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Old 12-14-2013, 10:55 PM   #16
alagille
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Originally Posted by bumbershoot View Post
10 years ago, Alaska cruise, SAME nonsense. I hadn't ever heard of it then, but blue-ish-purple isn't really my thing, so we weren't tempted. Later on I was able to buy a tanzanite ring from ice.com for almost nothing. Laughed really hard at the concept of it being SO rare blah blah blah. And the people at the stores in Alaska came really close to making it sound like it's FROM Alaska. Like it's super-special for an Alaskan cruise. Weird.
OK, you got me thinking. I checked ebay for tanzanite earrings and came up with over 5300 listings. Most that had just Tanzanite set in a sterling silver setting or dangle averaged between $10-20. Now, if you added gold or diamonds, then obviously the price went up, but WOW. I remembering seeing prices when we walked back thru the stores on the way back to the ship in St. Thomas going for $200-300 range. I can't recall if those were white or yellow gold settings or just sterling silver, but don't think I'll spend too much effort finding a pretty piece of costume jewelry on my next cruise. But, I did "watch" a couple on ebay for 12.99 plus shipping- I don't mind spending time at home looking nor would I be too upset if I didn't like the $15 dollar item once I received it. Some were cute and seemed like what I might find at a craft fair.

On a slightly different note, I wonder how those shopping consultants end up on the boat with us. Do the stores have a contract with DCL and pay to have them onboard, like a paying guest?
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Old 12-15-2013, 12:00 AM   #17
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My wife and I are fascinated by Marissa and Johan. They were the Port Shopping Guides on our Wonder Alaska Cruise in May, and again on our Eastern Caribbean Cruise last month (we couldn't contain our excitement when we found out they were on our ship again).

They seem to be paid by the companies they're pushing, although this was not front and center acknowledged. We definitely weren't interested in buying anything--that's not why we go on vacation, and we're definitely not the target market. However, we were highly entertained watching them around the ship and on the shopping channel in our room.

They do a variant of the same spiel each time, with the same canned bits, stories, and anecdotal advice about shopping in ports and what jewelry and watches to buy.

This bit was definitely our favorite--so much so that I had to record it off the TV on my phone: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtCdHKa-OGk&t=1m30s

I guess this sales approach must work on some people, but personally, we found it entertaining like watching good characters on SNL, Mr. Show, or Kids in the Hall.

Any if not for them, I'd never have even heard of Tanzanite. Maybe there's something to their pitch though, because by the end of the last cruise, I was thinking "maybe I should look into this Tanzanite thing..."
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Old 12-15-2013, 01:01 AM   #18
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They did the same thing with topaz. What they call "Caribbean" topaz in the Caribbean, is Mystic Topaz, and in Alaska they called it something else....making it sound specific to Alaska.
Ooh, interesting. I totally remember some different-sounding topaz in the brochures we got about shopping in Juneau. We went looking around, stopped in a bookstore, got some Mexican food in some away-from-the-main-street restaurant, got a shirt and some coffee at the famous saloon, went up to the glacier (I think we did that first, and, honestly, couldn't find our way TO the glacier which was pretty sad of us even though we saw people over there)... Good day.

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I have an in-expensive ring made of tanzanizing tanzanite and enjoy wearing it now and again, to each their own.
Oh definitely! And I later on bought a ring (more lavender-colored than what we saw in AK) when I got tired of not having anything on my ring finger (got so big with DS...2 months after getting married I couldn't wear my engagement or wedding rings and it was less than a year ago I could finally start wearing them again! DS is 9!) and it is very pretty. I'm just glad I knew it wasn't some rare Alaska gem. Know what I mean? Because we just about got sucked into it on our honeymoon.

Should probably get my tanzanite ring resized, actually.
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Old 12-15-2013, 01:59 AM   #19
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Tanzanite- its pretty and you can buy it anywhere. I bought some because I really liked it, but did not buy it at the recommended cruise stores. I had fun haggling over the price in Cozumel. We had fun, we negotiated a earrings with tanzanite and copal from 225 to 75, plus both of our free disney rain slickers(shop owner wanted them for his sitter and fiancé). Anyways it is all a part of the memory, the earrings make me happy when I wear them, and hey we even got to see the beautiful sights and do this 30 minutes before the ship left
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:39 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by bumbershoot View Post
Oh definitely! And I later on bought a ring (more lavender-colored than what we saw in AK) when I got tired of not having anything on my ring finger (got so big with DS...2 months after getting married I couldn't wear my engagement or wedding rings and it was less than a year ago I could finally start wearing them again! DS is 9!) and it is very pretty. I'm just glad I knew it wasn't some rare Alaska gem. Know what I mean? Because we just about got sucked into it on our honeymoon.

Should probably get my tanzanite ring resized, actually.
Jewelry is made to worn not saved, life is too short. Although I do typically wear the fake stuff when cruising (QVC has some nice stuff), only because i'm too lazy to take it off when snorkeling/swimming or in rather dicey ports.
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:58 AM   #21
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I had noticed all the jewelry shops and find it discouraging. I guess all I hope to find is a t'shirt and a fridge magnet since the chances of finding truly local craft seems so dim. I would not buy jewelry at an outlet mall, I certainly wouldn't buy it in this arrangement.
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Old 12-15-2013, 10:26 AM   #22
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Johnds, don't get too blue. If your "lucky", one of your tours will find a bathroom stop that just *happens* to be attached to a tacky souvenir shop. Hated those 30 minute rest breaks! You'll never get that time back, it's gone forever...
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Old 12-15-2013, 11:51 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keishashadow View Post
Jewelry is made to worn not saved, life is too short. Although I do typically wear the fake stuff when cruising (QVC has some nice stuff), only because i'm too lazy to take it off when snorkeling/swimming or in rather dicey ports.
I do the same thing! I bought an inexpensive band that I wear whenever I travel to any foreign country (instead of my wedding set) and take only "cheap" right hand rings and bracelets and watches.
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Old 12-15-2013, 11:54 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by alagille View Post
OK, you got me thinking. I checked ebay for tanzanite earrings and came up with over 5300 listings. Most that had just Tanzanite set in a sterling silver setting or dangle averaged between $10-20. Now, if you added gold or diamonds, then obviously the price went up, but WOW. I remembering seeing prices when we walked back thru the stores on the way back to the ship in St. Thomas going for $200-300 range. I can't recall if those were white or yellow gold settings or just sterling silver, but don't think I'll spend too much effort finding a pretty piece of costume jewelry on my next cruise. But, I did "watch" a couple on ebay for 12.99 plus shipping- I don't mind spending time at home looking nor would I be too upset if I didn't like the $15 dollar item once I received it. Some were cute and seemed like what I might find at a craft fair.

On a slightly different note, I wonder how those shopping consultants end up on the boat with us. Do the stores have a contract with DCL and pay to have them onboard, like a paying guest?
Without a certificate of authenticity from a certified jeweler, I wouldn't believe that any of those less expensive items on eBay were genuine....even the ones set in silver, because the cost of silver has gone up also.


We rode on a bus in one of the Alaksan ports, seated across from a shopping consultant. He didn't even offer to tell us what his job was, until we asked. Seemed like a nice guy, and he wasn't pushy, like some people have mentioned.
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Old 12-15-2013, 12:23 PM   #25
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Without a certificate of authenticity from a certified jeweler, I wouldn't believe that any of those less expensive items on eBay were genuine....even the ones set in silver, because the cost of silver has gone up also. We rode on a bus in one of the Alaksan ports, seated across from a shopping consultant. He didn't even offer to tell us what his job was, until we asked. Seemed like a nice guy, and he wasn't pushy, like some people have mentioned.
I'm sure most of them are nice people, they just are earning a living like the rest of us. If being pushy helps earn your living, I can't blame them! A simple no usually suffices, but they know the people that can't say no, so they push them. Thankfully they can tell I'm not one of those, so they give up quickly...
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Old 12-15-2013, 01:31 PM   #26
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They seem to be paid by the companies they're pushing, although this was not front and center acknowledged.
You are correct, they are not DCL employees and are paid by an outside vendor. The same goes for the "recommended" shops in the ports. They pay DCL a fee to be listed in their shopping guide.
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Old 12-15-2013, 11:20 PM   #27
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I did an Alaska cruise last year on Princess. When we were in Skagway, we booked an all day excursion into the Yukon. As we were leaving, the shopping guide tried to hand us the shopping guide. I politely explained that we would not be shopping due to an all day excursion, we were heading straight to the bus and then when we got back, straight to the ship. He seemed a bit peeved..... Had a hard time taking no for an answer. I am glad that for Alaska, for the port shopping talks the first words out of their mouths must be "I do not work for the cruise line. All stores I am going to talk about have paid to be mentioned."
That reminds me of when I was in Cartagena during the 2007 EBPC and one of the stops for the tour i was on was some mall. The Shopping expert on the ship came into the store and as I was looking around got asked by her if I was going to be buying some emeralds there. lso at that time one of the store employees announced some sort of special sale because it was the "shopping experts" birthday. At that point I left the store as I was just browsing anyway.
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:06 AM   #28
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When I told my brother (who cruises frequently) that I won a tanzanite necklace at a shopping talk on our cruise, he replied that he calls tanzanite "cruisinite." You only tend to see it at the cruiseport jewelry stores....not so much at your hometown jewelry stores!
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:35 PM   #29
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Tanzanite reminds me of an episode of Newhart (the series where Bob owned the B&B, not the original where he was the psychiatrist).

Bob somehow ended up hosting the local home shopping channel, and the item for sale was some sort of jewelry. He was struggling to say something nice about the piece, and eventually came up with, "Selendric Diamacron................. almost as rare as glass".
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