Monday, July 21, 2008

Should You Avoid the Art Auction on Your Cruise?

The topic of art auctions has always been a touchy one. There is a new article on MSNBC just today calling the art auction gallery "the worst place on the ship". As someone who has been to the auctions, and actually bought a couple of pieces I can't say that I agree with this but I do have to agree that when it comes to auctions at sea that you have to be very careful. It is rare to find what we would call "original" artwork at these auctions. A good auctioneer will explain (in auctioneer speak) just exactly you get which is usually a reproduction in one a handful of formats that while sound fantastic are for the casual person easily explained as expensive posters. As for the pieces that we have bought. We knew what we bought and were happy with the price, but knew that we would not be able to or want to pay what it would cost for the original anyway. Now, our budget was $300 for everything we bought and not thousands of dollars nor did I believe that we were making an investment. So unlike many, if not most, unsuspecting people, we were not upset when the art was delivered. That is right, delivered. The Framed piece that you see on board is not the one you get 99% of the time. In fact in many cases, it IS the original which just adds to the confusion to some. What you get is delivered to the address you supply them with a few weeks after the cruise and in most cases is not framed unless you pay extra for it. Now, knowing all this, I still go to the auctions one because its a great place to get free champagne, its educational, and on the rare occasion there is something that just hits our eye and fits our budget that we want. Even if we did not go, I don't feel bad for those that are naive enough to spend the big bucks on board the ship. Its one of many ways that the cruise lines keep the base cost down, and that benefits everyone.

1 comment:

cruzr said...

I use to go for the free champagne but now we skip them all together. It's probably been three or four cruises since we have been to one and I have no plans to return.