In addition to onboard retail opportunities, many cruise lines make use of port shopping programs. Before cruise passengers go onshore in a particular port, they are given shopping lectures and store maps with the industry’s recommendations for the best deals and the highest quality products.
Participating stores may pay an annual membership fee or an annual flat rate that cruise lines charge stores that is dependent upon how much each store typically earns. This commercial practice is most common in the Caribbean, but this cruise ship business model is widespread.
Indigenous retail product suppliers should become aware of these commercial practices associated with such sales distribution channels and determine if it is a good fit for their products. Most often it is the higher priced consumer goods with some level of mass consumer appeal that can support the necessary margins required for each participant in the supply chain.