Shopping Watches on a cruise

i am in the market for a new watch and will be cruising very soon. I have heard everything from cruise ships give you great deals on name brand watches to it is a rip off.

I am curious has anyone purchased a watch while onboard. I have walked by them for yeas but never bothered going in and looking around or pricing them.

35 Answers

The reason discounts are so deep, is many of the watches are what is referred to as grey ( gray) market production. Some of the parts inside may not be the same materials as the top of the line watches. Except maybe in the case of some very high end watches, like Patek Phillipe. However, if you see a watch that you really like, and the price is right, go for it. If it's on the ship, check out Amazon first. I saw a watch that I liked on board once, and when we got home, I found it about $50 less. I still didn't buy it, but it was less.

Several years ago we bought matching Movados in St. Thomas. We still have them, and they work fine. But my jeweler knew right away where we bought them.

I bought a watch onboard our cruise on the Brilliance of the Seas in 2013. It cost $65 (on sale). Two weeks after getting home, it died (somewhat). It had digital and chronological time. The hands stopped yet the digital time continued to work. I contacted RCCL and they directed me to contact the watch maker for repair. There was no information in the watch box, online and RCCL had no info on how to contact the maker either. So, my purchase was a waste of money. My advice, refrain from buying any electronics or jewelry onboard or abroad if there is no way to contact the manufacturer. Buy it at home so you can actually hold someone responsible for a bad sale item. RCCL used the "We only resell the items" blanket.

Although not purchased on board, my husband and I bought Philip Stein watches in St Thomas. They worked fine for a couple of years until I needed new batteries. I went to the local jeweler who told me, and showed me that the inside was all plastic. He said that only a couple of watch brands do not use plastic insides. I now think I overpaid even thought the price sounded good according to the ship's shopper guide who was at the store during our purchase. I still like my watch. The band is an unusual color and I like that it has two clocks. I use one for London [where my daughter lives] time and one for FL time. Works well when traveling, too.

I suggest, that before you cruise, check out the prices on the Internet of the brands that you may be interested in purchasing. That will tell you if you are actually getting a good deal. I wasn't prepared to make a purchase, so, I didn't do any research ahead of time. Although I now know that comparing the price online, I did get a good price in St Thomas. I just wonder if these watches are worth the cost because of the plastic workings. Good luck with your purchase.

I bought a Citizen watch from the gift shop on board for $80. Citizen sells the watch for $225, ebay has it for $86.

I actually feel better buying from the ship rather than shore, but it is a gamble as to whether or not it is a counterfeit good.

Bought a Citizen eco watch on the Dawn Princess 5 years ago. Best watch I've ever owned and when I compared retail price I'd saved over $200!

Honestly, I cannot believe that the cruise lines would sell counterfeit jewelry or watches. I think that all these brands are now made in third world countries. Of course, buyer beware!

Oh by the way, if you are using on board credit then you are really getting a bargain. On one cruise we had $850 to spend. So I bought in the on board shops and figured I got everything for free. Otherwise, some of the credit would have been lost. Can't have that, can we?

I never meant to imply the watches were counterfeit. Sorry if anyone misinterpreted my post. They are genuine name brand, but, as I said, some parts are either a material that isn't found in the high end model, or a part that is not proprietary to the brand. For example, some gears may be stamped out en masse, instead of punched out individually. Or they may be from an outside vendor instead of in house. The parts are cheaper, and assembled for less, so they charge less. I have heard that this market accounts for a huge portion of a company's sales.

The down side is, if you are buying the watch for investment reasons. There is virtually no appreciation in value. And as far as heirlooms, don't count on it. Many of the parts may wear out.

Oh, btw, those designer THOSE are counterfeit ! But some are really really good counterfeits.

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that the ships were selling counterfeit goods -- but watch out for the land vendors. (I know where you can buy a $10.00 Rolex if you want one!Big Smile)

Also a problem with the counterfeit goods is that when you re-enter the US, Customs can seize them (not necessarily will, but can if they feel like it).

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