Posted November 28th, 2012, 07:20 AM
I think there are two aspects to this - 1. providing more sunbeds especially at peak times and 2. ensuring those that are available aren't 'hogged' for hours by absent passengers.
One solution which has already been suggested is to use the sports area which at best only provides a facility for a very small number of passengers for short periods of time but as an extra sundeck especially at peak times could perhaps provide a facility for an extra 100+? passengers (depending on the capacity of the sun deck area). This is a good idea but a shame that even the few youngsters who might want the sports deck don't have that available to them. But in the absence of any other solution is perhaps the best idea to date in terms finding extra space.
But this could be totally unnecessary if the 'hogging' issue was resolved for once and all.
So, this might sound very controversial but I think a 'Zero tolerance' policy of saving sunbeds is the way forward i.e. it's not acceptable at all. Except - a toilet break would be fine when a partner/neighbouring cruiser could verify to Thomson 'deck patrols' (designated sunbed wardens!
) that you've literally only gone for 10 minutes or so and the warden puts a sticker on the lounger with the time on it.
But apart from that, lunch breaks or anything similar you should vacate the bed and take everything with you. If everyone did this there would be plenty of beds available so when you come back there would be another bed to choose from - granted perhaps not in your absolutely favourite area but at least there would be something. You only need to walk the deck to see 50/60/70% of beds at certain times are unoccupied but with towels on so there isn't actually a shortage of beds - just beds that aren't being saved.
If you want to sun all day you could choose your spot for the morning, go have lunch then find somewhere else for the afternoon. If you want to do something else, go off the ship, go to a lecture whatever - then that's your choice for that moment in the day's schedule and you can't reasonably expect to be 'holding' a facility when you're not using it or have any intention of doing so (how can you if you're off the ship - but it happens!). It's selfishness in the extreme.
This issue doesn't actually affect me much as I can't sit in the sun a lot - if I want to have half an hour and find all beds have towels or are occupied, I just remove the towel on one (where there is obviously not a partner in attendance) and stay as long as i want and if anyone returned, I'd give up the bed to them (not wanting to cause a problem) but for me that works ok as I'm usually happy enough to move off after an hour or so anyway. Incidentally I've never had to give the bed up when I've done this because the 'hogger' has never turned up in the period I was 'borrowing' the bed!! So that says a lot!
Just a thought from someone who hasn't got much of an agenda with this one as it doesn't affect me a lot - but I nevertheless have a heightened sense of fairness and get very indignant when I think people are being inconsiderate at the least or totally selfish and anti-social at worst.
So, do you think that could work?