Be sure you get stuff made from vanilla beans (if you can find it), and not a plant that grows down there that is similar (thus the price). The plant is quite pretty and smells wonderful--check it out if you go on jungle tours. Our guide told us about it. You can use Mexican Vanilla, but in large quantities I have heard it is toxic. I'm not sure if it tastes the same or not. As far as getting in onboard, I saw it in duty free shops so I assumed, but then again I didnt try it.