These stores have paid a promotional fee to be included in these seminars and on the port’s Shopping Maps. We interviewed the Port Shopping Guide hired by this particular line and found that these individuals are experts in what they do and work very hard to assist and advise their guests to ensure their shopping experience is pleasant and rewarding. However, understand that all recommended stores in this program have paid an advertising fee and are required to offer guarantees to stand behind anything purchased The guarantee is in writing on each Shopping Map offered by the cruise line for each port. With this statement, the cruise line is giving its guests peace of mind and the ability to shop with confidence with regards to selection, ethics and authenticity. However, many stores that were not part of the program were just as willing to personally stand behind their products and service after the sale as the recommended ones.
One mantra that we heard is “See it, Like it, Buy it!” This can be good or bad advice. You only have a few hours in each port and there can be as many as seven cruise ships with an average of 3500 guests in any port on any day. Do the math. It is very likely that if you walk away from a piece, it could be gone in the next five minutes. However, if you miss something, it may be in the same store in the next port. Or if you want something else, you can exchange within the same company in the next port. The downside of this is that a vast majority of stores’ return policies do NOT cover buyer’s remorse. You buy it, you own it.
Our next task was to interview as many merchants as possible to learn how they serve vacationers buying jewelry. We visited stores in Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten, and St Thomas. Our focus was price, customer support, return policy, and business ethics.
Yantz Bradbury Associates
P.O. Box 10123 – Rockville, Maryland – 20850
Office: (301) 335-6687
Serving MD, VA and DC Metro Area