OINK, OINK: You know you hate them, those people who pile their towels, sunscreen and beach bags on loungers by the pool, then disappear for hours. Known as “chair hogs,” they tie up row after row of prime real estate, while the rest of us are relegated to an uncomfortable chair in a shady corner.
But a new policy being tested on Carnival Breeze is making finding a poolside chaise a lot easier. Online cruise forums have been abuzz about the topic since it was announced recently by Carnival Senior Cruise Director John Heald on his Facebook page. Heald said crew members are placing stickers marking the time on loungers that have personal belongings — but no persons. Forty minutes later (giving the guest time to eat, drink, visit the restroom, etc.), if the chairs are still empty, the items are removed and the chairs freed up for others. A note will be left for chair hogs, informing them where they can pick up their flip-flops, paperbacks and sunglasses.
A week after its implementation, the policy is a success, Heald reports, with a large number of loungers available at mid-morning. A training manual is being prepared to share Carnival Breeze’s protocol with other ships in the line.
Carnival Breeze begins sailing — sans chair hogs — out of the Port of Miami Nov. 22, offering six- and eight-day Caribbean itineraries.
DO THE MATH: In a sea of cruise lines, what’s the best fit for you? In a recent issue of TravelSmart, cruise writer Eleanor Berman suggests doing the math to find the cost per day, then calculating the extras when determining the price of cruises. Those extras can include government taxes and port charges and gratuities for the crew. Don’t forget to add the cost of getting to the port. Then factor in some of the add-ons, such as the bar bill, premium restaurants and excursions. Her advice: Shop around, as some of the more luxurious cruise lines include the extras in the basic price.