Ship shop

VOGUE Living Australia - - On Board -

Bou­tiques on board daz­zle with dis­plays of duty-free items, and you can come away with a great find or two if you fol­low a few rules.

CHOOSE WISELY

Do your re­search be­fore the trip so you’ll have an idea of what you’re look­ing for and be less likely to buy some­thing sim­ply on a whim.

PERUSE THE SHOPS

Cruise lines are great places for re­tail ther­apy, and larger lux­ury ships de­vote en­tire decks to shop­ping malls — Cu­nard, for ex­am­ple, has the Royal Ar­cade in the style of Lon­don’s Burling­ton Ar­cade. Prices are le­git­i­mately duty-free, with­out lo­cal taxes, as the ships don’t trade on shore. In fact, they’re open only on sea days and closed in port.

FIND THE DEALS

Prices can be com­pet­i­tive with on­shore re­tail, and you’re un­likely to come across a fake hand­bag or di­a­mond ring, as cruise lines have rep­u­ta­tions to up­hold. Make sure you know the rec­om­mended re­tail price of an item be­fore you buy, though. Prices fluc­tu­ate through­out the cruise, too, so it’s smart not to buy ev­ery­thing in a mad rush on your first day on board. Check your daily cruise guide to find out about spe­cial sales and pro­mo­tions.

MAKE SURE YOU LOVE IT

Be­fore you buy a big-ticket item, such as fine jew­ellery or art, make sure you re­ally want it. You’ll still have to de­clare any items to cus­toms that ex­ceed your per­sonal limit when you re­turn.

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