1. Home
  2. Planning
  3. Cruise Tips and Advice
  4. 7 Ways to Outsmart Deck Chair Hogs

7 Ways to Outsmart Deck Chair Hogs

The Lido Pool on Carnival Paradise (Photo: Cruise Critic)
The Lido Pool on Carnival Paradise (Photo: Cruise Critic)

Find a Cruise

In the wee hours of the morning, under the cover of darkness, they creep. Their flip-flops smack across the pool decks of cruise ships everywhere as they shuffle like a horde of zombies armed with towels, sunscreen and books. If it sounds like a scene from a horror movie, you're on the right track. We're talking about deck chair hogs -- those inconsiderate fellow passengers who rise before the sun to stake out prime poolside real estate, mark it with personal belongings and then abandon it, rendering it useless to others.

If you've had enough, we urge you to stand up to these selfish sunbathers and claim the deck chair that's rightfully yours. Join the peaceful revolution by employing the following seven tips for outsmarting deck chair hogs.

Updated March 19, 2019

1. Rise Early

Beat them at their own game. Set your alarm ungodly early, and make your way to the pool deck to take your pick of the best deck chairs your ship has to offer. Just be sure you're actually using it; otherwise, you'll become a chair hog yourself.

2. Ask a Crew Member to Intervene

If you notice that a chair has been passively occupied by sunglasses and half-empty drinks for an extended period of time and don't want to create a disturbance yourself, you're well within your rights to tell a crew member and ask him or her to remove the items on your behalf.

3. Remove Their Belongings Yourself

A bit braver? Gently round up the offending items, and take them to the nearest towel stand for safekeeping until their owner can reclaim them. Note: Many ships require towels to be signed out, and the signee will incur a charge if a towel goes unreturned. If you're feeling extra feisty, hide the towel elsewhere on the pool deck.

4. Remove the Chair

If you'd rather not be responsible for moving someone else's things but still don't want to involve a crew member, simply take the chair instead. Remove the items on the chair, place them on the ground underneath, then pick up the chair and take it with you to your sunny (or shaded) spot of choice. The chair hog will find his belongings where he left them, but will only have hard deck rather than a comfortable chair for seating.

5. Call Them Out

If you've got some extra time on your hands before your next cruise, print out sheets of paper that say "CHAIR HOG." Take them onboard with you, along with a cheap set of safety pins, and fasten them to (un)occupied chairs to let the guilty parties know just what you think of them.

6. Find Another Deck

If you can't find the ideal spot but don't mind taking the high road -- literally and figuratively -- head to an upper deck, where you'll likely find more chairs and fewer crowds. The downside: You might also find less shade.

7. Avoid the Situation Entirely

If you'd rather not worry yourself with this issue at all, combat the conundrum by booking a cabin with its own private outdoor space. A balcony offers a private seating area, but it might not be big enough for a lounger. If that's the case, opt instead for suites that have larger balconies or, in some cases, their own private sun decks.

Find a Cruise

Popular on Cruise Critic

8 Best Luxury Cruise Ships
The moment you step aboard a luxury cruise ship, a hostess is at your arm proffering a glass of bubbly while a capable room steward offers to heft your carry-on as he escorts you to what will be your home-away-from-home for the next few days. You stow your things (likely in a walk-in closet) and then emerge from your suite to get the lay of the ship. As you walk the decks, friendly crew members greet you ... by name. How can that be? You just set foot onboard! First-class, personalized service is just one of the hallmarks of luxury cruise lines. You can also expect exotic itineraries, varying degrees of inclusivity in pricing, fine wines and gourmet cuisine as well as universally high crew-to-passenger ratios. That being the case, you might think any old luxury cruise ship will do, but that's not quite true. Like people, cruise ships have their own unique personalities -- and some will be more suited to your vacation style than others. Lines like SeaDream might not offer the most spacious suites, but their intimate yachts can stealthily visit ports that large ships can't manage. Regent Seven Seas and Oceania Cruises are owned by the same parent company but Regent offers a completely inclusive vacation experience, while Oceania draws travelers with a more independent streak. Take a look at Cruise Critic's list of best luxury cruise lines and ships to see which one resonates with you.
Best Time to Cruise
It's one of the most common cruising questions: When is the best time to cruise Alaska, Australia, the Caribbean, Canada/New England, Hawaii, Europe or the South Pacific? The answer depends on many variables. For example, fall foliage enthusiasts will find September and October the best time to cruise Canada/New England, whereas families prefer to sail in summer when temperatures are warmer for swimming. The best time to cruise to Alaska will vary depending on your preferences for viewing wildlife, fishing, bargain-shopping, sunshine, warm weather and catching the northern lights. For most cruise regions, there are periods of peak demand (high season), moderate demand (shoulder season) and low demand (low season), which is usually the cheapest time to cruise. High season is typically a mix of when the weather is best and popular travel periods (such as summer and school holidays). However, the best time to cruise weather-wise is usually not the cheapest time to cruise. The cheapest time to cruise is when most travelers don't want to go because of chillier temperatures or inopportune timing (too close to holidays, the start of school, etc.). But the lure of cheap fares and uncrowded ports might make you change your mind about what you consider the best time to cruise. As you plan your next cruise, you'll want to take into consideration the best and cheapest times to cruise and see what jibes with your vacation schedule. Here's a when-to-cruise guide for popular destinations.
Onboard Credit: How to Get It, Where to Spend It
Free. Money. Are there two more beautiful words in the English language? While money doesn't grow on trees, increasingly it can be found somewhere else -- on the high seas. Call it an incentive, call it a bonus; whatever you want to call it, onboard credit lets you spend more freely with less guilt. You've paid your cruise fare, and now you can splurge on those enticing extras -- Swedish massage, specialty restaurant, an excursion to snorkel among shipwrecks -- without busting your budget. Not many need convincing as to why onboard credit -- money automatically deposited into your onboard account-- rocks, but finding out exactly how to get it and where you can spend it is a bit trickier. We found eight ways to hit the OBC jackpot and offer even more suggestions on how to burn through it, although you probably have your own ideas already.

Find a Cruise