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James - Answered a Question by Neal (01 Feb 09 00:37)

Hi Chris, I have read the review and the comments so far, and this is only an opinion from personal experience. I think there are many facets to this issue. I have been on many a cruise where first thing in the morning, on entering pool deck all you see is an expanse of body less sun beds, displaying the implied reserved towel, (sometimes, accompanied by books or sun cream etc) and is not uncommon for the appropriator to be absent for some hours, which is not acceptable......... However, it is also not expect a passenger to be glued to the thing, during our Christmas & New Year Cruise, I visited the ladies and there was a short queue, on my return, I was not impressed to find a lady removing my belonging on the pretence “Thought you’d gone”. Shortly afterwards, the same lady appropriated a gentleman passenger’s sun bed, nearby and he only went to get an ice cream! So there needs to be a degree of flexibility, permitted short absences, for a swim, visit to the bathroom, or quick bite to eat........Previously when on board and it has been particularly bad I have seen attendants putting time stickers on sun beds so if still occupied after 40-60 minutes, it was considered abandoned, and belongings removed. Again only from personal experience, I have observed similar problems when the ship is in port, and appropriators go ashore for a few or several hours...... One cruise line I travelled with, passengers could take their chances or there was an optional system where passengers for a small fee could have a named reserved sun lounger on sun deck for the duration. I did, it was great, (I am not saying, this is a solution, but I didn’t hear the words, “towels, gone for hours” or witness any disputes for the whole cruise, bliss.......... In any event, our opinions are academic as until cruise lines decide to do something about this issue or bookings substantially drop, the issue will continue to be discussed, debated and without a solution.......Jude .

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Neal - replied to James (01 Feb 09 04:08)

Hi Jude, I think most people - and the cruise lines - agree that in order to nip to the cabin for something, grab a snack, etc its fair enough to"retain" a sunbed for a reasonable time. Opinions seem to vary between 20mins & 45 mins & I wouldn't argue with either end of that time-scale. But the folk on Sea Princess "coming back hourly" to a sunbed ! ! ! Understandably crew don't like to get involved, but HERE'S A GREAT IDEA - perhaps the operators could use empty cabins to offer free to traffic wardens for a busman's holiday...... I 've encountered a few that would sort out the hogs ! Well, mebbe not a great idea - but no worse than the operators charging to reserve, which smacks of theme parks charging extra to "beat the queue". But you know how cruise lines are always looking for the extra buck..............Chris .

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James - replied to Neal (01 Feb 09 19:26)

Hi Chris like most things ideas are good in theory, putting it into practice is another matter, although most reasonable people would accept that a short absence is not abandonment, as with hoggers, there will always be a few, who believe the moment a body moves from horizontal position on a sun bed, it’s free. The killer for me is Civitavecchia, up at dawn to deposit towels and go to Rome, and returning near the end of the day. At least on sea days, most hoggers will put in a brief appearance before lunch, even it is only to turn the thing towards the sun, before going off again, and I find this most bizarre! Jude .

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Neal - replied to James (04 Feb 09 09:37)

....and even complaints of the hogs reserving one in the sun & another in the shade. So even if a ship had as many sunbeds & spaces as passengers there still wouldnt be enough to go round. I reckon the best bet would be for people to pay a £500 deposit & the sunbeds to be fitted with pressure sensor, timers and explosives. If the occupant leaves it for more than 30 minutes, the whole thing blows up, leaving space for someone else's sunbed. Or do you think that might be a bit extreme ??? Chris.

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James - replied to Neal (04 Feb 09 21:45)

Following on from your idea, another suggestion for all hogs determined to get pole position at dawn, maybe leave £500 deposit, towel and book etc on prefered spot, but take sun lounger with them as the new accessory back pack, several hours of the thing strapped to the back should do the trick, this could be duplicated for sun and shade hoggers..........Jude.

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Bradbury - Answered a Question by Neal (01 Feb 09 09:27)

Now, heres an idea! Your comment about traffic wardens set me thinking...... perhaps they should put some sort of timer on the sunbeds ( a bit like disabled people stick in their car windows). SO when you want to go off and get a bite to eat, have a swim in the pool, nip to the loo, jump in the Jacuzzi, get a drink from the bar, you set the time on the dial, with an I'll be back in 20 or 20 or 40 mins. If the time elapses then someone else can take the sunbed. I do think that 40 minutes is a reasonable time as a maximum to leave a sunbed whilst you grab a bite to eat etc.. Personally an hour a day in the sun does for me and I'm usually ready to move on to do something else. I have no problem in removing other peoples belongings and have done this myself having made sure that the supposed occupant has been missing for at least 45 mins. I then removed the belongings, stayed an hour myself and still no sign of the person to who the book and the sunlotion belong to (or were they too embarrased to confront me)???

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Barton - replied to Bradbury (02 Feb 09 20:37)

Ah.... I was wondering where I'd left that flippin' book.

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Fotheringham - Answered a Question by Neal (01 Feb 09 20:58)

Looks like it's been remove. Pity - i saw it with just a few replies and was hoping to see it get the biggest response ever. Maybe that is why it has been removed!! Looks like it could be a bigger topic than 'Dress code'. Andy.

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Fotheringham - replied to Fotheringham (01 Feb 09 21:08)

Sorry - found it. It is still there. Andy.

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Coulthurst - Answered a Question by Neal (02 Feb 09 19:02)

I think it is completely inconsiderate when people put there things on beds and then go missing for hours. Most people travel in couples or more, and therefore if one wants to go get something to eat, go loo whatever then the other person would stay at the beds until they come back. And vice versa. This is how I do it with my Mum. If the two of use want to leave then we do so, and take our things with us. After lunch and stroll whatever later in the day we would return and then find new beds. I have to say that it is most inpolite and rude when people hold beds with towels and I have made complaints in the past as it does state in the ships paper not to reserve beds. Once or twice I have removed books and things after about an 1hr, but the abuse you get when these ignorant people return is disgusting. I usually quote the ships paper. In future I will take a photo on my mobile phone like traffic wardens do and after a set time remove peoples things and then if anyone complains I can prove it is them not me at fault. It was worst on Costa with abuse, perhaps it is a european thing as on Cunard it was a lot better, and staff removed things for us. It is upsetting though and feel that the ships on the whole could have a better system in place.

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