Cruise NewsCarnival Cruise LineCarnival Cruise Line Cracking Down on Annoying Pool Deck Practice

Carnival Cruise Line Cracking Down on Annoying Pool Deck Practice

One of the biggest complaints cruise passengers make during a cruise is the dreaded “lounge chair hog” problem.

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With thousands of people on a cruise ship and only a limited number of pools and space to enjoy outside, loungers can fill up quickly.  This is especially true on a sea day.

Carnival policy on deck chair hogs
Pool deck on Carnival Victory. Photo credit: Cruise Fever

For many passengers, the idea of lounging in the sun is ruined by the sight of every lounge chair being “saved” with a towel or someone’s belongings.

The root of the complaint is that some passengers try to hold their spot at a deck chair for hours on end, which is technically against the policies of most cruise lines.

Now, Carnival Cruise Line is ramping up efforts to address this problem with a strategy to enforce the existing policy.

John Heald, Carnival’s Brand Ambassador, recently mentioned the enforcement of the “chairing is caring” policy in one of his “morning walkies” posted on his Facebook page.

Related article: 10 things you should never do on the pool deck of a cruise ship

carnival celebration lido deck
Photo Credit: Cruise Fever

Here’s how the policy works:

Crew members, acting as the “ChairShare Team”, place stickers on unoccupied chairs with towels or belongings. These stickers will clearly display the time and a warning: items left unattended for 40 minutes will be removed and held for safekeeping.

This is an example of the wording of the stickers:

“We stopped by at _____ and found this chair empty,” the stickers read. “Hope you’re having a great time… but for the benefit of all we limit how long chairs can be left unattended. At _____ we’ll move your stuff to the towel hut for safekeeping.”

Crew members will fill in the first blank with the time the sticker was placed on the chair, and the second blank is for the time the passengers’ belongings will be removed.

Heald’s comments

Heald admitted that the stickers won’t solve all the problems but is a step in the right direction, stating,

“It’s not a perfect system.  It would be silly of me to suggest otherwise, but it is something that we need to do.”  In the video he further added, “There’s been this new drive from us to say, ‘Listen, save a seat, go for breakfast. But if you’re not back in a certain time, you will have a sticker on your chair, and it will be removed.  It’s the only way that we can make it fair.”

The timed stickers offer a double benefit. They not only deter chair hogging, but also provide valuable information for other guests. By noting the time the sticker was placed, guests can check back later to see if the chair has become available after the 40-minute window.

Carnival has implemented a multi-pronged approach to address chair saving:

  • The timed sticker program, launched in October 2022, visually reinforces the policy.
  • Updated signage around the pool area clearly communicates the no-reserving rule.
  • Regular announcements on the ship’s PA system serve as reminders.
  • The Carnival Hub app and poolside theater screens (where available) display the policy information.

The cruise line’s website outlines their policy against saving seats in outdoor deck areas.

As stated in the policy itself: “Shipboard team members monitor sun lounge usage and if they observe a seat that contains a towel or personal belongings but appears to be unoccupied, a notification is placed on the chair indicating the current time. If the chair remains unoccupied for 40 minutes, the contents are removed and held for the guest’s safekeeping.”


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J. Souza
J. Souza
Jon is the co-founder of Cruise Fever and has been on 50+ cruises since his first in 2009. As an editor, 15-year writer on the cruise industry, and avid cruise enthusiast he has sailed with at least 10 cruise lines and is always looking for a great cruise deal. Jon lives in North Carolina and can be reached at [email protected].
Cruise NewsCarnival Cruise LineCarnival Cruise Line Cracking Down on Annoying Pool Deck Practice

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