On a Mercury cruise last year, I was very aggravated by the practice of people "reserving" chairs around the pool area. All chairs reserved by 8AM. I waited until I got home to complain to Celebrity's customer service people and got absolutely no satisfaction. They said they recognize there is a problem, but have no official policy on the subject and leave it up to each ship to police. I feel I should not have to risk a confrontation with a fellow passenger, considering the prices I am paying.
Has anyone been able to get any kind of resolution on board? How did you go about it? I am planning another cruise this year, because, otherwise I love Celebrity.
Thanks for your input.
Please don't think that this problem is unique to Celebrity....from what I have read this is common on most cruiselines. I'm sorry, I do not have a suggestion for correction of the problem. I often ask myself ....what is stopping me from just removing someone's towel from a chair that obviously was saved hours before. But, I guess I'm afraid of what kind of person I may encounter lol. If you come up with a solution, please let us know.
I'm not sure there is a solution to this problem - unless we want the cruise lines to start having a police force and marking chairs with chalk the way the meter police do with tires. The bottom line is that some of the cruise passengers, just like in life, are self-centered and believe that do not have to adhere to the rules the way the rest of us do. As you know, this has been a problem since time began.
I'm lucky, I guess, in the fact that my wife and I are not into pool decks. You'll usually find us in a lounge chair away from crowds reading a book. But, I know how you feel.
There do seem to be a lot of posts about people "saving" pool-side lounges all day long. While I don't want the cruise staff "policing" lounges, it seems that posting a descrete policy might at least appeal to most people's sense of fair play. How about simply:
"As a courtesy, if you plan to leave the area for more than 15 minutes [or pick another time span] please remove your personal belongs so that others may use lounge chairs."
That would at least set an expectation, and I bet most people would honor the policy. Of course there will be those who would say: "I didn't see the sign" ... "I was only gone for 10 minutes" ... "I had an emergency" ... but, then that's life :-)
This is a problem that has plagued us considerate cruisers for as long as mass market cruise vacations have exisited. Unfortunate, while the Solas agreement covers making sure that there has to be space in a life boat for each passenger there is no such guarantee covering deck chairs.
What I hve done in the past is to watch for inactivity on a chair, find the deck steward or question the folks nearby and if the situation seems to be that the chair is indeed not actually being used by someone in the pool area, I move the items off and take over. I don't think that my actions are any more rude (and prbably less so) than those of the person that was holding the chair and then went to play bingo (or what ever). If you are at all nervouse about a confrontation you can always move the chair itself to another spot, they aren't nailed down ya know.
Of course, if you then leave your stuff on it to take a dip or soak in the hot tub, be sure and let your neighbor chair useres know that you'll be back or the same thing may happen to you (especially if 'm on board).
Courtesy by both parties, the "reserver" and the "taker" is the best approach. While I am adament that the only way to "save" a chair is by placing your body in it, I understand that the practice is common to use towels, purses, etc.
If you remove the items to use the chair, if and when the reserving party returns, simply be courteous and allow them the chair. What's the big deal? Simply find another chair rather than create a scene. After all, we are on a cruise and supposed to have a good time. AND IT IS ONLY A CHAIR.
I appreciate all of the comments I have received. It's nice to realize I am not alone.
Michael, I like your approach. I may try that, but I think the amount of time I will have spent in the chair might dictate my reply. If I have been there, say an hour, before someone approaches me, my reply may be different than if it was 15 minutes or so.
I think I might also try to approach the Cruise Director even before we sail to discuss the subject. After all he (or she) is there to assure we have "fun".
I don't recall ever seeing anything on my Mercury cruise last year addressing the problem, either in the daily bulletin or elsewhere. I may be mistaken.
The early bird catches the worm! On all my 7 cruises, I have never NOT seen this practice. Except on my Alaska cruise.It doesn't matter what cruise line.We just got back from our Millennium cruise. I like to swim in the mornings.Most mornings I was the only one in the pool.I didn't see a problem with saving my spot while I went to breakfast and returning.We took the towels off the chairs when we were done with swimming and laying in the sun. I guess if you want a pool chair, you will just have to be up early! If you can't beat them, join them?
I guess some might respond that since you were there early and had your swim, why do you think that entitles you to the rights to that particular chair for the rest of the morning or the day, during which you feel free to go to breakfast or participate in whatever activities you choose. Frankly, it hardly seems worth the aggravation to get upset over relatively minor issues such as lounge chair saving (although I suspect the upset is more over the self centeredness of the individuals who practice this behavior than the matter of the chairs themselves). It happens on all of the lines so don't lay so much blame on the cruiseline.
There is a measure of legitimacy in your case, but I agree with Bill G. as to how long you feel this entitles you to "ownership" of that chair. I don't feel that getting up early to exercise this practice gives one 24 hour rental to that space.
I too am up early and in a chair by 7a.m.and have witnessed the chair saving behavior firsthand. (I give up "my"chair after a couple of hours.) Many folks who put towels or a book or whatever on these chairs don't return for hours and sometimes not at all. This is really rude, self-absorbed behavior. Fifteen minutes is one thing, but any longer, and I see no reason at all that the chair should "reserved" for the individual who "marked" that chair as part of their personal turf.
Bottom line....The cruise lines need to make some effort to prevent this from happening. Without calling out the deck police, why not post a few gently worded signs asking folks to please refrain. Since most people like to play by the rules, I'll bet just a small effort like this would result is a very significant improvement.
We go to the pool deck to enjoy the sun and (occasionally!) actually to use the pool/hot tub. The only time we would leave the chairs would be for a short visit to the head or if one of us forgot something in the cabin. In which case, one of us always remains seated. I'm amazed that ANYONE would "hold" a chair while they go to eat. Can't believe it! When we decide to eat, we take our belongings with us and happily vacate the chairs so others can enjoy them. NEVER, BUT NEVER, would we even consider holding a chair while we trot off to enjoy a meal, etc.
I think the bottom line here is common courtesy, manners, respect and a pretty good "upbringing"!
Love the Sea has a point. Get there early and save a chair. But why the heck should you have to get up in the morning? Heck, I'll just put a towel on a chair right after dinner the night before and then when I get up at 11:00 or so, "my" chair will be there waiting for me. Wait, wait wait. Somebody might get there before me if I wait til the night befoore. Tell you what. As soon as I get on the ship, I'm grabbing a chair. And its mine! All mine. And don't anyone dare touch it.
RCCL started a policy that they would remove all belongings from a chair after thirty minutes if it did not show signs of occupancy. Celebrity, to the best of my knowledge, has also adopted this policy.
While cruising on the Mercury last November, signs were posted everywhere and the daily paper stated that all belongings left after thirty minutes would be collected by the pool attendant. I actually saw them doing this!
What a fantastic policy for those of us that do not want to rise at the crack of dawn to stake out our space and worry about it for the rest of the day! Forget the thirty-minute policy, if someone was not sitting in a chair when a staff member walked by - the towel was immediately picked up, as was the chair in some circumstances. The chairs were stored for later need and I saw the crew unstacking lounge chairs in the early afternoon.
If they don't do this on my next cruises - I can guarantee that I will handle it myself by asking the "neighbors" if these chairs are taken, and if I get two yeses, I will ask the nearest crew person to find me a chair. Of course, I have never gotten more than one yes when I asked and I don't ask anymore, I just lie down.
Just back from the Millenium. There were some people reserving multiple numbers of chairs as early as 6:45 AM (yes it was still dark!!!). Not only did the they reserve poolside chairs, but the same person also reserved chairs under the roof and a table!
That is very encouraging news. I was on the Mercury somewhat before your last cruise and the only mention about reserving was regarding seating in the theater. Maybe they are taking all of this seriously now.
I know that if I were in Management of a cruise line, I would make make it the job of someone to read these message boards daily to get a real feel of the concerns of my customers.
I love Celebrity and this one issue would not keep me away, but solving it would make me a much happy camper.
Thanks for the words.
GRAB the pick of the litter when you arrive on-board and carry it down to your cabin! Then you carry it back up on deck when ever you want to use it - and you'd always have YOUR chair! Can you imagine lugging that chaise around for 2 weeks?
Michael.. If you manage to find a place to sit by the pool, you better not leave your towel on the chair while you go to the restroom, you might compromise your principles!
I think leaving my chair for 15 minutes and coming right back doesn't make me an EVIL person.
I think you are missing the point of all of this. The issue is not the person behaving "normally", going to the restroom etc. It is those that grossly abuse the rights of others by "reserving" a chair at 7AM only to maybe show up by 10AM after a leisurely shower and breakfast, then leave at noon for a 1+ hour lunch, then maybe later to go to bingo and expect to find their beloved seat waiting for them when they return.
Hopefully, the Millennium is now posted with 30 minute notices as indicated in an earlier posting by one of the Cruisemates staff. I think that is plenty of time to answer a nature call or retrieve sunglasses from a cabin etc.
While I have never sailed Celebrity (1st one coming up in March), almost all my experience has been on RCI. Last November on the Enchanment of the Seas, we were pleasantly surprised to see signs posted around all deck areas asking people NOT to reserve lounge chairs. Surprisingly, most people obeyed and it made for a very pleasant cruise. I didn't not see staff monitoring the situation for abusers, but can honestly say that finding an empty deck chair was not a problem for the 1st time ever! I hope Celebrity does follow suit!