River Cruises - Disposal of Toilet Paper?

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Jun 29th, 2010, 09:41 PM
  #1
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River Cruises - Disposal of Toilet Paper?

Excuse the bizarre subject, but a friend of mine just told me that she is not interested in any river cruise (I was looking at a Danube or Rhine cruise) because one does not flush toilet paper, but rather puts it in a container to be disposed of by the crew. I had never heard of this, but can't imagine that it's true...I'm sure that ships have holding tanks for waste; it doesn't just get piped overboard. Can anyone settle this matter for me?
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Jun 29th, 2010, 11:35 PM
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I have no idea how it's disposed of, but on our river cruise in Russia we certainly never put paper in a trash bin. It was flushed throughout the 12-day trip.

The only time I have experienced putting toilet paper in a trash bin is in Mexico. This in an effort not to plut the plumbing.
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Jun 30th, 2010, 04:20 AM
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In our motorhome/trailer and our boat we re supposed to use a different type than regular toilet paper. This disovles easier and faster them the type we use in the house. It won't clog any system and doesn't 'hang around' in a system tank long. That toilet paper is flushed.
In Cozumel I have seen "Don't put ANYTHING down the toilet" signs and there was a waste basket for everything! That was a long time ago and have been to Cozumel frequently this past year and haven't seen that sign again.
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Jun 30th, 2010, 09:21 AM
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They should just check with the cruise line. I know that some paper as bonnie says is OK for flushing. In Athens we stayed in a very expensive hotel but had to put the toilet paper in a container beside the toilet. Thats the thing about travel you have to go with the flow (so to speak) or just stay at home and miss out on it all/
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Jun 30th, 2010, 04:38 PM
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Almost everyone uses a special bio-degradable toilet paper on all sea faring ships. I have not seen for a very long time now that you need to put toilet paper in a bin.

They do have signs that said paper towels, sanitation napkins, kleenex etc should be in the bin rather than down the toilet .... maybe your friend is confused.

Off the record, there are different brands and manufacturers of the bio-degradable toilet paper. Most are okay but some are very coarse and you thought you are wiping with sand paper.
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Jun 30th, 2010, 06:41 PM
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We were recently in Greece and it was common to place ALL paper in a little waste paper basket with a lid. Haven't been on a river cruise but if that is the practice, that is the practice. I am more than AMAZED at travelers who cannot cope with anything that is different than home. Wonder how your friend would react to a Turkish toilet or toilets with no seats? Stay home. The world doesn't need her.
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Jun 30th, 2010, 07:04 PM
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I should disclose that I work for a river cruise company, so I have a vested interest in debunking any myths about our cruises that could scare people away. But really, there is no modern cruise ship without a normal, powerful flush system. While you are asked not to throw toilet paper or food scraps down the toilet, commodes on these vessels work just like you would expect them to.
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Jun 30th, 2010, 10:03 PM
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rivercruiseresource: you said

"While you are asked not to throw toilet paper or food scraps down the toilet"

Is this what you meant? Because that sounds as if you DON'T flush tp, which conflicts with the rest of your statement.
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Jun 30th, 2010, 10:11 PM
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While in Greece I don't remember placing tp in a bin. Squat toilets, a multitude of different methods to flush, no seats, light going out while in a bathroom in Italy all have been experiences of mine. I don't think it's a matter of not coping, it's just that the OP wants to know what to expect. At least that's my take.
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Jul 1st, 2010, 09:59 AM
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You friend can bring ziplock bags for the duration of the cruise if she's a germaphobic.

"I'm sure that ships have holding tanks for waste" - sea ships, yes, river ships - who knows!
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Jul 1st, 2010, 10:38 AM
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I've been to both Greece and Peru and found it was the norm to put toilet paper in a bin next to the toilet. The first time I heard about it I was a bit taken aback, but it really was not a big deal, even in the public toilets.

It hadn't occurred to me that you (maybe) couldn't flush TP on a river cruise, so further answers to this will be interesting.
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Jul 5th, 2010, 07:19 PM
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In many places it's common not toe able to flush toilet paper. My guess is that whether or not you can flush depends on the ship. I took a Nile cruise and cow
D flush toilet paper. But there were other places where we could not flush it. I get the ickiness factor, but this is just a fact of life in some places, and I just don't understand why you'd skip a river cruise because of thus.
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Jul 6th, 2010, 05:12 AM
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Yes, I've found the little bins beside the toilet are very common in Greece, and I believe in some other places. Agree it's kind of icky, but infrastructures vary, don't they? Got to be able to go with the flow when we travel (pardon the pun.)
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Jul 6th, 2010, 11:19 AM
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So I guess squatting behind a bush in a jungle hike is out of the quetsion? What happens when you are in a single cubicle and you found out that there is no TP (or any other paper for that matter) after you are done withj your business? Woudl you use a $10 bill if that's all the paper you've got?

Yes, it's icky, but you'll live. Think back not too long ago that people commonly uses handkichief as oppose to kleenex, or cloth diapers vs disposbale. Come to think of it, some people still do!
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Jul 6th, 2010, 01:55 PM
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To all the responders: please note that it's not me who has a problem with this, but a friend of mine who I was hoping to have join me on a cruise!

I had hoped to be able to tell her that her theory about TP disposal wasn't true, but it looks like it is true in some cases (does it depend on the cruise line or the country?) She is pretty obsessive about sanitation and cleanliness and germs.
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Jul 6th, 2010, 04:13 PM
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I don't think the country has anything to do with the issue. I think it's the ship. The cheaper the cruise and older the ship, the more likely you'll have to dispose of TP in the bin (that's my guess based on the idea that older plumbing systems are more touchy).

This is a fascinating thread because even though I didn't like putting the TP in the bin, it would simply never occur to me not to go to a place where it's the case. It's certainly not unsanitary since the bin always has a plastic bag and is emptied daily or even more often.
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Jul 7th, 2010, 05:38 PM
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Azzure, we know it is not you ... I think it is the country as well as the age of the ship. You won't see TP bin on any ships in North America but you will see them in Eastern Europe, part of Asia, and Africa.

If you want to make sure, call the cruise line. I am not endorsing anyone, but if you are going on the Viking River Boat crusie, they don't have TP bins on their ships. The ships in China 3 Gorges do not have TP bins either.

If you use a small local company with an aging boat, you might come across that.

Speaking of germ-phobia, would your friend wipe down the seats before sitting down in the plane? How about wipping down the steering wheel of a rental car? Did you know the inside door handle (main entrance/exit) on a public washroom carries the most germs? Think of all the people who rinse or don't even wash their hands and tug on the door handles to leave the washroom.
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Jul 10th, 2010, 11:31 AM
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We did a Danube River cruise with Grand Circle Travel, and there was no bin for the TP -- the toilets on the ship worked just as ours do at home. Same with a canal barge trip in France with French Country Waterways. I'd suggest checking with the company whose cruise you're interested in taking, for a definitive answer.
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Jul 10th, 2010, 02:36 PM
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I'm amazed this thread has reached 17 responses. On a usually slower forum than some on Fodor's I find it amusing that toilet paper would draw such interest. LOL
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Jul 12th, 2010, 03:04 PM
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Giovanna, yes, this forum is a slow one compare to other Fodor forums. Land and air travel attracts so much more people and cruise is such a small component. The only other travel segment that can be smaller is rail travel.

With that said, we have REAL issues, and importants ones too: I thought TPs is important. We all use it daily. And of course, we have BIG issues such bring your own sodas, BYOB, and the rest of the usual stuff ...
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