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