Insider Tips for Navigating Cruise Ship Onboard Shopping

Insider Tips for Navigating Cruise Ship Onboard Shopping

When it comes to cruising, there’s no shortage of activities and amenities to enjoy onboard. From relaxing by the pool to indulging in delicious cuisine, there’s something for everyone. One popular activity that many cruisers look forward to is onboard shopping. Cruise ship boutiques offer a wide range of products, from luxury brands to duty-free items. However, navigating the onboard shopping experience can be overwhelming, especially for first-time cruisers. To help you make the most of your shopping experience, we’ve compiled a list of insider tips to keep in mind.

Research the Cruise Line’s Shopping Offerings

Before your cruise, take some time to research the shopping offerings of the cruise line you’ll be sailing with. Most cruise lines have a dedicated section on their website that provides information about the onboard boutiques and the brands they carry. This will give you an idea of what to expect and help you plan your shopping itinerary.

Take Advantage of Pre-Cruise Shopping Opportunities

Some cruise lines offer pre-cruise shopping opportunities, allowing you to browse and purchase items online before you even set foot on the ship. This can be a great way to secure popular items or take advantage of exclusive pre-cruise discounts. Check with your cruise line to see if they offer this service.

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Attend the Onboard Shopping Events

Most cruise lines organize special shopping events during the cruise, such as trunk shows, fashion presentations, and jewelry showcases. These events often come with exclusive discounts and promotions. Make sure to check the daily cruise newsletter or the onboard shopping guide for the schedule of these events and take advantage of the savings.

Set a Budget

It’s easy to get carried away with onboard shopping, especially when you’re surrounded by tempting products and enticing deals. To avoid overspending, set a budget for your onboard shopping and stick to it. This will help you prioritize your purchases and prevent any post-cruise regrets.

Compare Prices

While cruise ship boutiques often offer duty-free prices, it’s still a good idea to compare prices with those on land. Some items may be cheaper at your destination or even online. Take note of the prices onboard and do some quick research to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

Look for Exclusive Cruise Line Merchandise

Many cruise lines offer exclusive merchandise that you won’t find anywhere else. From branded clothing to collectible items, these exclusive products can make for unique souvenirs or gifts. Keep an eye out for these special items and take advantage of the opportunity to bring home a piece of your cruise experience.

Consider the Port Shopping Experience

In addition to onboard shopping, many cruise lines organize port shopping experiences. These guided shopping tours take you to recommended stores and offer additional discounts and perks. If you’re interested in exploring the local shopping scene, consider joining one of these tours for a curated shopping experience.

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Don’t Forget About Tax and Duty

While many items sold onboard are duty-free, there may still be taxes and duties applied depending on your destination. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the tax and duty regulations of the ports you’ll be visiting to avoid any surprises at checkout.

Take Advantage of the Return Policy

If you’re unsure about a purchase or change your mind after buying something, check the cruise line’s return policy. Most cruise lines have a return policy that allows you to return items within a certain timeframe for a full refund. This can give you peace of mind when making larger purchases.

Ask the Onboard Shopping Staff for Assistance

The onboard shopping staff is there to help you have the best shopping experience possible. If you have any questions about a product, need assistance finding a specific item, or want recommendations, don’t hesitate to ask. They are knowledgeable about the products and can provide valuable insights.


Onboard shopping is a popular activity for many cruisers, and with these insider tips, you’ll be well-prepared to navigate the cruise ship boutiques. Remember to research the shopping offerings, take advantage of pre-cruise opportunities, attend onboard shopping events, set a budget, compare prices, look for exclusive merchandise, consider port shopping experiences, be aware of tax and duty regulations, utilize the return policy, and ask for assistance from the onboard shopping staff. By following these tips, you’ll be able to make the most of your onboard shopping experience and find some great souvenirs to remember your cruise by.