I wanted was a bit snug so the lady pulled out her stuff and made one up for me right there on the spot! Hoping I can luck into some interesting finds on this cruise. I will let you know!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Upcoming.... Carnival Magic Thanksgiving 2018
Past.....
NCL Epic March 2016
Carnival Legend Thanksgiving 2012
Carnival Fascination April 2007
Princess Grand Princess May 2000
#5
New York, USA
2,284 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
I always look for atleast one authentic piece from each island I visit. St. Thomas also gets my vote as favorite. Will be seeing the Western Caribbean in January on Princess and next year on the Triumph we will be doing an 8-Day to Grand Turk/Puerto Rico/Amber Cove.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Brandon
Carnival VIFP Club: Red
Princess Cruises Captain Circle: Ruby

Completed Cruises:
Carnival Triumph - August 29, 2009 - Canada/New England ~ First Cruise!
Caribbean Princess - August 28, 2010 - Canada/New England ~ Hurricane Earl cancels Halifax
Caribbean Princess - May 1, 2011 - Caribbean + Bermuda Reposition to New York
Golden Princess - July 7, 2012 - Alaska Inside Passage w/Glacier Bay - Review
Regal Princess - March 15, 2015 - Eastern Caribbean ~ Maiden Caribbean Season
Carnival Sunshine - October 1, 2016 - Bermuda ~ First Family Cruise - Review
Carnival Victory - November 17, 2017 - Bahamas ~ Carnival LIVE Concert Series featuring Nick Jonas! - Review
Carnival Horizon - July 19, 2018 - Bermuda ~ Carnival Horizon's Inaugural Year - Review
Future Cruises:
Royal Princess - January 19, 2019 - Western Caribbean

Booking Soon:
Carnival Sunrise - June 24, 2019 - Bermuda & Grand Turk ~ My first ship 10 years later re-imagined (Gold)

#6
Alabama
806 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
One of my favorite purchases was on our honeymoon in the late 70's. I saw a gentleman making a beautiful basket at the straw market in Nassau. I bought the basket after getting a picture of the gentleman making it. The picture is as valued as the basket.


Sent from my VK700 using Tapatalk
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
.
Past Cruises

1979-Emerald Seas ...1981-Amerikanis ...1983-Emerald Seas ...1991-Majestic .................1995-Oceanic ......1996-Ecstasy
1999-Leeward ............2002-Norway .........2003-Zuiderdam ........2004-Triumph, Elation ....2005-Holiday,Sun .
2006-Victory, Mariner of The Seas, Holiday .................................2007-Massdam, Legend, Sovereign of The Seas .
2008-Liberty, Enchantment of The Seas, Crown ..........................2009-Constellation, Fascination, Freedom .
2010-Fantasy, Noordam, Solstice ................................................ 2011-Star, Fantasy, Emerald
2012-Massdam, Conquest, Ruby ................................................ 2013-Emerald , Freedom, Fascination,Caribbean Princess
2014- btb Century, Independence of The Seas, Vision of The Seas ,Fascination, btb Caribbean Princess
2015- Legend of The Seas , Epic, Royal Princess, Fascination, Royal Princess, Sunshine(51)
2016- Jan-Emerald, Paradise, Feb-Constellation, Apr-Caribbean Princess, Aug- Splendor, Sept-Elation, Oct- Royal Princess, Dec-Conquest
2017- Jan-Conquest, Paradise, Feb-Summit, Mar-Magic, Apr-Triumph, May-Fantasy,July-Fantasy,Aug-Dream, Sept-Equinox, Oct-Splendor, Nov-Dream, Nov- Royal Princess
2018- Mar-Equinox, Apr-Epic, May-Caribbean Princess(canceled new grandbaby), Jun-Magic, Aug-Fantasy(75),Sept-Equinox, Oct-Miracle,
#8
1,551 Posts
Joined Nov 2013
I enjoy the markets as it is supporting the local economy like in Nassau when I did a tour we asked the guy about the tourism there and he said 80% of the families generate their income from some form of tourism such as tours, selling, etc - Knowing that I try and pass a few dollars around - Here are 3 big things I have learned about shopping in these markets

First unless you are getting some mega deal for buying it all from one person spend the money at several different shops (they all get from the same suppliers and even their handmade goods are generally the same so your bound to find that same item with another person) and I say this because then at least your spreading cash around to help multiple families

Second although it might be let's say appetizing to buy from the first stall you see so you don't have to finish going thru the market - think about this a bunch of other's are probably saying the same things to themselves which means those in the front of the market make a ton more money then those in the back of the market - so i tend to try and work my way towards the back to start with if at all possible I walk around the market to the back to avoid everyone in the front like in Nassau you can walk down the side street towards the back

Third haggle your price I myself have seen cheaper prices in the stores but if someone owns a store front they must be doing well enough to keep up with the rent on a place like that so they really don't need my cash - these little families in boothes need my tourism dollars much more and they are certainly willing to haggle the price down with you - I always start out lower than what I actually want to pay - I have always been able to haggle my way to the price I want and if they don't want to play that game which is rare then I move on to the next stall because someone else will gladly take my money
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
53 Nights at Sea!







Past Cruises
Carnival Legend - Alaska - 7 Nights - 06/12/2018
Bahamas Celebration - Freeport - 2 Nights - 05/22/2018
Carnival Liberty - Nassau - 3 Nights - 08/31/17
MSC Divina - W Carribean - 7 Nights - 12/23/16
Carnival Valor - Nassau & Freeport - 3 Nights - 12/11/16
Carnival Victory - Nassau - 3 Nights - 09/01/16
Bahamas Celebration - Freeport - 2 Nights - 3/31/16
Norwegian Epic - Barcelona - 9 Nights - 12/19/15
Carnival Sensation - Nassau - 3 Nights - 09/03/15
Carnival Sensation - Nassau -3 Nights - 04/30/15
Disney Fantasy - East Caribbean - 7 Nights - 12/19/14
Carnival Paradise - Cozumel - 4 Nights - 12/19/13
#10
Orangeville, Ontario, Canada
126 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
I hate the open air markets but my wife loves them.

Almost all the booths have the same items made in China. The vendors are all pushy (at least the ones in Mexico). Often it is crowded.
#11
Missouri
1,381 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
I loved the craft market at Mahogany Bay! Everything was made in Honduras by locals and the money made goes back to help the people of Honduras. I bought several things, but my Christmas ornament made of recycled items is my favorite!20180528_155638.jpg

Sent from my LG-K371 using Forums mobile app
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature




Carnival Fantasy- July/August 2009- Cozumel
Carnival Elation- May 2010- Progreso & Cozumel
Carnival Elation- May/June 2011- Cozumel & Calica
Carnival Elation-May/June 2012-Progreso & Cozumel
Carnival Elation- June 2013- Progreso & Cozumel
Carnival Elation- June 2014- Progreso & Cozumel
Carnival Elation- June 2015- Progreso & Cozumel
Carnival Triumph- July 2016- Progreso & Cozumel
Carnival Fantasy- May 2017- Costa Maya & Cozumel
Carnival Dream- May 2018- Belize, Isla Roatan & Cozumel
Carnival Glory- May 2019- Cozumel, Grand Cayman & Jamaica
#12
Malden, MO
5,423 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
We really enjoyed the Craft Market on Roatan
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
[/SIGPIC]
Carnival Fantasy April 2009
Carnival Fantasy July 2009
Carnival Elation May 2010
Carnival Triumph April 2011
Carnival Elation May 2011
Carnival Elation May 2012
Carnival Elation June 2013
Carnival Elation June 2014
Carnival Elation June 2015
Carnival Triumph July 2016
Carnival Dream December 2016
Carnival Fantasy May 2017
Carnival Dream May 2018
Carnival Glory May 2019




#13
118 Posts
Joined Mar 2017
Originally posted by Alabaster Cruiser
One of my favorite purchases was on our honeymoon in the late 70's. I saw a gentleman making a beautiful basket at the straw market in Nassau. I bought the basket after getting a picture of the gentleman making it. The picture is as valued as the basket.


Sent from my VK700 using Tapatalk
Love this!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Upcoming.... Carnival Magic Thanksgiving 2018
Past.....
NCL Epic March 2016
Carnival Legend Thanksgiving 2012
Carnival Fascination April 2007
Princess Grand Princess May 2000
#14
330 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
The straw market in Nassau pushes my panic button. Never again.

Other islands, smaller markets are just delightful, however. One lady juices watermelon, adds a little “sumpin-sumpin” , whizzes. It all up in a blender with chipped ice - and o my goodness!!!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
HELP!! I have no Cruise Control!!!
#15
86 Posts
Joined Mar 2017
Originally posted by JayDeeJay
The straw market in Nassau pushes my panic button. Never again.

Other islands, smaller markets are just delightful, however. One lady juices watermelon, adds a little “sumpin-sumpin” , whizzes. It all up in a blender with chipped ice - and o my goodness!!!
Nassau Straw market was fun before they opened the Atlantis complex. Our favorites now are the French side of St Maarten, Limon/Costa Rica and Cartgena, Colombia

Sent from my SM-G920T using Tapatalk
#16
NY
401 Posts
Joined May 2013
Originally posted by CruiseAdict218
I always look for atleast one authentic piece from each island I visit.

Me too.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

Carnival Horizon Mediterranean Inaugural Cruise April 2018
Carnival Pride Journey Cruise Jan 2018
Carnival legend Alaska June 2017
Carnival Pride Journeys Panama Canal Feb 2017
Carnival Vista Journeys Eastern Caribbean Nov 2016
Carnival Sunshine NE & Canada Sept 2016
Carnival Vista Inaugural Mediterranean May 2016
Carnival Pride "Hurricane Joaquin" Cruise Sept 2015
Carnival Splendor NE & Canada 2015
Carnival Pride Repo Cruise March 15 2015
Carnival Splendor NY-Caribbean Oct 2014
Carnival Pride Exotic Eastern Caribbean Sept 2014
Carnival Valor Southern Caribbean March 2014
Carnival Splendor Eastern Caribbean Sept 2013
Carnival Glory Western Caribbean April 2013
Carnival Glory Canada Cruise July 2012
Norwegian Gem Bahamas March 2011
Regent Sun Eastern Caribbean March 1990
#17
Virginia/North Carolina
2,720 Posts
Joined Feb 2016
Originally posted by maldenmusic
We really enjoyed the Craft Market on Roatan

We enjoyed the one in Roatan as well. Not sure if the same one though. We were at the one on top of the mountain looking down toward Coxen Hole, opposite end of the island from Mahogany Bay. We were with Rony's and our driver took us up there. It was a neat place!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
My cruise blog, www.love2cruise.org
#18
65 Posts
Joined Apr 2018
Originally posted by beachbum53
I like the one in St. Thomas, even though it can get a bit crowded. I also like the one in Aruba. One thing I've found though at most of the open air markets. If you're shopping for a souvenir t-shirt, sizes tend to be a bit small, so go for the next size up from what you'd normally buy back at home (if possible).


Where is the one in Aruba located?


Sent from my iPhone using Forums
#20
118 Posts
Joined Mar 2017
Originally posted by LongHill44
That's where you can buy moonshine and drugs right?
LOL! I did have someone try to sell me a duct taped box of "Capri Suns" at the Market in Ocho Rios once. Got into a hysterical banter with the guy! He knew I wasnt buying his Ganja so it was funny!!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Upcoming.... Carnival Magic Thanksgiving 2018
Past.....
NCL Epic March 2016
Carnival Legend Thanksgiving 2012
Carnival Fascination April 2007
Princess Grand Princess May 2000