Reading the blogs written by cruise executives can be enlightening. Often they break news sooner (we receive the official press releases later) and they add insightful comments.
Just yesterday Adam Goldstein, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL) posted on his Why Not? blog the very interesting news that RCCL will be dropping Park West as its on-board art auctioneers.
…our contract with Park West Art Services has expired and we have decided not to renew it. There is a wind-down period in effect and the art auctioneers will finish on different ships at different times over the next few months. We are evaluating what if any art-related programming we may offer in the fleet in the future beyond Oasis of the Seas where Art Actually is our provider of art tours and art for purchase onboard.
Park West has been sued by several patrons for unscrupulous practices (among other things) and is now fighting a class action suit. I think RCCL is wise in getting out of its contract while it can.
I, for one, believe that art auctions have had their run. They were entertaining in the beginning but have become bothersome. The auctioneers often use high-pressure tactics and often don’t readily disclose all of the fees they slap on art purchases. That said, I must admit that I have bought several pieces from cruise art auctions over the years and they grace the walls of my home. But I have a couple still in their tubes that I wonder why I ever bought. It doesn’t leave me with a good feeling.
On the same blog, guest poster Lisa Bauer, senior VP of hotel operations, announced that RCCL has obtained the rights to produce “Chicago” on its new Allure of the Seas. They did this because “Hair Spray” has been so successful on the Oasis of the Seas. Now they beginning casting and rehearsals…and they hope Richard Gere will show up!