Hi in reply to your question about watches we bought 2 in St Thomas for christmas presents and we did haggle and got a very good deal so go ahead and try but i would compare prices on the ship and stick to well known makes i used the prices i had seen on board as my basis for what i was willing to pay have fun
Sonny, I am not a big jewelry buyer, but I have fun negotiating as well. I have found that I get a better deal on St. Thomas than the ship (Carnival). After doing this a few times and with several recommendations I only go to one Jeweler now. I still haggle though.
I've noticed some talk about Sophia Fiori jewelry. PLEASE DO NOT PURCHASE!!! Talk about a run around if you try to deal with the manufacturer in CA. And if you talk to the acutal "designer" don't believe a word from his mouth. I'm still waiting for my "free" gift for my troubles. And further the appraisal was under the purchase price, so beware of all the ship board hoopla on what a good deal you'll get!! Know your diamond before you send it to be sized, you could get the wrong stone back!!
Thank you all for your replies, the reason I asked is because on our first cruise we bought my husband a watch at Little Switzerland at St.Maarten. We didn't know so we didn't bargain the price, but when we came back home, we asked around for the same watch. It turned out that the watch we bought was around $800 cheaper! Now, we know that you can bargain and maybe next time we might get a lower price. I like jewelery more than watches. I think watches are more of a guy thing.
2006 - Mariner of the Seas
2009 - Independence of the Seas
2010 - Liberty of the Seas
2011 - Navigator of the Seas
2011 - Jewel of the Seas
Part of the thrill of a cruise for my wife is getting to shop for a souvenier piece of jewelry to remember the trip by and bring back memories of her cruises when she wears it. We never go too extreme on purchases made outside the US. There are just too many stories on here and elsewhere and from past clients about what do you do if... I don't even have much confidence in the guarantees provided by the cruiselines about so called lifetime guarantee and guaranteed lowest price. Even if in the end you can get through all the mess, paperwork and other hurdles they require, you'll pay shipping costs for retuns and shipping the new item when/if it ever arrives after a very long ordeal with most. I usually advise clients to stick with the cruiseline authorized vendors knowing full well you'll be paying a premium to do so. Those approved vendors pay huge fees to get the ships to send them clients which inflates the cost of each item you buy. Why, you ask would I make such a recommendation knowing this? Because some of the non-approved vendors will sell inferior products or fake gems and the consumer has no recourse at all in these cases. I have a small advantage in the shopping process, having worked in a pawn shop in my youth for a while I got to know stones. I have a loupe and know the difference in poor quality stones and fakes. Most shops have a special black coarse stone for testing gold and before leaving with a purchase will allow an acid test for gold purity. You simply rub the setting in an area (usually the part of the band that will be to the inside of the palm on rings) on the stone and the gold color will be evident after applying the acid to the rubbed area. A slightly different color for 10k, 14k and 18k. If you know jewelry well you can shop outside the known and approved shops if you're very careful and get some amazing bargains from time to time. As a previous poster noted always negotiate and never let the seller know you're in love with a peice you intend to buy while negotiating. Heading for the door is the best way to be assured you're getting the best price.
I've never felt I've been taken, never had any of the peices we've purchased turn out to be of lower quality than we knew when buying it. Some have been trinkets and a few really nice items but all make my wife smile broadly when she puts them on and makes a comment something to the effect... "Remember when we got this one in _____. Wasn't that a fun trip?"
Originally posted by Fechik:
We are leaving on cruise this saturday and I want to get my wife a surprise necklace sometime during this cruise.
I am wondering if the prices on the cruise or on shore will be that much cheaper/better than to get it here locally.
So, in your opinion, should i wait or go ahead and purchase it before we leave.
Why not wait until you are on the cruise and just wait until your wife sees something she drools over? When you are spending a good deal of money (whatever that amount is to you) it makes sense to buy your wife something she will really love and remember her cruise by. If she sees something on ship you can surprise her with it. If she spots something in port she will always remember that perfect piece comeing from that beautiful place. Perhaps you can buy it when her back is turned and still surprise her with it on the ship.
part of the fun of cruising is buying that one or two or three pieces of jewelry. you do have to spend time bargaining and dealing to get a good price, but it is worth it. ususally going to a shop the ship recommends is safer and they notice not only that you are on a ship but WHICH ship it is. I have purchased watches, jewelry and loose stones and have never had a problem. Be smart and remember if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.