Carnival takes a new a system to recover deck chairs from people who save them surreptitiously fleetwide
The system to stop Deck Chair Hogs as shown in the pilot program "Hog" is pretty derogatory word, but "Chair Hog" is the term cruisers use for people who "reserve" deck chairs by going to the pool area in the early morning hours and placing a book on the best chair available. Finally one cruise line has come up with a solution to this problem. After a pilot program aboard just one cruise ship Carnival has decided to use and has already implemented its anti-chair hogging solution fleetwide.
The initial pilot program was conducted just one ship, Carnival Freedom. According to blog written by ace cruise director John Heald the Carnival approach includes taping a note onto any empty deck chair with personal property and writing down the current time. If an actual human being does not occupy that chair within 40 minutes the property is removed and the chair becomes available to a new user. The property that was on the chair is put into a "lost and found" pile and must be reclaimed by the owner. Not a very nice word but it accurately reflects how regular cruisers feel about these people and apparently for good reason. Often these chair hogs have no intention of even using the chair until after lunch, and in some cases people report that they come along after the chair has been sitting empty for hours and they just pick up the property that was "holding" the chair and walk away.
The problem is one of identifying which chair is actually in use, and which one has merely been usurped. Typically, any deck chair containing any kind of property is regarded as "in use," but that is actually not true at all in far too many cases. And even though all cruise lines have a policy against "saving" chairs in such a manner, the rule is almost never enforced because there is no way an empty chair can tell you if it has been wrongfully usurped, or if the occupant is really just away for a short time.
Sun worshippers everywhere are rejoicing - and rightfully so, although a handful of dissenters (possibly the very "hogs" they are trying to stop) claim 40 minutes is not long enough time to eat lunch and check your email. Another problem is that people are charged deposits for lost beach towels supplied by the cruise line and they all look alike, so a person reclaiming lost personal property could get the wrong confiscated beach towel, or for that matter could claim a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses that he didn't actually own. The cruise ship has no foolproof way of reuniting the property they confiscate to the rightful owners with the Carnival system.
What do you think about deck chair hogs? Do you have any additional tips to share? Talk about it in the cruise forum.