Savvy Shopper

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What do cruisers love even more than exploring exotic destinations and sailing the shimmering sea?
Shopping of course!
For all of you shoppers, here are some top tips for shopping at sea.

What is the cost?:
Research the cost of that compact camera, designer watch or handbag at your local mall or on the internet. Then, should you find it for significantly less in a duty-free store, you’ll know for sure that you’re getting a good value.

Avoid Disappointment:
It is important to know the exact specifications of that digital camera or DVD player has to avoid returning home only to find it won’t play U.S. manufactured movies. Even the same company name and model number could have different modifications or features when sold in the international market.

Know Your Limits:
With attractive prices, it can be easy to loosen those purse strings and buy more than you intended. After all, if a necklace is a great deal, the matching ring and bracelet must be an even better deal, right? Be aware of the limits you can bring back into your home country without incurring any duties or taxes. Adult U.S. citizens are allowed to bring back up to $800.00 worth of goods duty free.

Charge It:
It makes sense to use your credit card when buying big ticket items. You’ll benefit from the added purchase protection that most credit card companies offer and you won’t have to carry around a large wad of cash.  In the unlikely event that something goes wrong with your product and the merchant is less than responsive, the credit card issuer will intervene on your behalf.

Minimize the Risk:
In shopping, as in life, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you’re offered an unbelievable price on a 2 carat gemstone, if you can’t get a receipt, or if the seller approaches you from a dingy alleyway, chance are, something isn’t right. It’s a good idea to protect your money by shopping at stores recommended by the cruise line. Both the recommended merchant and the line have a vested interest in making sure that you are completely satisfied with your purchase and usually offer a guarantee on your items. The guarantee does not protect buyers remorse, but you can be sure the diamond tennis bracelet you purchased is really the type and quality of diamonds that is listed on your receipt.