Hi, and thanks for your reply.
I have read about Pierino Gallo (Mr. Emerald is there).
I have a co-worker who did a Panama Canal cruise last year on Royal Caribbean. An 'ambassador' on the ship promoted a specific factory and issued taxi coupons. When they got off the ship, the taxis at the dock wouldn't accept the coupon so they paid for taxi to take them. My friend later found out that the 'free' taxi was outside the gates. The factory they went to was high pressure so they left without buying anything. Their taxi driver then took them to another, smaller, factory which they enjoyed alot and bought jewelery. They had the items appraised when they got home and found that their value was considerably more than they paid. The taxi driver also gave them a tour of the city.
It's difficult to say if they faired any better than sticking with the Princess excursion but the mall sounds like a quick stop and it usually takes me longer to decide if and what I want to buy.
My friend is getting the names of the factories they went to so they will be interesting to research.
Still wondering if anyone has had a similar experience.