This Fix for Lounge Chair Hogs Should Be Adopted by Every Hotel & Cruise Line

by SharonKurheg

Lounge chair hogs have been around for YEARS. You’ve probably seen or heard about them. And who knows, maybe you can even relate to being someone who arrives, usually by the pool area, early in the morning and claims a lounger (or 2. Or 3. Or….4). And because your towel/book/whatever is on the chair, it’s then “yours” for the rest of the day, whether you’re physically there or not.

And that’s where the problem is…although someone can say the lounge chairs are “theirs” virtually all day long, say for 12 hours, they may only physically be there for an hour. The rest of their day is spent eating, playing Bingo, seeing a show, napping in their room, you name it. This leaves everybody else – people who want a sun bed for while they’re in the vicinity – high and dry.

Fellow patrons have sometimes taken it upon themselves to remove others’ items from the lounge chairs (sometimes because they want to use the chair, sometimes just to be petty and teach people a lesson). But unless there’s a staff member willing to take the side of the person who just removed the “stuff,” well, I’m sure fistfights have been started for less. 😉

This sort of behavior is most often seen at hotels/resorts and cruises. There may be official bans, but enforcement can be iffy at best. But happily, one cruise line, Carnival, has figured out a fix that’s so good it’s even in their official rules.

John Heald first became a cruise director for Carnival Cruise Line in 1990. In 2004, he was named the senior cruise director of Carnival, and he now acts as the Brand Ambassador. Most recently, he’s been sailing on the Carnival Horizon. During his various cruises he shares videos of what he finds on the boat during the day — walkies as he calls them — showing various parts of the ship.

In a Feb. 19 “walkie,” Heald shared how Carnival has addressed the issue of people saving loungers on the pool deck.

“Obviously, we have some people who have put their towels down with some clip things and they are going to breakfast. So, it’s very interesting that we are doing this, and we are doing our very, very best,” said Heald as he walked over to a desk where a Carnival worker was holding a roll of stickers.

The stickers, which are headlined “Chairing is caring :)” have a space to fill in a time to inform people that they can’t leave chairs unattended.

We stopped at 7:50 and found this chair empty… Hope you’re having a great time… but for the benefit of all our guests we have a limit how long chairs can be left unattended. At 8:30 we’ll move your stuff to the towel hut for safekeeping. Thanks! The ChairShare Team.

a roll of paper with a messageAnd, in this case, at 8:30 am, the ChairShare Team removed the items from the unattended lounge chair so someone else could use it.

Will it fix the problem 100% of the time? Of course not. And Heald is the first to admit that.

It’s not a perfect system. It would be silly of me to suggest otherwise, but it’s something that we need to do. Ever since I’ve been working on ships there are people desperate to get the chairs and that’s why they put it down and they go back to bed. There’s been a new drive from us to say…’save a seat, go to breakfast, but if you’re not back in a certain time you will have a sticker on your chair and it will be removed.’ It’s the only way we can make it fair.

a group of blue chairs with a white tape around themBut really, if it’s the owner of the lounge chairs – the cruise line, the hotel, etc. – taking a stand to stop the selfish behavior, the people hogging the chairs have less of a leg to stand.

Fingers crossed that other cruise lines and hotels/resorts do something similar.

Here’s the full video on Facebook, if you’d like to see it. The part about the chair stickers begins at the 3:00 mark.

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Christian February 28, 2024 - 12:26 pm

Great idea. Then again pretty much anything that will improve the situation is good.

Lara S. February 29, 2024 - 11:06 am

I can honestly see both sides- most people wouldn’t do it if some people weren’t doing it all the time, if that makes sense. Maybe this will fix the people who abuse it and make it easier to find chairs which will naturally make those who wouldn’t do it otherwise, not do it (if that makes sense). I don’t usually do this because I don’t want to leave my stuff unattended too long anyway plus I am an early riser (like breakfast done and thenf at pool/beach by 7:30a naturally) but I have put my bag down and then gone snorkeling or played in the ocean for an hour or so before coming back to sit down, so I guess it depends on how long the time is between checks. Also you will get people who realize this new system and set a timer just to remove the sticker and go back to whatever. Sadly. There are definitely people who sit in the hot tub or pool almost all day on a cruise and just need somewhere to leave their stuff/towel so maybe offer an alternate area for them to leave their stuff?

Clare Lynch February 29, 2024 - 6:35 pm

I think there should be a shelf or hooks to put their belongings on. They don’t need to be in the chair. This would leave the chair available for sitting. People mostly need a place for their stuff.

Noble Robin March 2, 2024 - 12:52 pm

Put a chair meter on the chairs .. If you don’t put money in the meter , it doesn’t unfold for you to put your stuff on .. Pay by the hour that it is used … Truly it should stop people from hogging 5 chairs at a time .. $1.00 an hour!!!

Cheryl Larou March 2, 2024 - 11:14 pm

I have found if chair is unattended by 11am- it’s up for grabs. Kindly remove their belongings!

Patrick March 7, 2024 - 5:22 pm

Perhaps cruise lines should do like some luxury resorts and the “cabanas” they rent. The premium chairs around the pool could be available for rent for the hour, and to use them you must reserve with pool attendant who will set them up for you. The chair can be yours for as long as you want to rent for the day, and when you leave, attendant pulls all the toweling and chair is then again available for rent. People have become so inconsiderate of others, it is a shame.

TybeeDawg March 7, 2024 - 11:48 pm

I’ll grab a whole line of towels off chairs and toss them into the dirty towel bin.


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