My wife and I are going to be at CTI Dec 18-25, and were wondering if anyone has advice re: shopping trips. Is it worth going anywhere to do some shopping (somewhere where we won`t have people pressuring us non-stop), or are the vendors that are allowed to come onto the property good enough? If a shopping trip is worth it, which one, and which day(s) is/are good to go?
When we go to CTI or CSS we usually take a taxi to the Island Village shopping Center. And we walk to the Tajmahal Shopping Center which is just a block or 2 down the street. I'm not sure whether Couples shopping shuttle goes there or not. We usually like to take our time and not be rushed so we do the taxi. We have never been pressured by anyone. There is a very nice selection of shops between the two.
We have been to CTI 4 Times and CSS 1 time in the past 5 years, every time we do the shopping trip. We love it! We go to the Island Village and Tajmahal, and yes the "MARKET". We have bought things from each place. If you want a camera, jewelry, towels or t-shirts, go to the Island Village or Tajmahal. If you want hand paintings, hand crafted wood sculptures, hand made necklaces go to the Market. The "Market" is well let's say CRAZY! You will get pressured, bugged, and bothered. But if you want the true Jamaican culture stuff thats where you have to go. We love to go to the market, we don't have a problem telling the vendors NO as they come up to us. Trust us the news travels fast threw the market when you say NO. They all watch you. Don't go on the shopping trip if there is a crusie ship in port. Way to many people and you wont get the best price for things. You can go into town anytime you want. 4 of the 5 times we took a cab for $20. Tell the cab driver to take you to Tajmahal or Island and he will stay there until your ready to go. FYI- shopping centers are gated with guards and that is so the locals don't hassle you. Remember 1 US dollar is like 86 dollars of their money. Everyone down there is trying to make a buck! Have a great time!!
They have vendors come in the resort that are good, the gift shops are nice, and shopping at the airport on the way home. You can walk out of the resort and turn right for some local vendors, not alot of pressure from them. Island village is not worth the time and costly.The market is just to pushy for us.