Be very, very, very careful of this place. This store was a guaranteed and recommended shop via Carnival Cruise Line's Pride shopping "expert". We were told that he was here to make sure the passengers of Carnival received the best possible deals and that he'd be at this location during a specific time. Sure enough, he was there. We even spoke with him briefly in the store and he told us to "go buy and emerald". So, we found what we thought was a nice men's emerald and diamond ring. The sticker price on it was around $2,000 and we were able to negotiate it down to about $1,400 with our "VIP" card given by our Cruise shopping "expert". Thus, we purchased the ring and they told us to return in an hour to get it sized. 4:40 P.M. we arrive to pick-up the ring and leave the store back to the cruise ship. Keep in mind this store closes at 5:30 P.M.
We arrived back at the ship and I took-off my hat to find a spot on my brim. I then looked closely at my fingers and it appeared to be what looked like glue. I then took out the ring and looked at it closely and saw that that same substance was all around the emeralds, one was cracked and chipped, and the others were very dark with black clouds in them. They were NOT the same emeralds as in the original ring that we purchased. We ran back off the ship to the store to confront them about this.
Upon arriving, the salesman looked at it and told us this lie that they just didn't "buff it out enough". We then noticed that the "white gold" was rubbed off around the emeralds and another metal was showing underneath. We were told that all white gold rings were coated over gold in which we had never heard of. A customer was in the store at the time and they told us they would need to take it to their sizer to have it buffed and for us to follow her out of the store next door. We think they did this to get us out of the store so we didn't make a further scene in front of the customer. At any rate, the "sizer" was mysteriously gone and we returned to the store.
My spouse then demanded to look at the ring with a gem loupe. Sure enough, we could see the cracks and chip clearly along with the different emeralds in the ring. It was apparent that the colors of the emeralds were different and one had a crack and chip out of it. We became extremely upset. They tried to "find us" another ring like this one at their other stores but according to them, they were unable to. We were then refunded our money after demanding this be made right.
What disturbs us the most about this was we spoke with one of the activity directors on board our ship about this experience and he began siding with this store. We explained to him what we wrote in this and he told us to "not even go there" in regards to differences in gems that were shown to us and then given to us during pick-up. Very unprofessional and shocking considering as customers we thought that if the cruise line was recommending this store, they would heed our experience very close. At any rate, he called the Carnival "Shopping Expert" to notify him of this and we were told to visit his desk between specific hours. We did and he seemed concerned. However, after doing some research on this business online via customer reviews, the same thing has happened to others as has happened to us.
As a Fraud Examiner and Auditor for the Federal Government, I highly recommend that you do your research on this business before listening to the cruise line's "shopping experts" and entering their premises.
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