Are the shops on the ship “duty free” or just tax free? And how does the only being able to bring $800 worth of duty free stuff back home work? I don’t quite understand how this works. Any help??
For your purposes, yes they are duty and tax free to a point. How the $800 thing works that each person can buy up to $800 dollars worth of stuff during the cruise and not pay any duty when you return to the states. This is both the onboard shops, along with the shops on the islands you visit. If you go over this $800 limit you will pay a duty (tax in the very broadest of terms) on the amount you are over.
Note: You can “pool” your limits if you are traveling with your immediate family. For example if you are on a cruise with your spouse and your children your entire party duty free allowance is $3200 (4 * 800). So if your spouse buys you a $3000 ring on the cruise, and no one else buys anything else to bring back into the states, you wouldn’t owe any duty on the ring.
Hope this answers your question.
Thank you so much. That explains it perfectly to me!! I appreciate the answer=)