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Old February 17th, 2009, 12:52 AM
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Default Princess Cruise Lines 'Fine Art Sales' - Buyer's Beware

For those considering the purchase of artwork on a Princess Cruise, think twice before agreeing to have them frame the art you have purchased. It is very expensive (despite what they say) and the quality is not what they portray it to be.
Excited about the 'fine' art (actually turned out to be run of the mill lithographs) we had purchased on an October cruise aboard the Tahitian Princess in French Polynesia we were sold on the idea of having Princess Cruises Fine Arts send the artwork to us already 'professionally' framed. This turns out to be very expensive compared to what you would pay locally. We had five pieces of art framed at an average cost of $350-400. One of the frames arrived damaged and one other was not matted correctly as evidenced by wrinkling of the art beneath the matting. Both situations were reported and after being required to provide digital pictures of the problems it was agreed that the matting problem could be repaired locally at Princess expense (still waiting for the check) and the other could be returned and replaced (not replaced yet). We were even more disappointed to be told locally that our artwork had been covered with plain plexiglass (cheapest alternative) without even UV protection, not to mention glare protection. When this was presented to the 'Fine Art Sales' customer service staff and management we were simply told that that's the way it is unless you purchase an art piece worth more than $1500 (never mentioned during the purchase process). Don't think that Princess is going to jump in and be your advocate. They just sat on the sidelines without comment. Operations like 'Fine Arts' and Lotus Spa seem to have their own independent status on these ships. So if you run into a problem Princess Cruises may or may not choose to step in and insist on doing whats right. My advice is enjoy the ship and the ports and avoid these costly onboard money maker operations.
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Old February 17th, 2009, 07:55 PM
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Is the slick art auctioneer the retired basketball player Stu whatshisname
still play acting on Princess? He was quite a piece of work.....

Back many yrs now,we ran into quality control issues, with collages we bought, as did another couple in our group. Princess should have been embarrassed by the condition of this art. After going back and forth, with new art shipped, which was the same as the first 2 pieces. it ended up by us not being charged for either piece, and a Tarkay litho sent to us as well.. Lesson leaned, I guess, because they told us no more collages will be offered.
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Old February 17th, 2009, 09:42 PM
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Gee. Park West and cruise ship art auctions have always had a great reputation.
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Old February 17th, 2009, 09:55 PM
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Princess does not work with Park West, they are the only line, with an in house art gallery unto themselves.
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Old February 18th, 2009, 07:41 AM
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Yes, and unfortunatley I heard many of the same complaints from Princess customers. But, when you think about it it makes sense. Square footage (real estate) on a cruise ship is extremely expensive. Everything done onboard must pay its way and generate a profit so the cruise line is making their profit above (in addition to) the other profits and expenses of producing the auction. Artwork is purchased onshore (where anyone could buy it at their local Holiday Inn or fairground art sale) and is transported around the planet to meet the ships. Sales people are paid while on the ship and they are occupying a cabin and using ships services (meals, pool...) which adds up to more expenses. The customers purchase is mounted and framed (a high markup service) and then delivered to the customer. The entire process has inefficient and expensive written all over it. Oh, did I mention that these sales happen outside the United States where they are not regulated by State or Federal laws.

A quick online search produced these interesting links.
http://www.dba-oracle.com/t_cruise_a...scam_fraud.htm
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25787182/

It is really a shame. The auction can be interesting and viewing the artwork is a good way to do something different on a sea day.[/list]
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Old February 18th, 2009, 06:07 PM
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Perhaps the economy will solve this fiasco. It always amazes us that there are people still responding to the call of the Pied Painter for the taste of a totally unpalatable glass of bubbly (cannot bring myself to use the word Champaign)

But it has always been our understanding that these passengers really are the newbies to deep water cruising, we seasoned salts knowing enough not to go near the sales. (can one really call it an auction?). And if we are correct in this and as we old salts continue to set sail, selling the cottage if need be to do so, and the newbies withdraw ashore in the drastic decline of the economy, who then will sip the sullen suds and listen to the nonsense about the artist Karl now resting on his death bed awaiting the inflated valuation of his work....who indeed?
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Old February 18th, 2009, 06:28 PM
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I would have to disagree that only newbies go to and buy at auctions.
While we have purchased some pieces, and have not gone crazy..I have been at auctions, where some of the people came to buy, almost like art groupies. I also have a friend, a seasoned cruiser, who has lined his walls with art...and buys almost every cruise.
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Old February 19th, 2009, 04:09 PM
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Default Re: Princess Cruise Lines 'Fine Art Sales' - Buyer's Beware

Quote:
Originally Posted by murphy2335
For those considering the purchase of artwork on a Princess Cruise, think twice before agreeing to have them frame the art you have purchased. It is very expensive (despite what they say) and the quality is not what they portray it to be.
Excited about the 'fine' art (actually turned out to be run of the mill lithographs) we had purchased on an October cruise aboard the Tahitian Princess in French Polynesia we were sold on the idea of having Princess Cruises Fine Arts send the artwork to us already 'professionally' framed. This turns out to be very expensive compared to what you would pay locally. We had five pieces of art framed at an average cost of $350-400. One of the frames arrived damaged and one other was not matted correctly as evidenced by wrinkling of the art beneath the matting. Both situations were reported and after being required to provide digital pictures of the problems it was agreed that the matting problem could be repaired locally at Princess expense (still waiting for the check) and the other could be returned and replaced (not replaced yet). We were even more disappointed to be told locally that our artwork had been covered with plain plexiglass (cheapest alternative) without even UV protection, not to mention glare protection. When this was presented to the 'Fine Art Sales' customer service staff and management we were simply told that that's the way it is unless you purchase an art piece worth more than $1500 (never mentioned during the purchase process). Don't think that Princess is going to jump in and be your advocate. They just sat on the sidelines without comment. Operations like 'Fine Arts' and Lotus Spa seem to have their own independent status on these ships. So if you run into a problem Princess Cruises may or may not choose to step in and insist on doing whats right. My advice is enjoy the ship and the ports and avoid these costly onboard money maker operations.
for the most part I totally agree with what you are saying. We have always had ours framed after it arrives, always, I should say, both times as we do not, normally buy the art work. Our daughter and son in law have so many pieces thier hours looks like an art gallery. As for the cost of framing, well, we had one piece (given to us by our kids for our anniversary) framed few years ago. We took it to a local store, had a coupon for about 40% off or something like that, it still cost in the neighborhood of $200.00. To us it was worth it as the picture fits our personalities and looks awesome in our diining room. I look at it this way, if you are buying for an investment, it is like buying jewelry in another country or on a ship, buyer beware: if you are buying it to enjoy, go for it..

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Old February 22nd, 2009, 08:32 AM
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I once "won" a piece of art aboard "Princess", and later found out that it cost me more to have it shipped home, than it was worth! (Sure glad I didn't actually pay for it as well) It's still in the cardboard tube waiting for me to build a frame for it. (I certainly won't pay for a frame for this piece of cr@p) Anyway,,,,,that's my "art auction" story.

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Old February 24th, 2009, 04:44 PM
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We have sailed on Princess 3 times now, and two of the 3 times have bought artwork. Sure the first time we learned the hard way, like others mentioned, paying big prices for framing for the three pieces. When we did receive the pieces they were all in perfect condition.We just bought a painting on the last cruise in Jan, and this time we were smart, we bought it framed already. I know the art director said that almost all,I think he said 80-90% are now sold framed. I guess Princess wants to keep us coming back and keep buying. Just on another note, I have compared prices for the same artwork on the ship compared to land prices, and the ship prices are ALOT lower. YIPEE!!
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Old February 25th, 2009, 04:59 PM
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I've been hoping to complete my "cocktail olive" paintings collection. And, what is Peter Max up to these days?
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