It's official. Following a successful pilot program on Carnival Breeze, Carnival Cruise Lines (www.goccl.com) is starting "a fleet-wide rollout of a new system designed to ensure that all guests are able to enjoy equal access to sun loungers by preventing seat saving in outdoor deck areas," the line said in a press release.
In other words, the new policy will prevent deck chair hogs - many of whom aren't on the pool deck for hours at a time - from monopolizing the chair usage. No longer will they be able to plop down a towel and a few personal effects, then disappear for much of the day and return later and have access to their "self-reserved" chair.
Under the new system, shipboard team members will monitor sun lounge usage. 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 will be removed and held for the guest’s safekeeping.
The expanded policy is scheduled to be introduced on a gradual basis over the next couple of weeks, with fleetwide implementation on all 24 Carnival ships expected by mid-September.
Guests will be advised of the new system via public address announcements by the cruise director, signage in outdoor deck areas, messages displayed on the Seaside Theater poolside LED screen, as well as notices in “Fun Times,” the daily shipboard newsletter.