While the itinerary is likely to rank high on your list of priorities when booking a cruise, the opportunities to indulge at sea can be just as important in your choice of ship. And if your chosen form of indulgence happens to be of the shopping variety, then most modern cruise ships are bound to sate your appetite. It’s just a case of picking the right one for you.
With designer brands and duty free shopping on cruise ships, you’re constantly faced with deals on clothing and handbags, alcohol and so much more. To help make your decision on which cruise line to choose, here’s our guide to retail therapy on the open waves.
Ovation of the Seas®
Royal Caribbean® have really outdone themselves with Ovation of the Seas, a shopaholic’s dream out on the waves. The Royal Esplanade® is home to some of the biggest and best known names in fashion, including Michael Kors, Omega and the first ever Cartier at sea, so you can pick up new handbags, watches – and even the odd diamond or two.
There are loads of beauty brands to contend with too, after an already high demand for cosmetic products has only increased. Ovation of the Seas features innovative Korean skincare products that have been taking the Far East and China by storm. You’ll be able to get your hands on these, along with more familiar luxury brands like Creme de la Mer and La Prairie.
• Ralph Lauren
• Ted Baker
Inspired by the finest 5* hotels, P&O Cruises’ flagship Britannia was built with style in mind. This is reflected in the ship’s open plan shopping atrium, which closely resembles the layout of some of London’s most highly renowned department stores.
Here you’ll find everything you need to make your trip feel extra special, from luxury cosmetic brands to the finest Swarovski crystals. There’s even the opportunity to pick up a new outfit for one of the scheduled formal nights, with clothes and accessories from top brands including Lola Rose, Joules and Harrods.
• Michael Kors
Celebrity Cruises® is one of the best cruise lines for shopaholics, as the entire fleet offers a wealth of designer shopping boutiques. Celebrity Reflection℠ is perhaps the most impressive of them all. In addition to offering a host of exclusive brands, Celebrity Reflection℠ also boasts the first ever Kate Spade store to open at sea.
Alongside fashion and jewellery, guests can shop for cutting-edge electronics in the Celebrity iLounge – the first authorised Apple reseller to set sail. Whatever you’re looking for, the store-lined marble walkways onboard Celebrity Reflection are a top place to treat yourself, as well as find gifts for friends and family.
• Michael Kors
• Yves Saint Laurent
Cruisers can wile away the hours onboard Cunard’s ultra-luxurious Queen Elizabeth, perusing the ship’s ornate shopping promenade. Traditional in style, The Royal Arcade – one of the loveliest cruise ship shopping malls on the seas – takes inspiration from London’s Burlington Arcade and offers a range of chic designer boutiques, making it easier than ever to shop for luxury fashion at sea.
Perhaps most impressive onboard Queen Elizabeth is the range of iconic Fortnum & Mason products, including biscuits, tea and preserves. Whether you’re looking for a souvenir to gift a loved one or a treat for yourself, shopping at sea doesn’t get much more exclusive than this.
• Harris Tweed
• Anya Hindmarch
• Aspinal of London
Recently updated with the aim of giving cruisers the ultimate cruise ship shopping experience, Silversea’s Silver Shadow offers an impressive range of onboard boutiques that have been designed by world renowned architect Tiziano Vudafieri.
Here, shoppers can choose from a wide range of luxury goods, with established brands including Gucci, Bvlgari and La Vian. These designer boutiques feature goods that’ll both function as a once in a lifetime souvenir, as well as a bit of sparkle for your ship’s formal nights.
• Tag Heuer
• Paul & Shark
Not to be outdone by way of cruise ship shopping, Carnival Cruises brings you Carnival Breeze. She boasts a premier shopping area known as ‘The Fun Shops’, featuring a range of stores selling everything from resort wear and jewellery to those all-important sundries. There’s even the popular Art Auction at Sea, where cruisers can bid on and purchase collectible fine art.
Onboard you’ll find a sweet shop striped with every colour of the rainbow, along with quirkier gifts you’re not likely to pick up on other ships. We’re talking cabin decorations and gifts, luxury food hampers and freshly cut flowers.
Ready to hit the shops on the high seas? Take a look at our list of cruise lines to book your next greatest retail adventure with.
Keen to experience the thrill of shopping at sea? Take a look at our latest deals and use what you save on your next session of offshore retail therapy.
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