All posts by Rhonda Carroll

Shopping In Dubai

Many travelers who tour Dubai would love to do some marvelous shopping in the city that is famous for hosting some of the most wonderful markets and shopping malls in the whole world. Today we will be highlighting some of the most important and remarkable shopping malls in Dubai.

The Dubai Mall

The Dubai Mall comes first in the list in the most marvelous shopping malls in the city that welcome a large number of travelers who tour Dubai. It is considered the largest shopping mall in the whole world and one of the most favorite entertainment hubs in the region. The Dubai mall has more than 1,200 stores that sell all various types of international brands and goods.

Other attractions in the Dubai mall would include an amazing ice skiing arena that would be enjoyable by children and adults all the same. There is also a cinema that has 22 halls that display Arab and international films. Almost all tourists who travel to Dubai enjoy their visit to the Dubai Mall.

The Dubai Mall also hosts one of the most luxurious hotels in UAE, the Enwan Hotel. This would be the most perfect choice for travellers touring Dubai who are interested in the mall and the many activities implemented there. The hotel is located Near Burj Khalifa as well, the highest building in the whole world.

The mall contains more than 1,200 shops including the world’s largest candy store, an ice rink, a SEGA game center (featuring a 3D bowling game), a 5 star luxury hotel, 22 cinema screens plus 120 restaurants and cafes. The mall also contains one of the largest aquariums in the world.


The multi-level shopping mall currently features more than 630 retail outlets, 7900 parking spaces, over 100 restaurants and cafés, 80 luxury stores and 250 flagship stores. It has a total gross leasable area of 255,489 square meters. It also hosts family leisure activities including Ski Dubai (the Middle East’s first indoor ski resort and snow park), the 500-seat capacity Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre and Magic planet, one of the largest indoor family entertainment centres in Dubai.

Shopping on queen mary 2

It was with the recent maiden sailing of the current World’s largest cruise ship, Freedom of the Seas, from Southampton docks that it dawned on me. Massive crowds flocked to see the huge Royal Caribbean ship cruise from Southampton for the first time and as we watched the ship from the little village of Hythe on the opposite side of Southampton Water, a friend said to me, “I bet people were stood here watching when the Titanic set sail.”

It was true though. For the first time since the 1960’s there seems to be a real enthusiasm about cruise ships again. It actually started about two years ago with the arrival in Southampton of the Queen Mary 2. Its classic Cunard lines brought back memories of the great ocean liners of yesteryear; the Queen Elizabeth, the original Queen Mary, the Canberra, the original Oriana and even the QE2, which, although still a regular visitor to Southampton docks, had become such a familiar sight that nobody really batted an eyelid at her anymore.

Over the last decade or so there has been a regular stream of new ships into Southampton such as the Arcadia, the Aurora and the new Oriana. Unfortunately, these P&O ships just didn’t seem to whet the appetite of the old cruise ship fans. They would normally be greeted with comments such as, “It looks more like a ferry than a cruise liner!”

However, when the Queen Mary 2 arrived in Southampton you finally started to hear some approving comments. “Now that’s what a cruise liner is supposed to look like,” they’d say. Personally, I think I’d have to agree with them. The QM2 has the classic sleek lines and clipper bow that symbolises Cunard liners and is really what you would picture if asked to describe a great cruise ship.

Ah, the fresh sea air, the towering waves, the endless cocktails. How I miss it so. There is something else I miss greatly…the shopping on the QM2. In all honestly, before we set sail, I was already trying to find out just what kind of retail offerings were on the ship. This actually proved to be a difficult topic to sleuth out on the web! So I turned to the message boards. Would I be able to buy magazines? Bonine? Dental Floss? A dress for the ball? Nobody seemed too interested in any of these questions. So here it is everyone: your guide to Shopping on the QM2.

We shall start with the Mayfair Shops. Located just off the grand lobby in the center of the ship, they offer a wonderful array of cosmetic brands, including Chanel, Estee Lauder, Lancome, Clarins, La Prarie and more. While you can shop for wonderful perfumes and single items needed for your beauty regimen, what dazzled me were the travel gift sets. Estee Lauder and Clarins had beautiful packaged skincare sets and Lancome’s cosmetics case had everything you could need to keep your nose powdered at dinner. You could go nuts in here, as everything is tax free when the ship is out on the seas (but not in port, so be mindful of that). Actually, I think I did. I now have enough makeup to get us through 2020.

Attached to the duty free cosmetics store, they also have a small shop for sunglasses and sport watches.

But what to do if you packed in a hurry and forgot your clothing? Never fear! The shops on QM2 stock a variety of dresses, tops, cardigans (that’s jumpers to the Brits), pants, and skirts. Some of it was a bit artsy for my taste. Actually, Stevie Nicks might have a field day in there. But other pieces were quite nice. I added a sleek black top with zippered shoulders and a white sweater with lace cutouts to my wardrobe from the shop. If you just need something informal to keep you warm in the wind as you do laps around deck 7, or want to show off at the gym when you get home, you can also purchase QM2 sweatshirts and windbreakers in the shops.

If you are in the mood for bags of Cadbury chocolates or Malteesers by the gallon, you can head to the duty free general store located next door to the cosmetics counter. In there you will find alcohol, cigarettes, and chocolate (a chain-smoking hypoglycemic’s dream) as well as assorted useful sundries like toothpaste and bandaids. I would not, however, rely on this for any of your essentials, as the variety of sundries was in a word: slim. So pack that steamer trunk full of what you need before you get onboard the ship. That means shoelaces, manicure scissors, and mouthwash to you folks!

When the glory days of the ocean liners came toan end in the late 1960’s, it was the jet airliners that killed them off. Suddenly, people didn’t have to spend weeks on a ship with maybe only a couple of days’ shore time thrown in. They could reach their destination within a matter of hours giving them more time to enjoy their holiday. As for the millionaires and movie stars that had made the great transatlantic ocean liners so glamorous, they no longer had the time to spare on ships. They now wanted to be members of the jet set. If you were anybody important then you had to be seen to be moving quickly.

Perhaps it’s some weird twist of fate then that some terrible incidents involving airliners would give cruise ships new appeal. It’s no secret that after the events of 9-11 in the US there was a massive drop in the number of people travelling by aeroplane. The sights from that fateful day would be enough to put some people off flying for good. It seems quite understandable then that people would look for a more relaxed alternative. One that seems almost detached from the worries of the World.

There’s not really a better place to do that than on a cruise ship. When you’re out in the middle of the ocean, it seems like all the bad things in the World are a million miles away. Modern cruise ships like the Freedom of the Seas and the Queen Mary 2 boast all the luxuries of a top hotel together with shops, bars, restaurants, cinemas and theatres so keeping entertained is definitely not a problem. And, with the ship’s staff there to wait on you hand and foot, it certainly seems a nice alternative to six hours cramped up in an airline seat followed by two weeks on an over-crowded beach surrounded by drunken hooligans.

I think we are on the brink of new glory days for cruise ships and I hope that in years to come people will look back on some of our current batch of ocean liners as classics. They’re fabulous ships and they deserve it.

Shopping in Orlando

If you know anyone who has been to Orlando on holiday, they may have told you to take an empty suitcase with you.

Alternatively you can buy one while you are there, because you will need an extra one to bring home all the goods you will find it hard to resist buying. Orlando is a hotspot for shopping, and it is small wonder too because it has plenty to offer.

Nowhere does shopping malls quite like Orlando does. There are lots of them, but the best is generally agreed to be the Mall at Millenia. This is no ordinary shopping mall – it is the finest one of all.

Be prepared to be tempted by some of the most famous names in shopping here. You have the likes of Tiffany, Burberry and Gucci to explore, not to mention the famous Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s stores.

If that sounds a little bit expensive for you, why not try Old Town? Many people love this because it offers a full day out and plenty to see and do. There are plenty of stores here to browse around, and when it’s time for lunch you can take a break and choose from more than a dozen places to grab a bite to eat.

And once you have bought enough to fill that suitcase and sated your thirst and hunger, there are rides to enjoy as well. Add to that the bands that play on Fridays and Saturdays and you have everything you need for a shopping trip with a difference.

Orlando Premium Outlets is another location well worth exploring if you want to be sure you get as much for your dollars as possible. You will find all those big name stores here, but the prices will be a lot more affordable as they generally are at an outlet centre. And with a hundred and fifty stores in total, this could be another whole day out shopping to look forward to.

Finally if you want something completely different to round off your shopping trip with, don’t miss the Osceola Flea and Farmer’s Market. There are literally hundreds of separate stalls here, so no matter what you are looking for, if you love a spot of haggling you will really be in your element.

You’ll find everything from clothing to candy and DVDs to decorations ready and waiting for you. It’s a wonderful place and it costs nothing to get in, so you can save your cash for spending inside!

Park Avenue Shops in Orlando will make your heart race, especially if the thought of shopping for contemporary designer clothing and gifts gets you going. While staying in Orlando, you’re just a short drive away from world class shopping on Park Avenue, Winter Park.

Winter Park is an upscale enclave just north of downtown Orlando and minutes from the theme park area. Home to Rollins College and several authors and artists, this tiny village, which sits among a chain of lakes, is anchored by Park Avenue and is bevy of boutiques.

Park Avenue store windows tempt, with apparel, accessories, books, art and gifts. Nearly everything a woman could want to wear, carry, give or receive can be found along this gracious but busy thoroughfare. There’s a heavy emphasis on contemporary designer labels, including shoes, so if you miss your Manolo Blahniks, fear not. You can try on another pair.

There’s little doubt that Winter Park shopping is an upscale destination event: sports cars line the street, and power deals are taking place at countless outdoor bistro tables. The city even hosts its own Fashion Week in early October; boutiques along Park have trunk showings of new lines the entire week prior. Then excitement builds, as a giant tent is erected in West Meadow, the lush green park adjacent to downtown. Just like at Bryant Park, the latest high-end looks debut on the runway for locals and visitors during this special event.

Every day is special on Park Avenue Shops in Orlando, though, as friendly boutiques are more than happy to introduce patrons to the latest fashion trends and designers who are making waves. The buyer at Ginger has amassed an impressive collection of designers – Patricia Green, Min Young Lee, Linda Loudermilk, Julie Brown – and goods by a host of smaller independent clothing labels. Tugboat and the Bird is a darling childrens’ store tempting its patrons with the cutest of clothing and décor.

Some names will be familiar to you as you shop Park Avenue: Bebe, Lilly Pulitzer (pink and green, anyone?) Eileen Fisher, Jacobsen’s. And in case you’re wondering, there are puh-lenty of things to keep the fellas amused, in case this is a day trip for two.

When it’s time for a break from shopping, or you want to walk off a delicious bistro lunch, stroll up Park Avenue to the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. Here you’ll find the world’s largest collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany, the renowned glass artist, as well as room after room of beautiful collectibles and furnishings. The Park is also a great place to enjoy a little fresh air and make final buying decisions.

The Park Avenue Shops in Orlando could well become your new favorite reason to take a break from the Disney Parks!

As you can see there is something for every type of shopper when you visit Orlando. And if you are too laden down with shopping bags you can always catch a cab back to whichever one of the Orlando hotels you happen to be staying in.

Just be sure to rest your feet afterward!