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Hit the Deck – Chair Hogs

Monday Mantra

Hit the Deck-Chair Hogs!

If reserved seats get you hopping mad….

 

I will get revenge on deck-chair hogs…I will get revenge on deck-chair hogs…

 

deckchair1Don’t get me started.

 

It was still early morning as my husband and I made our way to the pool for a glorious, sun-drenched day at sea. On deck, it appeared most chairs were occupied, and those that weren’t were positioned alongside screaming children or people who, even at this hour, looked to be on their second bucket of beer. “There!” I said, “That looks like a whole row!” And, sure enough, it was a whole row, unoccupied by people, but very occupied by stuff.

It was a row of 13, yes, THIRTEEN chairs, lined up in an almost military precision. Connecting each chair to its partner was a beach towel, folded twice lengthwise and then perfectly woven in a figure eight through the armrests. It looked like something Julia Roberts would have done while she was married to that crazy guy in Sleeping with the Enemy. On each chair were flip-flops, again strategically placed in the center of each seat, and on every seat was a tattered paperback, withdrawn, I’m sure, from the ship’s library for seat-saving purposes. Odds are low that 13 people would ALL be reading Jackie Collins — there’s usually a smart person in even the most dysfunctional families.

Dazzled, but defeated, my husband and I climbed to the deck above, finding two unoccupied chairs that just happened to be located where we could easily monitor the occupancy of the baker’s dozen of deck chairs and their curious reading material.

10:00 a.m. —  Nobody.

11:00 a.m. — Nobody.

12:00 noon — Nobody.

1:00 p.m. — Activity! One woman arrives, settles herself in, and places the Jackie Collins book on the chair beside her. (She may be the smart person — sadly, it is possible to be both smart and selfish.)

At no time between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. were more than two of the 13 “reserved” deck chairs occupied. When people approached and inquired as to whether all of the chairs were taken, they were shooed away like flies, assured that the occupants would be back shortly.

At 3:00 p.m., my husband and I decided to return to our cabin. We descended the stairs to find the chairs we’d been watching completely unoccupied. In a fit of rage, I decided to extract revenge. I grabbed one flip-flop off the end deck chair and hid it under the staircase. And I really hope they never found it.

flip flop

— Judi Cuervo

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6 Comments

  1. Don’t fume, just sit! That’s what I do, when (if) the folks finally show up and usually it’s just one or 2, they say, “we’ve got those seats reserved” , instead of snarkily saying “what, you mean the ones right next to the no reserving seats sign?”, I say very politely “oh , no problem at all, when the rest of your group gets here, I will happily move on” I fully plan to move on, should the rest of the group appear, but no one has ever returned before I’ve had to leave for some reason on my own schedule. And many times the party who “reserved” the chairs never shows up at all and no one knew I was ever there. If we all did this, there would be plenty of chairs for everyone!

  2. You tell em! Truly, it’s the most annoying thing about cruising. I’m wondering when all the chair-saving problems are going to trigger a return to the “paid” deck chairs of the 1970s. Years ago, you would “buy” a deck chair for the week..cheap in those days..but it was YOURS. When you wanted to lay out, you’d tell the deck steward and he’d set it up with a mat and bring towels.

  3. Wonderful! I love it and laughed out loud. Must be something with the name Judi that makes us so “spicy!”

  4. That could be it, along with the universal intolerance for the Cruise Ship Chair Hog! From Judi to Judy, thanks!

  5. Great story! I just wish the cruise lines would do a bit more to clamp down on the seat-savers. A sign that says “no reserving seats” doesn’t seem to be doing the trick. It creates an awkward situation when passengers have to help the cruise line to enforce the rules that are clearly stated. I usually cruise with RC and on my most recent cruises, this hasn’t been too much of a problem thankfully.