What’s the Poop? Why Can’t I Bring Toilet Paper from Home or Feed the Birds on a Cruise?

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portrait of a woman suffers from diarrhea his stomach painful. ache and problem. hand hold tissue paper roll in front of toilet bowl. constipation in bathroom. Hygiene, health care concept.
(©iStock.com/Rattankun Thongbun)

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Everyone has their preference when it comes to toilet paper, right? There are so many different kinds too – quilted, strong, eco-friendly, 2-ply or 1 ply – the list seems endless. I have personally heard many guests complain about the type found on cruise ships because it isn’t very, shall we say, gentle. Some prefer to bring their own onboard, but this is not allowed on most cruise lines. Why not, you ask? One simple reason, plumbing.

a roll of toilet paper and feathers
Toilet paper roll. Realistic white disposable soft towel and feather. Blue cellophane packaging with copy space. Napkin for body intimate hygiene. Advertising web banner template vector toiletry

Everyone wants the plumbing systems on cruise ships to work well. When the system gets clogged it can be a big mess impacting numerous cabins. According to this article from TheStreet, the toilet paper on cruise ships is designed to break down quickly, thus not clogging the system. So the only way you could use your own toilet paper onboard is if you do not flush it. Gross, and there’s still a huge risk it will be confiscated anyway.

a sign on the wall

I live outside the city limits and therefore my house has a septic system. Sometimes guests in my home are not aware of this fact, so I make sure all are informed. I also once co-owned a mobile home park with an enormous septic system and discovered that it is beyond the awareness of the general population what you ought not to flush down a toilet, much to my disgust when having to address the resulting stoppages. Kids have been known to flush a wide variety of objects down the toilet from toys to keys to sippy cups.

a roll of toilet paper

Let’s move on to “number 2” on the poop subject : birds. Another activity that is not allowed on cruise ships is feeding birds, because, well, bird poo happens too. Not only does feeding birds, from say your own balcony, involve throwing food bits overboard – see safety instructions: never throw anything overboard – it draws birds to the ship. The result is more birdie leftovers all over the ship. With more and more birds, any guest walking on deck with a plate of food or any food left on tables becomes a target. This comes down to a safety as well as a sanitary issue.

birds flying over water with trees in the background
The crew onboard were the only ones feeding the bald eagles in Alaska with permission to do so!

Cruise lines want you to enjoy the go, to borrow from a popular TV jingle, but just not at the risk of the plumbing. You can also rest assured that there is plenty of food in nature for birds, so they do not need a handout from you! – René

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Advertiser Disclosure: Frequent Floaters is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com. Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers. Compensation may impact how and where card products appear on the site. This site does not include all card companies or all available card offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities.

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