So apparently it’s Black Friday today, which means loads of different shops and websites are having sales. It’s another tradition that’s come over from the US, and one that sparks little interest from me.
But shopping is of course a hobby these days, for a lot of people. Not me, but a lot of people, people who like to browse and wander through shops slowly, perusing everything even if they were there last week and it’s the same stock.
And you can’t even escape when you’re on holiday. Most cruise ships these days have an on-board shop or boutique. Sometimes it’s just a range of branded t-shirts, caps, cups and so forth, letting you take home a souvenir to remind you of your ship.
But sometimes it’s something more than that. Sometimes you get full-on fashion retailers with pristine luxury shops on-board, selling the finest suits, dresses, jewellery and very expensive watches. And this I don’t understand.
Well, I do understand, I get that some people love shopping and they want the opportunity to splash out. But why when you’re on a cruise should shopping be so important that you cannot live without it while at sea?
When you’re in port, you’ll still have ample opportunity to head out and enjoy a bit of retail therapy. From the traditional souks of places throughout Asia and of course Morocco, to the major fashion icons of Rome and Paris, and even the local crafts you’ll find all over the world, it’s not like you won’t have the chance to flex that credit card during your voyage.
The argument, of course, is that not every cruise will head to ports that offer the luxury items that are sometimes for sale on-board. And sometimes these are items you won’t find up the high street in some of the familiar chains. Even I’ll agree that buying something that you’ve seen in person trumps making that exact same purchase online.
So today is a day for shopping. According to statistics and traditions from the US, where Black Friday originated, it’s the start of the Christmas holiday season (the day after Thanksgiving) and it’s also the busiest day for shopping in the year.
So in that spirit, do you often make purchases when you’re on a cruise? Whether on-board or during your visit to port. What kind of things do you buy? Is shopping a big part of your holiday?
By Ian Lewis