As the brand new Carnival Breeze ship is making its way back and forth across the Mediterranean this summer, the ship’s staff is implementing a test policy to try to resolve one of the biggest frustrations of cruisers, “Chairhogs.”
What is a “Chairhog”
The creature known as “chairhog” rises early in the morning and claims a prime poolside or shaded chair by placing an article or two on it. This personal article varies from a book to a beach bag to a towel or t-shirt. But once the chair is claimed in the wee hours of the morning, the “chairhog” is rarely seen again. To be fair I’m sure that at some point during the day the “hog” returns to utilize the chair, but the chair remains unoccupied by anything other than the personal article for the majority of the day.
A “chairhog” should not be confused with a “chair utilizer”. “Chair utilizers”, actually sit in their chair for an extended amount of time, either in conversation, watching the pool band, enjoying a umbrella drink or maybe just taking a nap. These people might get up to use the restroom, grab a bite from the pool side grill, or take a dip in the pool. However they are only away from their chairs for a short amount of time.
The problem with the whole “chairhogging” issue is that it is a self fulfilling paradox. There aren’t enough chairs because “chairhogs” take them all day long. The “chairhogs” feel compelled to reserve chairs all day long because their aren’t enough chairs. In reality, if people would just utilize the chairs when they actually need them, there would be more than enough chairs for everyone.
Carnival Enforcing the “No Chairhog” Policy
Cruise Director John Heald announced on this week’s Carnival Breeze cruise that this ship would be implementing the test program for their new chair enforcement policy. Carnival has put together a thoughtful policy that recognizes that people reserved chairs when they don’t need them and that people who are actually utilizing the chairs need to be able to get up from their chairs for a few minutes at a time.
Carnival has dedicated staff to police the pool deck areas and look for unoccupied chairs reserved with belonging. If the staff member spots such a chair, they place a sticker on the chair with the time they spotted it unoccupied. If the occupier has not returned in 40 minutes, the staff member will remove the belongings to a pool desk area where the passenger can come later to reclaim his or her articles. Carnival announced at different venues that they will be enforcing this “No Chairhog” policy throughout the cruise.
Cruise Director John Heald reports the following on Facebook:
1. The message is truly getting to the guests as this morning at 9:00pm there were 81 empty chairs around the main pool and that as you will all know……………..is remarkable.
2. As of 10:30am this morning we only had 2 bags of removed items from chairs. That’s just 2 chairs that went over the 40 minutes and had reserved chairs and gone back to bed or elsewhere.
The guests are all commenting on how they appreciate us doing this. We have a full cruise to do this starting tomorrow and will then send our findings to the beards. (corporate officers). I will keep you informed but for now…………..it’s a huge improvement for sure.
Commitment to Service
Cruise Talk applauds Carnival for listening to their customers and actually dedicating several staff members to enforcement of this policy. With the announcements from the activities staff that this policy will be in place, the word is getting out to passengers that they can no longer get away with reserving and not utilizing a chair. We can only hope that this policy goes into effect not just at Carnival, but as an industry wide policy so that all cruisers can have the opportunity to enjoy a poolside lounge chair.