Cruise Tips 9 Best Ways to Reserve a Pool Lounger on a Cruise Ship

9 Best Ways to Reserve a Pool Lounger on a Cruise Ship

You only live once, so you better look out for No. 1. This motto especially holds true when it comes to your cruise. You only get a couple weeks off each year, and you’ve been looking forward to your big cruise vacation, so you’re going to make the most of it.

And because hanging out by the swimming pool and working on your tan is totally your jam, you’re not about to let anyone else mess with your plan to get the best pool lounger spots.

All. The. Time.
Who cares what everybody else thinks?
Social norms? Pfft.
Besides, you won’t ever see any of these people again after you’re off this ship anyways.
It’s your world, and we’re all just living in it.
Who cares if your fellow cruisers (quietly — or publicly and loudly) despise and scold you and call you a chair hog?
You’ve got your spot. They’re all just haters.

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So, let’s go ahead and share your special tried-and-true best ways to save a pool lounger on a cruise ship.

Towel Dumping

It’s like planting your flag and staking your claim. Grab a load of towels and spread them out on as many seats as you want. Make sure some are properly mussed, so that other cruisers get the idea that these seats are definitely taken. Get up at 6:30 a.m. and set them up before you head back to bed for a couple more hours and then get up for coffee and breakfast. You can eventually get to your chairs by 10: 30 or 11 a.m. No problem.

The Simple Sandal

Sometimes you see a couple good spots that you want in prime position and you don’t have time to get towels. It’s time to improvise. Just grab a couple sandals to place ever so thoughtfully right in the middle of the loungers you are claiming. Don’t worry, we all get the message.

Book Drop

A paperback works just as well as a towel or sandal. Place your copy of “50 Shades of Grey” indiscreetly on the chair and we’ll know you’re probably coming back for your seat in the next few hours or so.

Beach Bags

You can really set up shop with a beach bag full of goodies. Unload your magazines, sun screen bottles, flip-flops, towels, cards and board games. Might as well spread it all out and claim an entire row of loungers for all your friends and family, who may or may not even be coming to join you. But it’s better to be safe and have the seats ready for them — all day long — just in case.

Hide and Seek

Have other cruiser been beating you to it with the chair-hoggingsaving tactics? You can outsmart everyone by thinking ahead. Wait until the pool area clears out in the late afternoon and grab a sun lounger to stash away for yourself in a good hiding spot, most likely your cabin. Then, you can march out to the pool each day with your very own lounger in tow and set it up right near the pool if you like.

Fake Out

Pack a novelty fake melting ice cream cone to bring along on the cruise. Put it on your chosen lounger so others stay away from that seat. Or maybe fake vomit? Even better, if you really want people to keep a wide berth around your precious spot.

A Cute Distraction

Save the cute towel animal crab or monkey that your cabin steward so carefully made for you (likely thinking you were a nice unselfish person deserving of a special cruise memory) and bring it out to set on your lounger to reserve the space until you are ready to use it. Your fellow cruisers will think the animal is part of a cruise-ship special display that they shouldn’t disturb. Suckers!

Scare ’em Off

Bring a roll of crime scene tape and cordon off the area around the chairs that you want to eventually use. This should buy you a bit of time as confused crew and passengers size up just what is going on. Then, you can coolly stroll up to your chairs, slice the tape, crumple it up, spike the wad to the deck and slide into your loungers like a boss.

Body Language

How about this innovative way to claim your lounger. Arrive to the pool when you are ready to use the chair. Sit in the chair. Use the chair. Be in the chair. Remain in contact frequently with your area and chair. Pick up all your stuff and leave when you are done with the chair.

Really, this is the only acceptable and considerate way to use a pool lounger on a cruise ship.

What are your rules for pool chair use and “reserving” loungers on a cruise ship? What tactics have you seen onboard? Did they amuse you, anger you? Let us know in the comments below.

John Roberts is a freelance writer and operator of InTheLoopTravel.com. He writes about cruising and active travel, highlighting how people can connect with the world and other cultures through rewarding travel experiences.

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John Robertshttps://InTheLoopTravel.com
John Roberts is a freelance writer and operator of InTheLoopTravel.com. He writes about cruising and active travel, highlighting how people can connect with the world and other cultures through rewarding travel experiences.
Cruise Tips 9 Best Ways to Reserve a Pool Lounger on a Cruise Ship

13 COMMENTS

  1. Chair hogs are awful people. But, entitled people who sleep in until 11AM and then get upset that there aren’t any chairs aren’t any better. I get up super early even on cruises and I’ll often go to the deck and put out a towel and hang out for a while and then you know, go to the bathroom or grab some breakfast or use the pool that’s right there — I’m never gone for more than 30 minutes and then right back to the chair because that’s where I want to be on my vacation. That’s not hogging or abandoning my chair, that’s using the ship appropriately. I have had people stroll down at 11 AM and move my stuff from my chair while I was literally up at the bar getting a drink.Those people are always politely yet firmly told to kick rocks and I’ll involve a crew member if I have to and ask the interlopers to prove that I’ve been away from my chair for an extended period of time (usually longer than an hour which is Norwegian’s policy). There’s a balance to be struck. If you’re towel is on your chair at 7 you should be too. But don’t assume that an empty chair is a chair hog. They could just need to pee.

  2. With more and more ships carrying 5,000 passengers, the pool areas can’t handle it when a high percentage want to be around the main pool. Royal Carribean post signs saying that reserving lounges is not allowed. If you are not in your lounge for a while, someone can take your towel off and take the lounge, so no going to breakfast and then coming back. Other ships are not as aggressive on this policy but that also means that you could lose your lounge by just hanging out in the pool for a while and the staff just say, find another one.

    • I really don’t think the no reserving chairs policy means you can’t go get breakfast. That’d be unreasonable. You can’t put the towel out then go have a nap and then go have breakfast but stepping away for 30 minutes isn’t being a chair hog.

  3. I have just laid my towel on the deck and enjoyed the sun until someone moved. Sometimes I just ignore the chairs and lay on the deck anyway. It isn’t worth the hassle to argue on vacation over a chair. Be creative and seriously not many rooms can accommodate a pool lounger!! lol

  4. We will be taking a cruise next year and every blog, Pinterest post and chat I read mentions how difficult it is to find a lounge chair. Are the cruise lines trying to address this problem? It seems like a lounge attendant or having more chairs is an obvious solution. It seems ridiculous that people pay thousands of dollars and then can’t enjoy relaxing by the pool withou drama.

  5. Yes, this is the only acceptable way …
    Arrive to the pool when you are ready to use the chair. Sit in the chair. Use the chair. Be in the chair. Remain in contact frequently with your area and chair. Pick up all your stuff and leave when you are done with the chair.

  6. I have seen all of these (with the exception of crime tape) while on numerous cruises. I’ve also watched as a person walking by on the pool deck surreptitiously removed positioned towels and placed all together on one lounger near the walkway. I always wonder what happens when those people who originally place the towel there eventually return! LOL

  7. I’ve seen most of those used, except for the crime scene tape which I like, and it seems unfair that the lounge chairs go unused for half the day. Unfortunately, being one who likes to spend a fair amount of the day outdoors while on ship, I’ve found it impossible to beat them so I occasionally join them. I hate doing it. Most of the time I’ll try to find a lounge somewhere else.
    I have put my towel on a lounge, gone swimming and come back to find it taken by someone else who refuses to admit they took it from me… feels equally unfair. I like to swim for one to two hours at a time in an effort to try to compensate for some of the many excess calories consumed in the various venues on ship so feel justified in leaving my t-shirt and towel on the lounge and expecting it to be there when I’m done swimming and want a relaxing place to air dry. On the other hand, when I’ve been on the chair for a while and see someone obviously looking for one for themselves, sometimes I give it up to them so they can have a turn.

    • get irritated when get off my lounger and pop in for a 5 to 10 minute swim and my stuff inc book and bag have been removed from my patiently waited for lounger!

  8. LMAO…………….I was SOOOOOOO ready to unload on you until the last paragraph. Nicely done!

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