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Liquor wars -- best prices at Kmart, Al Cohen, Riise, another?


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OK, I have seen plenty of threads, most out of date, but I haven't seen any posts that definitively say where the best place to buy liquor is. I am looking for good quality rum and vodka, and have been to kmart in the past where I saw very good prices (it seemed) on rum there.

Does anyone have scanned copies of Al's or Riise liquor prices? I am planning on going to Kmart to catch the bus anyway, so I could bring the prices and compare myself - then post my research here when I get back! :D

 

I am not going to St. Maarten this trip, so no need to remind me that prices are lower there ;) .

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I can only comment on Riise because that is where we went.

 

A 1 ltr bottle of Absolut cost 9.95

1 ltr. Grand Marnier 22.95

1 ltr. Baileys 17.95

1 ltr. Jose Cuervo Gold 13.95

1 ltr. Glenlivet Single Malt Scotch 24.95

1 ltr. Bombay Sapphire Gin 14.95

 

I checked the prices when I came back at my local liquor store here in NYC and they wanted 23.95 plus our sales tax for the Absolute. I don't remember the exact prices on the other stuff but they were at least twice as much.

 

One good thing about Riise is that they will pack up everything for you and deliver it to the ship so you don't have to drag it around with you.

 

If you are buying cigarettes the prices there are 19.95 per carton.

 

Hope this helps.:)

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I can only comment on Riise because that is where we went.

 

A 1 ltr bottle of Absolut cost 9.95

1 ltr. Grand Marnier 22.95

1 ltr. Baileys 17.95

1 ltr. Jose Cuervo Gold 13.95

1 ltr. Glenlivet Single Malt Scotch 24.95

1 ltr. Bombay Sapphire Gin 14.95

 

I checked the prices when I came back at my local liquor store here in NYC and they wanted 23.95 plus our sales tax for the Absolute. I don't remember the exact prices on the other stuff but they were at least twice as much.

 

One good thing about Riise is that they will pack up everything for you and deliver it to the ship so you don't have to drag it around with you.

 

If you are buying cigarettes the prices there are 19.95 per carton.

 

Hope this helps.:)

 

Is there anyplace on the island that can ship liquor back to the states?

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Is there anyplace on the island that can ship liquor back to the states?

 

Riise's might do it but then with all the shipping charges I doubt you would be saving that much. If the shipping goes by weight, which I believe it does, those bottles are very heavy. I know with the airline restriction you can't carry them on with you anymore. Maybe if you got a lot of that bubble wrap you could put a few bottles in your suitcase.

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Is there anyplace on the island that can ship liquor back to the states?

You cannot legally ship liquor or tobacco home from St. Thomas. They usually pack it up pretty well, but if you are flying home you will need to make sure each bottle is carefully wrapped.

I will be driving to/from the port so it is not an issue. There are four adults in my group, which will allow me to bring back 24 litres of liquor, so I am very interested in getting the best price.

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You cannot legally ship liquor or tobacco home from St. Thomas. They usually pack it up pretty well, but if you are flying home you will need to make sure each bottle is carefully wrapped.

I will be driving to/from the port so it is not an issue. There are four adults in my group, which will allow me to bring back 24 litres of liquor, so I am very interested in getting the best price.

 

They are probably all competitive. Like I said, all I can comment on is Riise. They gave me very good service and they had a wonderful selection. Maybe a few more posters will chime in about the other stores. Even if the other stores are cheaper, I can't imagine that they would be that much cheaper. But wait and see what someone else has to say. :)

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If you are flying you can buy rumrunner flasks (plastic flasks) that are watertight and pack them in your checked bags. The large one will hold one liter of liquor and without the bottle weight one liter of liquid really does not weigh much at all :)

 

The flasks also work for smuggling on board too :cool:

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Last year we bought our liquor from Riise and the prices were pretty good. However on the way back to the ship our cab driver said that the best prices are at K-Mart, he said that's where the locals go to buy their liquor.

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If you bought the bottles as your last stop on the way back to the ship, you would not have to carry them around with you for very long. Hope I can find out where KMart is located and perhaps someone will also know what kind of prices they have. If I remember right (and I might not), I don't think it is very far from the cruise pier.

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K-Mart is about two blocks from the pier. On one trip, we were the first ship at the pier(and closest). A fellow passenger asked about K-Mart, and the crew member poitnted out the big 'K'. At the time, we could see it from the top deck. K-Mart does provide you with a liquor box to carry your purchases, but I don't remember them offering any ship delivery service. Prices.............well, they have recently risen, and the last time we went, they were about the same price as the other places. Some of the local rum was REALLY cheap there, but we prefer Bacardi, and other brands.

ONE TIP: If your cruise is stopping at a port that has cheaper booze prices, (like St. Martiin), buy one bottle of the cheap rum at K-Mart, then ask for the 6 pack box to pack it in. They will give it to you, no problem. Then, the last night of your cruise, take the liquor that you bought in St. Martin, and put it in the box marked 'K-Mart. St. Thomas'. When the customs agent says "Where did you purchase your liquor?" show 'em the St. Thomas box. You are allowed more liquor purchases in St. Thomas than the other non-US territory ports..................( 5 liters PP vs. 1 liter)

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Also, if you do want to buy more than the 5 bottles p/p the duty isn't very much. It's about 10%, IF the agent even bothers to collect it. You just have to be honest and tell them all the liquor you bought and if it's over by only a few bottles, they will let you go without paying the duty.

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Where in St. Martin are the stores that have cheaper liquor prices than in St. Thomas? It has been a couple of years since we were at either place, and I don't think we bought any either time at either place. We have usually just bought our liquor on the ship, and one time in San Juan. (Princess will meet any price you find at the port plus a 10% discount if you buy 3 bottles, so that has always been our best price).

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St. Thomas is our 1st port. I was always under the impression that if you brought liquor back to the ship, then it would be confiscated until the last day.

Has that changed? I'll be on Pricess and it sounds as though they're pretty lenient.

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St. Thomas is our 1st port. I was always under the impression that if you brought liquor back to the ship, then it would be confiscated until the last day.

Has that changed? I'll be on Pricess and it sounds as though they're pretty lenient.

 

I can't answer about Princess but on our Carnival cruise last month the liquor is brought to your cabin the last night of the cruise. I believe it's like that on all ships. They want you to drink THEIR alcohol at THEIR prices...not yours at cheaper prices...LOL!!!

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Sometimes Princess takes it up and sometimes they don't. But if you buy it in the shop on the ship, they do keep it until the last day. On our cruise to Alaska in May on Island Princess, it was delivered to our cabin on the morning of the last day. When we bought liquor (I thinik there were about 6 bottles) in San Juan on Star Princess, no one took it up. Nor have they ever taken up what we bought in Cozumel. We also bought rum and scotch in Costa Rica last April that was not taken up. So you just don't ever know.

But we have never bought liquor intending to drink it while on the cruise. It has always been to take home. So we buy knowing that we may have to turn it in when we get back on the ship. And that is OK.

We will be on Royal Caribbean next month to St. T. and St. M. and will probably want to find the best prices on a few bottles of Scotch and maybe something else.

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Where in St. Martin are the stores that have cheaper liquor prices than in St. Thomas? It has been a couple of years since we were at either place, and I don't think we bought any either time at either place. We have usually just bought our liquor on the ship, and one time in San Juan. (Princess will meet any price you find at the port plus a 10% discount if you buy 3 bottles, so that has always been our best price).

I looked at several places on the "main drag" in St. Maarten (Dutch Side). I was able to get Stoli for $3 bottle 6 years ago. I'm sure the price has gone up, but at the time is was still much lower than SJ or St. Thomas.

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I think we have just about always gone over our legal allowance and customs has never questioned it. We have always listed on our customs form what we have purchased. It is probably more trouble than it is worth to them to collect on a very little amount.

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I usually buy most of my liquor at either Riise or Dynasty close together at Havensight. They box it and deliver to the ship. I think Al Cohen is now owned by Riise but they also deliver to the ship. Kmart doesn't deliver and some items are a buck less or $1 more than Riise. Last time Riise didn't have Stoli. Why lug the boxes along the pier and to your cabin? Most of the time security will take boxes so if you want a single bottle for the room put it in your beach bag and give them the boxes. I have brought back 2-3X my allowance and paid no extra duty and other times the duty on 10 extra bottles was $31 but they only charged $20. Depends on port of arrival and the mood of the customs agent. FTL seems the most lax.

Since we drive or take the bus we don't worry about how much we take back.

First rule of shopping-ALWAYS DECLARE WHAT YOU BUY. THE PENALTY IS WORSE THAN THE DUTY.

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I usually buy most of my liquor at either Riise or Dynasty close together at Havensight. They box it and deliver to the ship. I think Al Cohen is now owned by Riise but they also deliver to the ship. Kmart doesn't deliver and some items are a buck less or $1 more than Riise. Last time Riise didn't have Stoli. Why lug the boxes along the pier and to your cabin? Most of the time security will take boxes so if you want a single bottle for the room put it in your beach bag and give them the boxes. I have brought back 2-3X my allowance and paid no extra duty and other times the duty on 10 extra bottles was $31 but they only charged $20. Depends on port of arrival and the mood of the customs agent. FTL seems the most lax.

Since we drive or take the bus we don't worry about how much we take back.

First rule of shopping-ALWAYS DECLARE WHAT YOU BUY. THE PENALTY IS WORSE THAN THE DUTY.

Great advice, Steve. I will be bringing purchasing 24 litres, so having it boxed and delivered to the ship will be worth it alone.

Since I am taking the taxi from Kmart anyway, I will pop into Riise or Al's and jot down some prices. After returning from the beach, maybe I'll just pick up the real bargains from Kmart, then have Riise or Al's deliver the rest.

As far as duty, I am not sure how customs would know where you bought the liquor, so as long as you are stopping in St. Thomas, you could probably take advantage of the St. Maarten bargains. On our Disney cruise, I lost track of what I bought where, and they never asked to see any receipts or anything. Plus Disney allows you to bring liquor back to your room so I was well stocked:D

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The boxes say either St. Thomas or St. Maarten (or whatever store you bought it from) so its pretty easy for the custom officials to identify where you bought it. If not, then you should keep your receipts for proof.

 

Also, even it is slightly cheaper in St. Maarten wouldn't you want to keep it legit and buy it from St. Thomas. Nothing to worry about then. Not to mention you are supporting an American territory by purchasing in St. Thomas. I would rather spend my money there :)

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Since I am taking the taxi from Kmart anyway, I will pop into Riise or Al's and jot down some prices. After returning from the beach, maybe I'll just pick up the real bargains from Kmart, then have Riise or Al's deliver the rest.

 

You have to buy your booze by a certain time to have it delivered to the ship. I don't remember what it was but I am sure someone else knows.

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