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You only get a few weeks each year to kick back and relax. When you’re on a cruise, you want that kicking back and relaxing to be on a deck lounger so you can soak up some of that vacation sun you’ve been needing.

The only problem with this plan? Deck chair hoarders. Some people call them deck chair hogs. They somehow manage to snatch up every available chair and hoard them like a dragon with its gold. So, now what?

You don’t go on vacation to argue, and there are definitely reasons not to get in an altercation on your cruise (hello, brig!). The real solution to your problem is that you have to outsmart those deck chair hoarders and beat them at their own game. But how? Read on for a few helpful tips!

What Is a Deck Chair Hoarder?

Before you can solve a problem, you first have to be able to identify it. So, what is a deck chair hoarder?

If you’ve been on a cruise before, you know many people get up early in the morning and rush out onto the deck to secure chairs for their parties. But deck chair hoarders aren’t looking for just one or two chairs – they want an entire row. And to stake their claim, they fill the chairs with towels, sunscreen, magazines, and empty water bottles – maybe even an errant piece of clothing.

These hoarded deck chairs always seem to be taken, but are never really seen in use – unless you believe that the Invisible Man and his family happen to be vacationing on your cruise. These people know the game and play it well, so you must learn to play and beat them!

Outsmarting Deck Chair Hoarders

If you really want to make sure you get a chair by the pool or at a certain spot on the ship that you actually plan to use, it’s vital to do a few things to help those chairs escape the clutches of deck chair hoarders! You can have your best shot at outsmarting them by:

Getting Up Early

Outsmarting Deck Chair Hoarders

This isn’t what you want to hear when you’re on vacation, but getting up early is the first way to beat those hoarders at their own game. Set your alarm and make your way to your preferred spot. Then, set up for the day.

Resist the urge to become a deck chair hoarder yourself and actually use the seat you’re getting up to secure. Don’t simply leave stuff on it with a plan to come back later. Remember, you want to beat them, not join them!

Find a Different Deck

If you can’t find a chair in the place you’re looking for and aren’t looking to engage with these folks, go to a different deck. Upper decks typically have fewer crowds and more chairs to offer. You may find less shade this way, but you’re more likely to find a chair without involving security. Speaking of which…

Talk to a Crew Member

Been on deck for a while? Notice some chairs only occupied by stuff, with people who never seem to be around? Talk to a crew member.

Ask them to remove empty drinks or used towels so you don’t have to do it, then set yourself up in your new chair.

Ditch the Stuff

If you have the chutzpah, consider moving the errant items yourself. Just be careful about the towels.

On many cruise lines, towels are signed out and then back in, so if you get rid of towels someone has signed out, they may get charged. In this case, put the towel somewhere close for safekeeping and claim your chair.

Take the Whole Chair

If you don’t want to move someone’s belongings elsewhere, the alternative is to take the stuff off, sit it on the ground, and move the chair to another spot for you to use. This way, the hoarder can easily find their things – only the chair will be missing.

Avoid It All

Cruise Tips and Tricks

If you don’t want to worry about deck chair hoarders on your cruise, you don’t have to. Book a cabin that has its own outdoor seating so you can enjoy the sun and sea on a chair no one can take from you. Cabins with verandahs are perfect for this.


About the Author:

Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all personal injury cases, focusing on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in representing injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and named one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators. Mr. Winston is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, and has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2022– an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite,” recognized by Expertise as one of the 20 Best Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys, named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015-2022, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida for 2015-2017 and 2019-2022.