Your first introduction to the cruise directors and destination hosts begins with the required lifeboat drill. At your assigned muster station, one of the host staff will be on stage directing the drill. The message is clear: Follow us, do as we say, go where you are told and we will always keep you safe. It is our job. We take our job seriously because we care about you. Trust us; we know what we are doing.
Cruise directors and hosts seem to be everywhere; introducing port lecturers, speaking of their own experiences while shopping at the destination, showing off their own jewels found in the next port, hosting the evening’s entertainment. They lead you in silly games to get you out of your comfort zone, breaking down your usual pattern of cautious behaviour. You’re here to have fun and let loose. Try something new. We will protect you. You don’t worry.
The host will become your best friend, confidante, and advisor. They know everything…even where to get the best deal on jewellery. While you wait to exit disembark at the port they keep you entertained and get you excited about all the magnificent jewels and the “lowest on the planet” prices. You are on holiday. It’s time to splurge. You are safe if you follow our suggestions.
You hit the port armed with a map of recommended stores, a little bit of knowledge and a boat-load of confidence. You’ll have a handful of coupons for free gemstones, free pendants, free water, gifts and other incentives at different stores. Now the store takes over.
The salesman has about 15 seconds to get your attention and start a dialogue. His first step is to up-sell the coupon to turn the free gift into a sale. A free gemstone can be upgraded to one set in a pendant for $29.95 or a bigger and nicer piece for $59.95. Whatever the free gift, it can turn into a sale. They have a five minute window to close the sale or move on to the next level…the good stuff.
These guys are experts, practising their craft on dozens of customers per day. They ask what ship you are on. They will remind you that their store is approved and guaranteed by your ship so they must be one of the good guys. They even know your cruise director/best friend personally! They can obviously be trusted. And somehow or another that free gem becomes 5ct bracelet, a 2ct pair of studs or even a 5ct centre stone in a new ring. Maybe you’ll take them all. Get something nice for yourself. You deserve it!
Back on the ship you can’t wait to show your new best friends what you bought and thank them for all their help and guidance. The next step is to register your purchase with the ship. This activates your guarantee. More importantly…it gives the ship a way to account for their expected commissions and verify that the store is reporting all the sales.
If you forgot to buy something…no worries. Once the ship is on the way home and no longer in competition with the advertisers, the overpriced jewellery store on the ship will have a huge sale.
Next: Summing up the industry