What is Happening to the Ships' Stores ?

I've noticed lately, that the stores on the ships I have been on don't carry a lot of inventory. Especially things like shirts, hats, or other logo bearing items.  It seems that the larger the ship, the smaller the general store.   Sundries are minimal. Snacks too.  On Norwegian, even the liquor offerings are slim.   Same things they carried years ago.  Has anyone ever bought that $3500 bottle of cognac that sits in the glass case ?    At one time you could walk into the store, buy an enameled pin, hats, t-shirts, books, snacks, anything.   Now ?    I wish I had bought one of the ceramic miniature ships that are so prevalent now on all of my early trips.  Who knew they would become so popular?

14 Answers

I was just on Carnival Victory and it had all the old time stuff in the store, T-shirts, Polo shirts, pins, magnets, stuffed animals, books on towel animals, sunglasses sweat shirts and the typical over priced sundries and snacks. I also noticed all of that stuff last time I was on RCI and Celebrity. Not sure about NCL it has been over 5 years and and 9 cruises since I have been on NCL.

Whoa, I hope Carnival has ample keep sakes and collectibles for me to purchase on my next cruise. Nervous

Unless we have some shipboard credit left over that we have to use up, we don’t really look in the shops that much. From the displays outside it looks like there is more high-end name brand stuff now than there used to be.

I do not tend to shop in the ship stores.

We find just the opposite on Princess. Their retail selections, like T-shirts, polo-shirts, quality dress shirts and jackets, snacks, toe nail clippers, cork screws and bottle openers as well as ship replicas to put in your attic, etc. are much greater than they used to be. However, regarding liquor, are you talking the on board duty free shops where you purchase liquor to be given to you as you leave the voyage or the liquor selection offerings they offer for consumption in cabins and or in the dining venues? With regard to the duty free offerings, I think they over do it as their promotions take up huge amounts of space that could be used for other purposes in my opinion and we are not about to buy very expensive duty free liquor on the ship to take home in our luggage. With regard to their wine selections, both from a quality and variety standpoint, for on board consumption in cabins or at the dinner table leaves much to be desired.

Breakaway, Gem, Splendor, Glory ( most recent cruises ), all had very limited items. Especially if you like your t shirts roomy (2xl). I did find a decent cap on the Glory, but never on Norwegian. At least Carnival had the decency to have good playing cards available for free. I always try to grab those on our cruises.

The allure had a mix. I started to find it was more higher end stuff and less affordable stuff. I did stumble on a nice sale of magnets for 99 cents, which sparked the lets get a magnet for every port we were in. Sorry but I don't go on a cruise to shop in a coach or michale kors store ... I'll go to the outlets for that

It is nice to have a decent store on the ship where you can purchase something you forgot to pack. Also, very handy if the airlines have lost your luggage getting to the embarkation port. One time we were on a lengthy cruise around Africa where most ports didn't have anything to offer, it was nice to be able to shop on the ship. Another time, about five cruises ago, we got on Princess for a month voyage. I had preordered wine plus we brought our two free ones on board. After we got situated I couldn't find a cork screw in the cabin, I usually pack one, but forgot. I called room service to have them bring one by. They said it is against company policy. Another voice came on the line. "Kids could use them to harm themselves" they said. I responded, no kids here bring on a cork screw. No can do they said. How do I get my wine open then I asked? Sorry they said. You get the gist, I was irritated. Well, I set there a while moaning, then went to check the gift shop. Sure enough, they had excellent cork screws with their logo on them even. For just a few bucks too. After finally getting my bottle open and enjoying a glass on the balcony, an officer paid us a visit. Nice guy. We chatted a minute or two and he apologized. I said, let me help a bit with diplomacy here: When a call like mine comes in, don't lie. Tell the truth instead. For instance: "Sir we have an excellent selection of corkscrews in our gift shops, we are sorry but no longer furnish these in the cabins". Don't fabricate justifications like: "Kids could get hurt with a corkscrew" or "We will send someone to your cabin, in due time, to open your wine for you when you call." Don't simply leave your guest hanging without a viable solution. Truth is, that you have good ones for sale and the reason you don't provide them anymore is that guests take them home with them regardless of whether or not they order wine. Sure was nice to have an adequate on board gift shop then.

I'm a RCCL customer and all of the ships we have been on have had everything in the stores. Maybe your ship was not re-stocked in error or something.

Maybe I'm just taking the wrong ships


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