Check Out These Pool Chair Etiquette Tips

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Helpful Pool Chair Etiquette Tips

Yes There is Pool Chair Etiquette

Have you ever been the victim of Pool Chair Hogging on your holidays?  Well we sure have and it appears that it is becoming more and more prevalent as years go by.  So much so, that I recently read a full page article in our weekly National news magazine the other day.

The article stirred up my past experiences with this world wide problem.  First, take a look at this short video on one person’ s experience, showing some pool lounge chairs being Hogged at a popular vacation resort.

The video gives you a clear look at how big the problem really is!  View on …

As you see, it really is becoming a world – wide epidemic that needs to be addressed before all out battles take place more frequently among vacationers.  In fact, the article I recently read did point out that verbal and physical altercations are now quite frequent and widespread across the globe, specifically dealing with reserving your pool lounge chair with various items without even using the pool chair at all.


It appears the time has come that Cruise Lines, Resort Hotels and any other establishments where the use of pool chairs is at a premium, must begin to adopt strict Pool Chair etiquette rules. They have to start enforcing these rules on an ongoing basis! 🙁  Either that, or purchase enough pool loungers to accommodate most everyone!

Here is a story passed on to me that was hilarious but at the same time kind of sad at the same time what we vacationers have to resort to just to get that perfect pool lounge chair on our holidays!

Cruise Ship Pool Chair Etiquette Hog Chronicles

Pool Chair Hog

After a few days at sea and not finding a deck chair anywhere close to the pool or in the shade for that matter, we finally had enough.  I set my clock for 6:30 in the morning thinking no way people would be up this early, let alone out grabbing the premium loungers. I set out in total darkness and made my way to the main pool deck.

Once there I quickly realized I was almost too late – half the chairs were already taken!

What the …?

After my late arrival, I quickly grabbed two good pool lounge chairs that will be great for our stay at poolside this fine day. I sit myself down on my prize lounger with a cup of java and marvel at the chair hogs at work. What I was seeing was something to behold, like busy bees hard at work.  Are people really this self-centered, or has pool chair hogging become an epidemic?

There were many typical styles – men and women armed with various towels… or even children been used as “pool chair mules” made to handle numerous heavy towels on their own without parental support!

Those poor children!!  🙁

I marveled at the inventive types, placing a single shoe or even a partial magazine? …  on their selected pool lounge chair as if that suckers us into believing  the chair is even more reserved than it would be with just a simple towel on it.

 Chair Hogs Caught Red Handed

pool chair etiquette

I can see a professional lounge chair hog a mile away!  How you ask?

Well, because after completing their chair hog assignment, they high tail it back down to their cabin to rest after accomplishing their risky business! These people are so good they give you a super idiotic look as if they are the only people on the boat and that’s their personal autographed pool chair.

Then the unthinkable happened… one party slinked  their way to poolside with an enormous pile of books and towels. I reckoned around ten but could have been more. They started taking every decent pool lounge chair they could – one towel, with one book strategically placed as if it was almost their paid profession.

Pool Lounge Chair Hogs for Hire!

It was a sight to behold, watching pool lounge chairs being gobbled up in total darkness! So here I sit in my comfy pool chair an hour later admiring the many chairs with towels only occupying them. Where have all the people gone? I’m not alone however; there are 2 or 3 others that perhaps are aware of pool chair etiquette.

These reserved chairs stayed mostly empty for several hours. Go figure!

It is unfortunate, especially in the Cruise Line Industry where recreational staff and many others are at pool side all day, yet still do not publicize in their daily cabin bulletins or at poolside to educate and enforce pool chair etiquette, especially when these pool lounge chairs are at a premium! 🙁

Cartoon Cop

Perhaps I can get a job as a  Pool Chair Policeman  in my retired years and Cruise for Free!  Now there is an idea!

Pool Chair Etiquette – Update:

carnival logo

Carnival Cruise Lines is the latest to announce it will make every effort to put the brakes on chair hoggers! ” [Click Here] for the complete story about these exciting new rules to tackle pool chair hogs!  Hats off to Carnival for finally taking the initiative in stopping these inconsiderate people.

Hopefully all cruise lines and all inclusive resorts will follow their direction and new policies!

Pool Lounge Chair Rules

 Pool Chair Hogs Everywhere!

pool lounge chairs

Are there actually rules regarding this problem and are they simply being ignored?  Well, yes there is a common consensus and etiquette but as far as I can tell, in all my years of travel, I have yet to see these rules enforced.  Sad but true.

Just what is the common rule regarding pool chair etiquette?

” One Hour “

The general rules of pool chair etiquette are pretty universal and in all the articles I have read, do indicate that pool lounge chairs should not be unoccupied and held after just “One Hour.”

Sounds pretty reasonable to me, especially if lounge chairs are at a premium!  But do you really want to put yourself in a position that could possibly start a verbal or physical altercation with another vacationer?  I don’t think so!

Unless of course, you are staying at an all – inclusive resort and you have just finished your 5th free Margarita! 🙂

New Chair Lounge Rules at Mexican Resort

pool chair rules

Are Pool Lounge Chair Etiquette Rules Made Just for Fun?

Our rooftop swimming pool

Sleep Withinn Hotel Bangkok

I could not help but be reminded of this problem on our recent Family Holiday to Thailand.  During our couple of night’s stop- over in the City of Bangkok, the hotel we booked had a lovely but small rooftop swimming pool.

It was so nice to take a refreshing dip in the pool after a day sightseeing in the hot, humid and smoggy conditions! 🙂  Because the pool was small, there were only a handful of pool lounge chairs available. When we arrived, all but one was being used, so I was left to sit at the pools edge.

No big deal, but here is what happened!

Shortly after our arrival, one couple who had been occupying 2 lounge chairs got up and left the pool area leaving there towels, books and a bag on the loungers.  I watched them leave and thought to myself …

“I guess they are just taking a short break or getting refreshments and will be right back.”

I certainly did not think they would be gone for a long period of time, as the pool was getting busy and there were no chairs available for at least 5 of us at this point.  Well, I was wrong.  It was just over 1 hour  when they returned and to make matters more insulting, they both jumped in the pool and swam for a few minutes and then dried off and left, taking all their items with them.

They did not even use the lounge chairs after returning!! 🙁

Had it not being for the guy looking like a champion boxer with numerous tattoos and could probably take me down with one hand, I certainly would have removed their items  after 1 hour  and would have had no problem having a discussion with them after their return.  I was feeling pretty mellow at this point after consuming 2 large Thai beers  in the hot sun!

Where are all the people?

pool chair hogs

Pool Chair Etiquette Rules – Should These Rules Be Strictly Enforced?

Is it our job as guests to enforce these pool rules?  I think not!!

It is time this simple rule be strictly enforced world – wide and the onus should be put on Hotels, Cruise Lines and Resorts to enforce these rules at all times!  Either that or have enough lounge chairs to accommodate all their guests which is simply not going to happen, unless you are one of the lucky few who can afford to stay in 5 plus star resorts and such.

Pool Chair Etiquette – A Few Things to Consider

Here are a few suggestions I recommend following on your next holiday.

Treat your fellow guests with respect;

Use common sense and discretion at all times;

Abide by the  “One Hour Rule”

If you see unoccupied lounge chairs for over one hour, advise Staff and see if they can resolve the problem;

If you encounter a shortage of pool chairs, let the Staff know of the problem and see if anything is being done to remedy the situation;

Ask if Staff is aware of the Universal  “One Hour Rule”

Do not get into an altercation with fellow guests over a Pool Chair. Advise staff, it is their responsibility, not yours! 

If you do not receive any assistance, do contact the Hotel Manager, Cruise Director, Resort Manager or other person in charge and let them know of the problem.

 Cruise Ship Chair Hogs

lounge chair hogs

When you return home do voice your opinions and concerns to as many people as you possibly can.  For example;

Advise Your Travel Agent.

Email or Write to the Resort or Cruise Line Directly.

Do answer surveys that Cruise Lines and Resorts send out after your holiday.

Visit Online Travel Forums and Review Websites and let others know what occurred.  Trust me, Hotel Managers, Cruise Line Directors and others with top positions all read these reviews!

Above all, enjoy yourself and have a Great Vacation! After all, it’s only a Pool Chair! 😉

Pool Chair Etiquette – Update 2015:

Having just returned from a wonderful vacation in the Mayan Riviera in Mexico and having stayed at a 4 star all inclusive resort, I discovered Pool Chair Hogging is still in full force, at least at this resort.  Having a birds eye view from our ocean front hotel room and being an early riser myself, I was entertained on our front deck each morning watching people scramble out to those beach as early as 6 am, placing their towels and other non valuables onto the chairs.

What amazed me was that many of those people would not show up to the beach until very late in the morning!  Come on people, what’s that all about? 🙁

Pool Chair Etiquette – Update 2016:

Well, another year has passed and yes, Pool Lounge Chair Hogging is still taking place and with fierce competition!  My wife and I enjoyed another stay at an All Inclusive Resort Hotel where we discovered first hand, that unless you were up with the birds very early in the morning, forget about getting a lounge chair for the day!

Check out the photo below I took just after 6 am! 🙂

I counted 14 empty reserved lounge chairs!

Lounge Chair Hogs

Security Everywhere, but no lounge chair enforcement here!

Pool Chair Hogging

Pool Chair Etiquette – Update 2017:

My wife and I just returned from a lovely vacation at an all inclusive resort in Mexico, and I’m afraid to say that pool chair hogging is still doing quite well. 🙂 Once again, as the birds were chirping early in the morning, people were out in full force grabbing their favorite loungers for the day.

Lounge Chair Hogs

I actually witnessed chairs vacant for many hours with people only to return to them to grab their things. How inconsiderate of others. 🙁

Safe Travels!

What are your feelings about Pool Chair Hogging?  Do you think there should be strict rules with staff enforcing them diligently?

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Pool Chair Etiquette

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