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Dave 08-22-2009 01:11 PM

Cruising to Europe? You might want to read this before you go, especially if you plan to buy designer goods in France and Italy.

f-mattox 08-22-2009 01:45 PM

I wonder how they distinguish between someone who knowingly buys a counterfeit and a person who just thinks he got a great deal--or if they do (?).

Dave 08-22-2009 01:50 PM

That was my question too. Not all of us are savvy about designer goods and their prices. Plus, what a Gucci bag costs in Los Angeles may not correlate to it's price in Milan. When all else fails, punish the tourists I guess.

f-mattox 08-22-2009 02:05 PM

One of the things I did when I worked security was serve warrants and confiscate goods at swap meets once investigators determined they were knock-offs; some fakes were pretty obvious--many, I couldn't tell the difference.

Hank 08-22-2009 03:41 PM

The situation can be really much worse in Italy. Last year we spent a couple of hours sipping wine at a cafe on the Piazza Navona in Rome. We watched a couple of venders selling conterfeit clothes and watches right in front of our cafe. As soon as a tourist would buy goods, they would be arrested by the Italian police. This went on for over an hour and we witnessed more than a dozen tourist arrested. I later chatted with one of the policeman (who spoke perfect English) who told me that it is illegal for anyone to buy conterfeit goods in Italy. I asked him why they did not arrest the venders and he just smiled and shrugged his shoulders.


jack2007 08-22-2009 04:07 PM

Good topic Dave,
Just so there can be no misunderstanding, If you fly to Italy or France to start your cruise or calling at a port and you are wearing or carrying some fake designer gear eg jeans, t-shirt,sunglasses, bag etc and they are spotted by the authorities/customs then not only will they be confiscated but you may have to pay twice the actual retail price of the item and also risk a huge fine/jail ( as mentioned in the article )
In the Uk it's quite normal to wear or have fake designer clothes etc and you wouldn't get stopped by police or customs for having fact they don't seem to be bothered.
In Italy & France they seem to be taking this more seriously.

Dave 08-22-2009 04:15 PM


That is really disgusting on many levels. As we used to say in NY "the fix was in".

Ages ago I did Shore Patrol duty in Italy while in the Navy. In La Spezia the local authorities insisted that we have a member of the Carabinieri patrol with us. Of course he didn't speak English and we didn't speak Italian - a fairly frustrating night walking the streets and alleys of an otherwise lovely town. But I remember the undertone of worry I could feel amongst the locals when we entered a bar or restaurant. Our escort seemed to enjoy it. Not saying it is a pervasive attitude, after all the same thing happens in the U.S.

Hank 08-22-2009 09:40 PM

Hmmmm Dave. You got me wondering about the tone of sailors when the SPs entered


sandy p 08-23-2009 02:44 PM

Dave, thank you very much for this information. We will be going to Europe this October. Have a Great week.
Sandy P

pink845 08-26-2009 05:58 PM

Hi all,

Nothing is mentioned about Greece. While cruising the Greek Isles, we came across shop after shop selling fake designer Gucci, Prada. No pretense at all. Actual shops. A lot of passengers were buying and then taking these items with them into Italy and then on home to the U.S. Personally, I would rather buy the real thing at a discount outlet - let's say Prada in Florence at a reduced price. The fake stuff falls apart. I say, simply stay away from it and cruisers will have nothing to worry about. Why ruin a holiday being cheap. Cheers.

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