You haven’t had much luck searching for that "perfect bag" in John Lewisl, but there's a chance you'll find it on your next cruise -- and for a good price. Cruise lines continue to expand their retail options, with many ships now offering at-sea versions of your favourite land-based stores. The best part: Onboard shopping is duty-free as long as you stay within your government-issued allowance, meaning you don't have to pay the local tax and can land a great deal if you do your research.
If you want to shop for fun finds beyond the typical logowear and destination souvenirs, browse these six popular land-based shops you can find on cruises. (Note: Limited quantities of big-name brands are generally sold in onboard souvenir shops; our list highlights only full-sized boutiques.)
1. Victoria's Secret
From buy-more-and-save deals to perfume sampling, everything you love most about Victoria's Secret can be found at the brand's only full-sized shop at sea, onboard Carnival Horizon. Word on the street is sometimes there are even better bargains here than on land, such as three for $30 instead of three for $36 on the "Very Sexy" underwear collection. The ship also hosts a "Girls' Night Out" event where passengers can window-shop while sipping Champagne and play games to win various prizes.
2. Kate Spade
The late fashion designer's legacy lives on not only on land, but also on the high seas. Fans of Kate Spade's playful yet sophisticated handbags and other accessories can browse the shops on all of Royal Caribbean's Oasis-class cruise ships (with the exception of Symphony of the Seas). Large quantities of her products also can be found on Celebrity Reflection and Carnival Horizon.
3. Tiffany & Co.
Celebrating a special occasion on Oasis of the Seas, Celebrity Solstice or Celebrity Edge? Make your way into the Tiffany & Co. boutique, and you might be surprised to find the perfect gift for a price you're willing to pay. Some Cruise Critic members report they were able to purchase jewellery for less than what they'd found on land, and were still able to save after duty was assessed. (Don't forget to declare your purchases so you don't get hit with a Customs fine.)
4. Michael Kors
Michael Kors lovers: You're in luck. The retailer has shops on several Royal Caribbean and Celebrity ships, as well as Carnival Horizon. Most of them sell the usual handbags and wallets; some are also stocked with apparel. Keep an eye out for sales listed in your daily planner. While not all of them are a steal, there are times when you can save up to 50 percent -- though keep in mind, these deals are usually for out-of-season styles.
Itching to add a new charm to your Pandora bracelet? The store best known for its customisable jewellery made its cruise debut on Carnival Breeze and is in the process of being rolled out to other Carnival ships. There's no shame in shopping for yourself, but with the breadth of options onboard, you'll have fun getting gifts for your loved ones back home. Keep an eye out for cruise- and travel-themed charms, especially those custom-designed for your favourite cruise line.
Shopaholics will find it hard to stroll past the Central Park Coach store on Oasis and Allure of the Seas without going inside. The at-sea boutique sells a wide selection of the brand's much-loved handbags, wallets and other accessories -- and you can save big if you play your cards right. Don't make an impulsive purchase on the first day; instead, wait until the end of the cruise, when products tend to be heavily discounted. Have onboard credit? Even better; you can apply that to your purchase for the ultimate shopping win.