Thursday, September 29, 2016

Finding Your Seat

Ugliest Seats on the Ship
Sharing a ship with almost 2000 other folk, means sometimes having to line up for things like the dining room, pizza, or the ice machine, but you get used to it and the ships manage things well enough so that it is not much of an inconvenience.

Getting the best seats is another issue, and has been a BIG problem on some ships. The ships of the Carnival Line, for example, are known as “Party” ships and the popular spots are those loungers around the various pools or on nice sunny Caribbean afternoons, the loungers with just the right access to the sun. Trying to fit as many exciting activities into a small space, resulted in a severe shortage of the best loungers and I heard stories of fist fights resulting over prime locations. It is not unheard of to arrive on the sun-deck only to find every lounger already occupied by a book, a pair of shoes or a towel, and often these items sat there for hours reserving the lounger for
Empty Deck Chairs
someone. Although most ship crews do not like to perform discipline on passengers reserving prime locations, one ship actually had a policy of removing items left more than 15 minutes to free up chairs. There was a huge bin on the deck full of items “Left-behind” on chairs. On one ship I discovered an entire area with chairs occupied by items rather than people. I found a simple solution, by moving the chairs with objects obtaining suntans into the shade and bringing two chairs from unpopular areas into the area for us to use. It was worth it to watch the annoyed expression on people’s faces when they arrived back hours later to find that their prime location chairs were still waiting but were no longer in as quite a desirable location. I just sat there looking innocent.
No One Here

Saving Those Good Seats
Now that was on “Other” ships. The Holland America Ships cater to a slightly different, slightly more retired, cliental. Here, it is not a problem getting a nice comfy lounger up on the deck; they are mostly unoccupied. It is the comfy armchairs in the quiet corners with windows that are all occupied, and just as on the “Party” ships, the same strategy seems to be employed. I am constantly hearing folk putting the “Other Lines” down with their “lower class passengers”, but it is funny how those comfy arm chairs are being used to cradle old books, sweater vests, shopping bags, and other personal items while their owners are off attending lectures, having a pre-lunch snack, or looking for bargains in the shops.

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