End of the line for deckchair cheats?

//End of the line for deckchair cheats?

breezechairs.jpgTowels on deckchairs; not just a hangover from package holidays, it’s one of the most complained-about aspects of cruise ship life.
John Heald, star cruise director on the world’s newest cruise ship, has announced a solution. Crew on the 4,600-passenger Carnival Breeze patrol the pool deck, placing timed stickers on chairs that have been reserved with towels, books, or other passenger items.
If the seat is still unoccupied 40 minutes later, the items are removed and taken to the towel station by the main pool, as explained in the message (below) broadcast to all cabins.
chairsmsg.jpg“This is step number one in a new drive to make this work; once we finish the test here, we will make adjustments and then add to the rest of the fleet. We went with 40 minutes as we felt that this was a fair amount of time if guests get up to eat, drink, pee or swim,” said Heald – who comes from Margate, Essex.
The idea is not that new. Most cruise lines have similar policies in their terms and conditions. Trouble is, few of them actually enforce it. In a supreme irony from those package hotel days, the tactic has even been adopted by German cruise line AIDA.
For the time being at least, Carnival’s British brands are hanging back and not planning to take action. A spokeswoman for P&O said: “We advise that sun loungers should not be reserved for more than 20 minutes. We do not actively police this, but passengers are free to remove towels after this amount of time.” In my experience, that can be a recipe for poolside arguments, with tempers rising faster than the Mediterranean temperatures.
Princess Cruises leave it to the discretion of the ship’s hotel manager to place announcements in the daily programme, advising passengers that loungers may not be reserved or saved for others, and that “personal items will be removed” after 15 minutes.
Guests looking to avoid the problem altogether should book with Cunard, whose spokeswoman said: “This is not really a problem on our ships as we have extensive deck areas with a lot of sunloungers. We offer more personal space, so we do not tend to face the same issues.”
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By | 2017-06-15T15:59:45+00:00 4 August 2012|Cruise News|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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