Someone wanted a new topic to complain about, so how about art auctions?
I'm not complaining about the auctions themselves, I generally go to at least one. I find the commentary interesting and informative and also laugh at how I wish I had thousands of dollars to spend on art as the fellow passengers around me.
My complaint is about the auctioneer who does his/her best to make everyone feel dumb because they aren't bidding.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, I can't believe you would pass up an opportunity such as this...we are selling this at XX% below gallery price...this is an investment in your future....NOW is the best time to buy this...I can't believe you wouldn't be smart enough to buy this right here right now..."
I don't know if they are all like this, but the few I've seen are all similar this way.
We can make fun of them. They can be annoying.
But a good art auctioneer (the one who convinces you to bid on something) is generally the highest paid employee on the ship. He makes more than the Captain or the Hotel Manager (this is including his commission of course).
The man or woman is simply doing their job.. High pressure sales to sell almost worthless "art" at exhorbitant prices is what they do. These guys are the used car salesmen, carnival hucksters and snake oil salesmen of the 21st century.
An auctioneer who is not pressuring the crowd to bid is not doing their job.
I personally would not go near an onboard art auction , but I find little to be a critic about when it comes to the auctioneer doing their job.
Take the free champaigne and the 10cent poster and expect nothing more than hard sell.