Savvy Shopper: U.S. Virgin Islands

In the Bag

How to be a savvy shopper when your ship calls on the U.S. Virgin Islands

By Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon

Shopping in “America’s Caribbean” (St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St John) definitely has its advantages, the biggest being that U.S. residents are allowed to bring back $1,600 of duty-free goods — twice the amount permitted from other Caribbean countries. Combine that with the fact that there’s no sales tax and you’ve got two compelling reasons to buy in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Debbie Sun Designs

Bring Caribbean color to your home with this Crucian textile artist’s pillows and table linens, featuring designs inspired by St. Croix’s Danish-Colonial architecture and iconic island motifs such as shells and leaves.

Donald Schnell Ceramics

Serve up paradise on a plate with tableware from this prolific St. John ceramist, whose studio in The Armoré Center is a trove of fine and functional pieces handcrafted from clay, Virgin Islands sand, and molten glass.


Whether your skin’s sunburned or you just want to smell divine, stock up on these St. Croix–made all-natural and minimally processed lotions, soaps, oils, and body butters at boutiques in Frederiksted and Christiansted.

Sonya Ltd.

You can’t leave St. Croix without the classic island memento, a silver or gold hook bracelet that silently signals whether you’re…


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Photo: Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon

Now in its 25th year, Porthole Cruise and Travel Magazine is published bi-monthly and available worldwide through digital subscription. It offers the latest news in cruise and travel, with in-depth features on voyages, new ships, the best destinations, readers' picks, onboard cuisine, entertainment, and more!