Hi we have just returned home from the sea princess and it was not really a problem. There was somebody patrolling the decks and if a sunbed was left unattended for more than 30 minutes then their belongings were moved and had to be reclaimed from another area of the ship. However, if like us you don't fancy the idea of getting up early to get a sunbed just put your towel on the deck and then when all the early risers have had enough of the sun because they have been out for ages you can have their sunbed when they go in! It is a shame to let the sunbed problem ruin your holiday especially when we were only at sea for 2 days anyway.
I don't know if this is your first cruise. I also read with interest the national press coverage of the Oceana's Sun Lounger saga. It would not have made the press had not the captain been vilified for his broadcast which upset a few pc freaks. I should not let it cause you worry or let it detract from your holiday enjoyment. No matter what cruise line or ship, there are passengers onboard, like our goodselves, who will take a fancy to a specific sun lounger position on the upper decks. Often seen it, they arise early and 'stake their claim' Good luck to them, they were there first, paid the same as us, and as long as they intend staying in that location for the majority of the day, should not be penalised, say, for nipping off to either lunch, their cabin or the toilets for a reasonable short period. There are usually no shortages of loungers, its just the locations. Storm in a teacup. Unlike the lady who made the complaint, I am leaving my name. Enjoy yourselves and don't worry.
People do try and reserve sun longers, however their are notices around saying do not reserve them. I personally did not find this a problem,although I was aware that if you did leave your sun lounge staff would remove your belongings and take to reception.
Do what I do.....when there has been no sign of anyone for around 20mins (which I think is enough time to be in the pool, go to the loo, get a drink etc) I remove their towels and put them on a table on the other side of the deck. When they come back, start getting indignant, look at them over your sunglasses, say 'you must be mistaken, all sun loungers look the same, and if you have mislaid your towel why don't you go and ask the pool attendant' - then resume reading your book and do not have any further eye contact......works a treat every time....
Princess cruises will have a policy regarding sun bed and seat reserving in the theater,some cruise lines police this via a deck attendant other let you sort it out your self? it is not a major problem but a growing one if you find towels left for a long time they are left by people just to lazy to put them in the soiled towel bins,i would ask the staff to remove personal items, .
If you have a lot of americans on the ship theres no problem, they dont sunbathe. Its mainly on english ships, thomson, p & O that its hard to get beds, same as we went on red sea magic a few weeks ago, they would have killed for a bed. If you get beds, keep them as long as you dont take a liberty and go off for two hours and leave them empty.
The matter of claiming sunbeds is a problem that has remained unadressed and has been with us for a very long time now. It began in hotels many years ago and has naturally progressed to cruise liners. If people are happy to get up at the crack of dawn to reserve a bed, so be it, whilst those wishing to have a lie-in find themselves penalised. However, I feel very strongly that it shouldn't automatically mean that the early riser should have sole possession of a bed for the whole day,especially when it is selfishly left empty for much of the time. I would categorically say that it should not be left to passengers themselves to take any action. This should surely be the task of staff in the sunbathing areas to keep an eye. If, say, after a period of fifteen to thirty minutes a sunbed remains unoccupied then, with posted warnings to act as reminders around the decks,it should be an accepted fact that any personal belongings are removed and kept in a place of safety and that the sunbed is handed over to another passenger. It is only fair. It infuriates me when I am on a sunbed and observe I am surrounded by so many unoccupied loungers that remain empty for very long periods,each one covered by the likes of sunglasses,teeshirts, reading matter, suncream, etc. It really is about time there is a satisfactory answer to this irritation,even if it meant reluctantly having to pay a small amount to reserve a lounger.
I must admit this to me is the one downside of cruising above all else. I have booked to go on Sea Princess in Dec in the Caribbean and am dreading the days at sea when if you can't get a sunbed, can be miserable as you wander the decks like nomads. On our last cruise on the second day at sea I admit I did get up at 5.30 in order to get a bed in a nice spot and remained glued to it all day lest someone thought we were selfish. I say do what Aldrich suggested and I don't think I would be shy about this time round either!
We had no trouble finding a sunbed and there were 4 of us. Admittedly you cant get one around the pools if you are not there early but there are plenty of beds on the other decks. You will have a fantastic time the Sea Princess is a beautiful ship.
This was a real problem on the Sea Princess and one of the few things we disliked about the ship.
However, as we were only at sea for just two days during our 2 week cruise, we tended to spend most of our time at the resort and enjoyed walking aroud & spending time on the beaches - which generally had lots of space...
The ship was great and YOU WILL HAVE A GREAT TIME!!