Cruise Passengers Shamed for Bad Poolside Behavior

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Cruises are supposed to be an opportunity for passengers to relax and unwind. But while these vacations offer a brief escape from reality, they don’t provide a break from other people. 

With mega-cruise ships like Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas able to accommodate up to 7,600 passengers at once, it’s simply inevitable that some personalities will clash. 

In a Reddit forum dedicated to venting about “rude, demanding, entitled, memorable, or just plain odd” passengers, commenters have noticed a particularly high number of cruise ship Karens hanging out by the pool.

Cruise Ship Pool Loungers
Cruise Ship Pool Loungers (Photo Credit: ODIN Daniel)

One anonymous poster shared that he and his wife decided to stay on the ship during a port call to relax by the pool. With fewer guests onboard, they were able to take advantage of “premium loungers” that were partially submerged in the shallow pool water. 

It was a peaceful day until the poster got up to use the restroom. His wife and his things remained on his lounger, as he only intended to be away for a few minutes. But another lady saw this as her opportunity to swoop in and claim the spot for herself. 

“I got up to go use the restroom and a lady jumped into my lounger and declared that I Ieft. All my stuff was sitting there along with my wife. I was maybe 10 feet away and came back to let her know I would be returning after I went to the bathroom. You would have thought I stole her puppy or something. Loudly complaining how it wasn’t fair, we had been there all day, blah blah blah,” wrote the poster. 

The couple ended up staying as long as they possibly could, even beyond the length of time they intended to stay “just to listen to her complain.”

Apparently, those pool loungers are in extremely high demand, as one user witnessed an intoxicated woman urinate in her chair instead of getting up to use the bathroom because she didn’t want to risk losing her spot. 

“I heard a person calling for staff and when I looked over I realized why. One drunk woman apparently didn’t want to get up and risk losing her chair so she decided to just lay there and urinate through her bathing suit and the chair, and the puddle was making its way to the pool,” wrote another user. 

Luckily, crew members saw what was happening and were able to intervene. They cleaned up the mess, and after a struggle, had the woman removed by security. 

Carnival Cracks Down On Lounge Chair Policy

While chair hogging has been an issue on many cruise lines, Carnival has had a particular problem with it. The 27-ship cruise line has been working harder to push its “chairing is caring” mindset and crack down on inconsiderate guests who claim prime poolside lounge chairs for hours without actually using them.

Beginning in February of 2024, the cruise line began placing extra emphasis on enforcing no chair saving rules through sticker notifications and time limits – although these rules have been in place for years. But now, designated “ChairShare” team members place stickers on empty chairs that contain unattended passenger belongings. 

“We stopped by at _____ and found this chair empty,” the stickers read. “Hope you’re having a great time… but for the benefit of all we limit how long chairs can be left unattended. At _____ we’ll move your stuff to the towel hut for safekeeping.”

Chair Hog Carnival Enforcement
Chair Hog Carnival Enforcement

The crew members fill in the blanks with the time they found the “reserved” chair empty and the time in which the items would be removed. 

Read Also: Day at the Pool Ruined for Thousands of Cruise Passengers

This doesn’t mean guests can’t ever leave their lounges to use the restroom, quickly retrieve something from their cabin, grab a snack, or the like. It’s okay for passengers to step away for a few minutes. The policy is instead meant to prevent passengers from reserving chairs for extended time periods – or even the whole day – without actually using them. 

A common practice, which goes against cruise ship etiquette, is for passengers to race up to the pool deck early in the morning to reserve the best available seats for themselves and their families, but not actually return to use them for a long time – which is unfair to other guests who would like a turn.

Ultimately, guests need to be respectful of other passengers while using the pool and go back to the old golden rules of “treat others how you want to be treated” and “sharing is caring.”

Additional pool etiquette to keep in mind is not letting food or drinks spill into the water, keeping an eye on children for their safety and to not disturb other cruisers, and save any nude sunbathing or skinny dipping habits for the privacy one’s own home. 

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