POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Sep 16, 2012
Question: What do you think of the new Carnival policy that prohibits passengers from saving lounge chairs at the pools?
Answer: I think it's terrific. Some cruise passengers regularly go to the pool early in the morning and "reserve" a lounge chair with a towel or beach bag. They expect to be able to return hours later, when the pool is crowded, and have a chair waiting for them. But that's selfish -- they're preventing people who are actually at the pool from sitting in a chair.
Under the new Carnival policy, the staff keeps an eye out for unattended deck chairs with stuff on them. When they find one, they write the current time on a sticker and put the sticker on the chair. If no one returns to the chair in 40 minutes, the staff removes the items and leaves a note explaining where their owner can claim them. Someone else can then use the chair.
Q: What exactly IS turndown service? I often see "Turndown service is provided upon request" in the guest information booklet in hotels, but I don't really know what I'd get if I request it. Am I missing something awesome by not requesting it?
A: Usually, "turndown service" means that housekeeping will come in and turn down the covers of your bed, replace used towels and empty your trash. Sometimes they'll also close your blinds and replace any bathroom toiletries you've used.
At posh hotels that do turndown service as a matter of course, it can be much more elaborate -- they might dim your lights, leave fresh flowers, etc.
If the service is upon request, you have to decide whether you'll derive enough benefit from it to justify the inconvenience of having housekeeping stop by in the evening. If you're already planning to leave your room for dinner, and you want fresh towels, just call the front desk and ask for turndown service while you're out. But if you intend to stay in your room prepping for a meeting the following morning, you might not want to be disturbed.
Email travel etiquette questions to Lesley Carlin at firstname.lastname@example.org.