When visiting a port of call it is not uncommon for a cruise line to give the passengers a list of shops in which to find the best shopping deals in that area. The lists are meant to provide the passenger with a basic understanding of where to go in order to make difference kinds of purchases, such as jewelry, art, and clothing. But, as a recent expose revealed, the lists are less about informing the passenger, and more about lining the cruise line’s pockets.
Many best deals lists that are published by cruise lines are actually a sort of side business for them. The companies contract with an outside vendor who sells space to the shops which will be featured in the publication. In other words, the shops featured in the “best deals” publication have to pay a price of entry. Many of the shops also are required to pay a “kickback.” A percentage of gross sales which originate from cruise ship passengers must be paid back to the cruise line as the price of being included in the publication.
A recent study found that the shops listed in the best deals publications don’t even really offer the lowest prices. Perhaps this is because the companies must raise their prices in order to be able to afford to be included in the best deals publication in the first place.