Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
md80fan

Labadee Merchants

Recommended Posts

I recently got off my very first cruise and loved it as it exceeded my expectations. My only complaint was the merchants in Labadee. Walking through the area was not very pleasant based on how pushy, aggressive, and should I say obnoxious some of the vendors were. I realize every port will have pushy or aggressive people trying to make their money and the cruise lines have no control over that. However, in Labadee Royal has complete control and I am curious why they would allow that to continue.

 

My question is this what has been your experience or response from Royal if you have complained about the merchant area. I was thinking of sending an email but just curious if other people have made complaints and what the response back from Royal has been. I am interested in any email response or if anybody talked with a guess representative on the ship. I know I cannot be the only person who was disappointed with being hassled to buy something (which I can say I did not buy anything) while walking through the merchant area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why would I complain. These locals are fun to haggle with and talk to. They are also easily avoided. Thousands of cruise ship passengers shop there.

If you need practice, try the spa on the ship

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Why would I complain. These locals are fun to haggle with and talk to. They are also easily avoided. Thousands of cruise ship passengers shop there.

If you need practice, try the spa on the ship

Agree. Been that way for 30+yrs, they live there & just trying make an income. If you don't like shop that way, easy area to avoid. Wife an I bought couple neat crafts 20+ yrs ago and still have them...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I recently got off my very first cruise and loved it as it exceeded my expectations. My only complaint was the merchants in Labadee. Walking through the area was not very pleasant based on how pushy, aggressive, and should I say obnoxious some of the vendors were. I realize every port will have pushy or aggressive people trying to make their money and the cruise lines have no control over that. However, in Labadee Royal has complete control and I am curious why they would allow that to continue.

 

My question is this what has been your experience or response from Royal if you have complained about the merchant area. I was thinking of sending an email but just curious if other people have made complaints and what the response back from Royal has been. I am interested in any email response or if anybody talked with a guess representative on the ship. I know I cannot be the only person who was disappointed with being hassled to buy something (which I can say I did not buy anything) while walking through the merchant area.

Never seen them on the beach, never had a problem.

If they are in that little area where items are sold then what's the problem? Isn't that the intent? Isn't this part of the island ambiance?

I guess just don't walk there if you don't like it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...I know I cannot be the only person who was disappointed with being hassled to buy something (which I can say I did not buy anything) while walking through the merchant area.

 

I think you've just described a majority of the Caribbean islands, whether at the pier area involving a taxi or tour, in the market area involving goods for sale, or on a beach where vendors walk up and down all day asking if you want to buy something.

 

I cannot answer your specific question as I have never complained about the merchants at Labadee. Royal knows they are there and will not do anything to make them move. I'm sorry you felt uncomfortable and hassled. Personally, I would forego any e-mail or complaint to Royal as it will most likely fall on deaf ears.

.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies, I guess my expectation for Labadee was going to be a relaxing day at the beach with no "Hard Sells" like when walking in the other ports. The one thing that really bothered me was when I was looking in one stall the guy asked for my name and where I was from. I thought he was just making chit chat. He then handed me a little shot glass size cup and had carved my name in it and demanded I make him an offer for it. I told him I never asked you to carve my name in it nor do I want it and his response was that it now had no value and I owed him something / anything for it. I said no thanks and left to walk back to the beach. It just did not leave a good taste after that. I know that area can be easily avoided but was just curious why Royal would not want to make the entire port as nice and relaxing as possible.

Thanks again for the replies and opinions

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think you've just described a majority of the Caribbean islands, whether at the pier area involving a taxi or tour, in the market area involving goods for sale, or on a beach where vendors walk up and down all day asking if you want to buy something.

 

 

.

 

To some degree yes. But at Labadee they take it to a new level. It's the only Caribbean port we've given up shopping, just not a pleasant experience any more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Once you walk past Artisans Market you should realize within a few steps if it is time to turn back or run the flea market gauntlet. I am used to the hustle in Tijuana but stay away from the hustlers in Labadee.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for the replies, I guess my expectation for Labadee was going to be a relaxing day at the beach with no "Hard Sells" like when walking in the other ports. The one thing that really bothered me was when I was looking in one stall the guy asked for my name and where I was from. I thought he was just making chit chat. He then handed me a little shot glass size cup and had carved my name in it and demanded I make him an offer for it. I told him I never asked you to carve my name in it nor do I want it and his response was that it now had no value and I owed him something / anything for it. I said no thanks and left to walk back to the beach. It just did not leave a good taste after that. I know that area can be easily avoided but was just curious why Royal would not want to make the entire port as nice and relaxing as possible.

Thanks again for the replies and opinions

The bummer is now you know, instead of before. We take a pretty focused path to get to Columbus Cove, so we never see the vendors. Which does kind of make it relaxing. There are still people on the other side of the fence who are begging for food or money. One kind of needs to very much overlook that to truly be relaxed.

 

Also the art area as well as the building of vendors is a LOT less pressure. If that helps next time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just so you know, it's not that hard to say NO and keep on walking. Try it. Besides, I do love free market economy and scored a few good deals on my recent visit there. I am not complaining.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

we have learned over the years just to avoid the market. We go into the building by the buffet and walk around the vendors by the buffet once in a while, but we never go up to the market. Have not gone up there in years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't even bring money with me when going into Labadee. No money, no sale. I just tell them, "Sorry, I didn't bring any money off the ship." Shuts them down real quick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never complained to Royal, but I've emailed them with a question before and never got a response, so unless you are writing them just to vent, I wouldn't expect much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No need to "engage" with anyone you don't want to. Simply walk on past! Yeah...it "feels" rude...but it is what it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also just returned from my first visit to Labadee, I knew about the aggressive sell tactics and it was worse than I imagined. Subjected myself to it once and will never walk that way again.

 

As far as letting Royal, know I did voice my displeasure on the post cruise survey. I believe that Royal knows how it is and lets it go on, maybe because it's part of the deal to lease the land.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Such problems some of you had to contend with...much ado about nothing :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can also hop on a free shuttle and avoid running the "Hey come here. Can I talk to you' vendor gauntlet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...I was looking in one stall the guy asked for my name and where I was from. I thought he was just making chit chat. He then handed me a little shot glass size cup and had carved my name in it and demanded I make him an offer for it. I told him I never asked you to carve my name in it nor do I want it and his response was that it now had no value and I owed him something / anything for it. ...

 

I remember a similar incident some years ago. Someone wrote to say her young son had been subjected to the same kind of situation - merchant asked the son's name and then proceeded to personalize an item and demanded money for it. I think she was more upset at the tactic than anything. Sorry, I do not recall the outcome (if any) but your story triggered a memory that I have heard of this before.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the worst part about visiting the Caribbean. My wife and I were followed by merchants at Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica and it’s just an awful feeling. We kept walking fast but it didn’t make a difference. I was so happy to see the shuttle.

 

But I should t have to deal with that on RCs private areas. I hear if you do the jet ski excursion they also have merchants harass you out there as well.

 

I don’t spend any of my money on merchants. I don’t haggle, I don’t barter, I like walking into a store and there is the price. That’s why we do all our shopping in the port areas. And by shopping I mean we get a magnet or a pin. Some junk at every island, just a different name slapped on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's like buying a car. Just gotta stick to your guns. These people need the money so we always try to by a few things for a reasonable price. My sister cracks me up at these places bc she can't say no and walks out with the most random stuff. Labadee it was maracas. Cozumel it was a rasta safari bag (we were going to Jamaica on that cruise 2 days later). Shes ripe for the taking with these vendors. Always good times and we just understand that it's part of the shopping "experience".

 

Sent from my SM-G955U using Forums mobile app

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We actually bought some things in the walk over to Columbus Cove.... once. Wow. We don't walk through there anymore. It is worse than any other island we've been to so far. Its seems as though once they saw us buying something they were even more persistent in the desire to sell us something. We get they are trying to make money. Just it would be a bit better for us if they toned it down a smidge.

 

We take the tram over to Columbus Cove, so it just drives on past the vendors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • NCL Sail-Away Giveaway Sweepstakes - Win a 7-Day Cruise on Norwegian Joy!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...