It is almost that time of year again and the time to start thinking about that all important Christmas shopping. I have to be honest and say that I am almost finished all of mine, I started in September this year, usually I would wait until October but I gave myself a head start. Although I am almost finished, there are still one or two other things I would like to get and saying as I am cruising on P&O Cruises, Oceana from December 1st I am going to get them then, on my pre-Christmas cruise.
A lot of people have short breaks at this time of the year, specifically to do some Christmas shopping and I suppose in a way, that’s what I am doing except it’s a 12-night break! 😉
There are some great ports of call on this cruise, all of which I am sure will be in the festive mood and most of them are ideal for shopping! Gibraltar, Cadiz, Cartagena, Lisbon, Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca – perfect! The only port I wouldn’t say was fantastic for shopping would be Palma, but the rest are ideal and they each offer a little bit of everything. In Lisbon and Barcelona you have a lot of high street brands, great for stocking up on the products you love and trust, Gibraltar offers jewellery and watches, a great chance to grab something nice and save a small fortune on UK prices, and Cadiz and Cartagena both offer a bit of a mix along with some rather nice local stores and…….wait for it………C&A! Do you remember that one, ladies?!
I didn’t book the cruise intentionally to shop, nor was it advertised as a “Christmas Cruise”, I booked it as an end of year holiday, but the closer it is getting, the more it seems it is turning into a Christmas shopping trip and I am definitely not going to change that, I might even buy a present or two for myself! I absolutely love Christmas and I have had a few cruises that have been around this time of year, experiencing the festivities abroad is incredibly exciting and my friend and I will always look out for roasted chestnuts! They do nice ones in Lisbon.
As it is a great chance to shop, I thought it would be nice to highlight it as something you could maybe think about in the future? As I said, people take a lot of breaks at this time of year for shopping and markets, Bruges and Amsterdam both being very popular, but if you go for the extended option, you get a holiday instead of just a short break and you can shop in several different places. I know for a lot of people it will come down to costs and whether or not you can take that much time off work during December, but give it some thought for next year or maybe even for 2016, you have to admit it would be something a little different if you would normally take your cruise during the summer season.
This trip is not going to be entirely about shopping though, my friend and I are hoping to visit Montserrat during our call to Barcelona (even us girls need a break from shopping occasionally) so that should be a lot of fun. I have been eager to visit for the last few years, but I never seem to end up getting there because of one reason or another, fingers crossed this time – I go!
My only sadness about this trips is that I will STILL not get to see the Christmas tree aboard. I have been desperate to see it for the last 5 years and every time I cruise at this time of year I always seem to disembark a day or two before the Christmas tree is due to go up. In 2011 I watched them loading it onto the ship in sections as I waved goodbye in Southampton – that was absolute torture!
I suppose I should pack light this time! I could end up needing the space on the way back! 😉