Hi Mary L.
I wrote this, a few days ago about jewelry in the caribbean:
all of you are talking about the big stores. But we prefer the smaller stores. They have better prices and are much more friendlier, if you only want to take a look around.
In St. Maarten I can recommend Caribbean Gems. We got prices for a diamond pendant and a matching omega bracelet, on side in white, one side in yellow gold for really unbelievebal prices. We also get a Rado for my husband for an excellent price.
Because most of the passengers of the cruise ships go to the recommended stores, they dont have to give you better prices. But in the smaller stores, they need to do it.
So try some smaller stores, not only in St. Maarten, also in St. Thomas, Key West, Cozumel
Two years ago I bought a black and white diamond ring in Miami downtown, in a small passage, where you can find many small jewelers. I took my ring to a german jeweler. He tried his best to find negative things, about the diamond, the setting and more. But he had to say, that it was a very good safe quality and setting and we had to pay for this kind of ring here in germany almost 100 % more.
Then we bought a wonderful tanzanite ring in Key West. Also excellent quality and price.
But both stores were not the recommended stores from the cruise lines.
So be sure, that you know the prices. Find something on the internet, you are interested in, find out the price at home and then you can compare when you are on a cruise. But avoid the big stores and the shops on the vessels.
This is my recommandation, and I´m a good informed jewel customer.