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The Curse Of The Lounge Chairs

Here’s a problem to which there is no solution…

Loungers.

The problem isn’t so much the loungers as the towels. People drape towels on pool-side lounge chairs like “reserved” signs, and you dare not remove a towel, in case it’s owner is watching. The problem is that the towel can sit on the lounger for hours, all day even, and hotel loungersnever be touched. It’s there, of course, because the people who make the deposits want to reserve that chaisse lounge for when they want to sit there…if they want to sit there.

What you often have is a long ling of lounge chairs covered in towels, many with no people.

People on cruise ships have long complained about this. Other than posting a sign warning people that uninhabited chairs can only remain so for an hour, as some cruise lines do, there is no solution. To hire lounge police is too costly and a waste of crew time.

But it’s not just on cruise ships. In fact, there’s a warning for the cruise industry.

During our recent visit to an all-inclusive resort — you’ll read more about that next week — we discovered the sight you see in the photo. We saw people emerging from their rooms at the crack of dawn, draping a towel on a pool-side lounge chair, and disappearing. While we didn’t keep score, in many cases it seemed the chairs were inhabited only by towels for hours on end.

And if you look carefully at the photo, you’ll see large “towel pins” being used to hold the “reservations.” When you have something that’s designed specifically for holding towels on vacant loungers, you really do have a problem.

Is there a solution to these devices of bad manners?

If you know of one, many people would like to hear it.

Today at portsandbows.com: Anthem of the Seas officially Royal Caribbean's

Golden Princess
7 nights
May 2, 2015
Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Astoria, Victoria, Vancouver
Inside: $399
Cost per day: $57
www.princess.com

Cruise Calculations in Your Space?

If you’ve read the Berlitz Handbook to Cruising, which has been around since before Maria Sharapova arrived and Roy Orbison left, you may already know what PSR means. Whether you know or not, maybe a refresher course is in order, as it was for us.

The object is to tell you which ships are the biggest, not in size but in space allocated for each passenger. It’s calculated by taking a ship’s gross tonnage and dividing it by the number of passengers it carries. A score over 30 is good, over 40 very good, over 50 excellent.

To us, it was which ship “felt” most comfortable in terms of personal space.

We assessed three of the ships we’ve been on most recently  — the mighty Norwegian Epic, Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas and Celebrity’s Eclipse. Independently, we ranked them in the same order: 1. Eclipse 2. Navigator 3. Epic.

Then we did the math:
1. Navigator, with a PSR of 44.41
2. Eclipse 42.78
3. Epic 38.02

There was a recent article by Paul Motter of Cruisemates, writing in Fox Business, that concluded new ships under construction by NCL, Royal Caribbean and Princess will all have between 8 and 16 per cent less space per passenger (an economic reality).

Furthermore, using that formula, the best cruise ships ever will be those built between 2008 and 2011.

And then there’s the most vital question of all.

Would we even notice? Really?

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