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> but then this is the cruise ship circuit, notorious among those in
> the know.
And when you've run out of steam about the gemstone and jewelry
sales, and apparent collusion between the cruise lines and the
everpresent chains of, surprisingly enough, the same store names no
matter which island or port the ship calls at, stores seldom found
elsewhere, by the way...
Well, if you still want to rant some more, how about the art
auctions these cruises all seem to offer? Fine works of art presented
onboard at prices which, one is led to believe, are vastly below what
those works would cost on land, presumably due to differences in tax
laws, import/export duty, or some such bs. There are some artists
who's work seems to be available only on those ships, since for some
strange reason, land based dealers don't want to carry it. And people
who bring their shipboard purchases to a knowledgeable art appraiser
often find the price they paid to be at least equal to what the stuff
would sell for on land, and sometimes a good deal more....
All of which is a good strong argument in favor of vacation trips
that do not involve large floating hotels sitting out where they're
not so subject to land based regulations and laws. The art auctions,
by the way, also seem to be held very close to the ship board
casinos, just in case you've got some cash left over...
But I gotta admit. The one cruise i took with my mom up to Alaska
took us to hauntingly beautiful places I'd never have seen in my
lifetime without that boat. Memories well worth having paid for. Not
sure sure about the bit in the price that included a few days worth
of Norovirus. But that's all part of the game, I guess. And the two
silly prints I bought at that auction in a fit of misplaced and lost
common sense and auction fever, well, they might not be worth what I
paid for them (they're not. I checked, later). But they're still
pretty enough, and bring back good memories. Now, they were in the
hundred dollar range for the two, not the tens of thousands some
folks pay for overpriced, overhyped, sometimes misrepresented
gemstones and jewelry. But perhaps for those poor victims, the
souvenir / memory value of these overpriced baubles makes up, a
little, for the high price paid. One can at least hope so. And all
things considered, it's not so much different from the bs used to
market sometimes even worse junk on the TV shopping channels... So
it's not just the cruise ships doing this sort of crap.