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TDT
#1 Posted : Monday, August 22, 2016 12:43:52 AM

Posts: 1

One of the posts in this category said they don't like for you to use your own curling irons even with adapters. Do they have curling irons or flat irons available in the staterooms?
Claudia Sails
#2 Posted : Monday, August 22, 2016 10:16:39 AM



Posts: 1,060

Someone else asked using a flat iron on a different river cruise thread recently - sorry I can't find it. They called Tauck and were told it wasn't a problem in the ships staterooms. You shouldn't have a problem with using one in the 110 (US style) plugs in the room and bathroom.

I've read alot on the internet about serious problems using curling irons or flat irons in Europe using an adapter. Even dual voltage ones may not have all the safety features needed. If your cruise has a hotel stay, you may want to avoid using one (the hotels don't tend to have 110 plugs like the ships do) unless you're absolutely sure its safe for European use.

Scottishtraveller
#3 Posted : Monday, August 22, 2016 10:22:16 AM

Posts: 9

I posted a query regarding hair straighteners on the Blue Danube Forum.

I had to contact Tauck to get a reply. They replied to my query on 9 August saying "I have found out that you can take hair straighteners on board our river boats".

I hope this helps.
Dokey
#4 Posted : Monday, August 22, 2016 11:09:47 AM

Posts: 24

I have used hair straighteners in dozens of hotels across Europe on all our Tauck tours and have never had any problems at all. Just make sure the straightener is "dual voltage" and you have the right "adapter plug" for the country you are in.

A lot of hotels have a 110 outlet in the bathrooms for electric shavers "only". Not ever to be used with a heating appliance. Maybe on the riverboats you can use the 110 outlet for straighteners, I have never taken a riverboat tour, so I can't comment on that. I think most people who have had trouble in hotels with hair straighteners, have used a electrical converter. Not a good idea.

Hope this helps. Have a wonderful trip.

British
#5 Posted : Monday, August 22, 2016 11:36:17 AM

Posts: 3,018

I think some people still do not understand the difference between an adapter and a converter, nor that some dual appliances need to be manually switched over from 110 to 220/240. Either way, I have often heard first hand stories from people who have had appliances catch fire or blow and it is generally hair tongs. Having said that, I spoke to a friend who just returned from a trip to Ireland and her hairdryer blew up and nearly set her hair on fire. She swears her hairdryer was duel voltage and it was all good, but who knows, she has been to Ireland before and is fairly well travelled. I am assuming that the River boats have had issues in the past. Which is why they supposedly have this rule. Maybe another problem is that people are plugging their hair tongs in the outlet in addition to another item and that causes overload. Even at home I cannot plug in an iPad plus a cell phone into one of those fancy sockets that convert a duel outlet to a cell phone socket and regular plug, the things say not to do it, but I did not read that when I originally bought it, until I thought it was a dud.
Claudia Sails
#6 Posted : Monday, August 22, 2016 12:58:19 PM



Posts: 1,060

Our first cruise on the Swiss Emerald we were told not to use heated appliances due to possible electrical overload. Not sure why - especially after Scottishtraveler called and asked Tauck - unless that ship and/or captain had had a bad experience. Glad I don't use one. And after hearing about your friends' experience in Ireland I'm glad I always use the hairdryer provided by the ship or hotel. They aren't as powerful as my home one but one less thing to worry about.

Maybe someone on a cruise this year will ask the crew specifically and see what they say.
Ken from Vegas
#7 Posted : Monday, August 22, 2016 2:01:47 PM

Posts: 309

Can't speak to the specifics of the riverboats (been too long since I took one), but here are some general comments on travel with heating devices (blow dryers, curling irons, and clothes irons).

If you are in a country that uses 220V outlets, you should not use one of these devices unless it has a switch that allows it to be set for 220V. Most of these devices sold in the US do not. You probably need to shop for one specifically made for dual voltages. You can use an adapter (a simple device that just changes the shape of the plug) but not a converter (a device that steps down the voltage from 220V to 110V). {British - Thank you for reminding people there is a difference.} Most converters just won't handle the load of heating element. Chances are you'll fry your converter if you try to use one with a heating device.

Dokey
#8 Posted : Monday, August 22, 2016 2:29:45 PM

Posts: 24

I don't usually get into a discussion like this. But you can buy all kinds of hair straighteners, in the US that are dual voltage. You do not have to switch them back and forth when you travel, they are automatic, if you use the right plug adapter. The only appliance you have to switch back and forth are dual voltage travel hair dryers. I have them too. I have had several hair straighteners that are dual voltage and always take them when we travel. I have had a lot of experience using them, with no problems. And we traveled long before we started taking Tauck tours.
AlanS
#9 Posted : Monday, August 22, 2016 3:05:27 PM



Posts: 2,077

This topic comes up regularly on the forums.

I must caution- be careful, while there are indeed dual voltage curling/flattening irons available (search on Amazon), most older units and those you typically see in retail stores (Walmart, Target, etc.) in the US are not dual voltage unless they specifically say so. You will likely need to buy a dual voltage unit from a specialty store that sells travel merchandise or online from Amazon. It should clearly state in the listing and/or on the box if it is dual voltage. The unit may automatically switch or may have a manual switch where you can select the appropriate voltage (110V vs 220V). You will also need to use a plug adapter appropriate for the country you will visit.

Also, note, most European hotels will not have suitable outlets for hair dryers or straighteners/curlers in bathrooms- I believe it may be code. These bathroom outlets are generally only designed to handle low wattage items like electric shavers, toothbrushes, etc.
British
#10 Posted : Monday, August 22, 2016 3:20:50 PM

Posts: 3,018

I hope TDT will excuse one of our loose threads. Having just gotten back from England and sharing a room with another female, I forgot how inconvenient it is to not have outlets in the bathroom. I was up much earlier than her a couple of days, could wash my hair but not dry it because I did not want to disturb her. And oh horror,one of those days I had to sit and enjoy breakfast with our gorgeous young male lead and the equally gorgeous music director with wet hair!
Ken from Vegas
#11 Posted : Tuesday, August 23, 2016 10:38:05 AM

Posts: 309

Ah, yes. Britain. Home of the world's most over engineered electrical plugs and most restrictive electric codes, at least as far as bathrooms go. Not only do they not allow regular outlets in the bathroom, but you can't even put a light switch in the bathroom. They typically have a pull string on the light fixture. Make you wonder if someone important got electrocuted in the early days of electric power or if the civil servant who wrote the code was just really paranoid. Seems like in this day of GFCI outlets, they ought to revisit this.

Seems to me that we've had outlets in the bathroom elsewhere in Europe though.
British
#12 Posted : Tuesday, August 23, 2016 1:46:37 PM

Posts: 3,018

I have to confess, I have been electrocuted by an outlet in England sometime in my childhood, it is much more serious than when it happens in the US, very painful and gives you a jolt. It can kill too. Perhaps that is why I am so odd! Up until about the early nineties, it was an everyday thing ro buy an electrical item and it not come with a plug on the end of it. It was left to the customer to wire a plug onto the item, can you imagine! That's why maybe a lot more people got electrocuted, until the laws were changed and plugs had to be on appliances when you bought them. It was not uncommon for wires to come loose inside plugs, so that if somethng didn't work, the first thing you did was take the plug apart and check one of the wires had not come unattached. You see how fun it is to travel to other countries and find out these little gems.
We are now a long way from the original question and there is another thread live on this topic too. Was it Portolan who gave a link to a very good site that Explains how the Electricity circuiting is different in England and why appliances may be incompatible even if they are dual.
Richardb
#13 Posted : Tuesday, August 23, 2016 2:52:14 PM

Posts: 167

It's all down to the EU - Personally, being in England, I can't get out fast enough.
The EU decided, in its wisdom, to harmonise the UK standard mains voltage of 240v AC and the European standard of 220v AC, at 230v AC. Fine in theory but the costs of replacing all the supply equipment to deliver 230v was uneconomic (there being no advantage whatever in changing, other than ‘harmonisation’). So to avoid accusations of failure to harmonise, they simply fiddled with the legal voltage limits, nothing actually changed!.

The law now states 230v +10% -6%, thereby allowing the European 220v system to stay at 220v and UK to stay at 240v, yet both appear to be harmonised! It is also effected by the Hz of the power which could be 50Hz or 60Hz
We are now in 2016 and the permissible limits for Voltage variation in the UK and Ireland are a voltage range of 207 Volts to 253 Volts. This is in accordance with European Standard EN50160. Just another example of a magnificent EU stuff up.
Maybe that is the problem that 110 volt instruments have dual voltage switches which cannot cope with even slight variations in voltage varieties.

The river boats have generators and batteries and having been a pleasure boat owner I know that running a "converter" really drains a battery, so I can understand why the boat companies don't want loads of people "converting" at the same time.
I am sure they try to get around this somehow, but the watchwords are definitely TAKE GREAT CARE.
OK, I know I am a bloke, but is a couple of weeks without hair straighteners (or curlers) going to rubbish your holiday? It is a holiday not a fashion parade. You will probably have a sun hat on most of the time anyway.
British
#14 Posted : Wednesday, August 24, 2016 7:51:10 AM

Posts: 3,018

Very funny Richard! Ah men, they will never understand how the mind of a woman works!
You know, your question all depends. If I was a girl on the hunt and I fancied one of the men, it would matter very much!
Scottishtraveller
#15 Posted : Wednesday, August 24, 2016 12:22:59 PM

Posts: 9

Must reply to Richard B - you are definitely a "bloke".

I was in the hairdressers and mentioned that I didn't think I would be allowed to use hair straighteners on my river boat cruise. Eight female faces turned to me with horrified looks.

Part of the holiday experience for me, not for everyone, is getting showered and dressed presentably for dinner, which includes tidying my hair - which is easy with straighteners. Please consider other points of view.

Our riverboat has 130 passengers, probably 60 women not all of whom will use straighteners. Viking can cope with this so surely Tauck can (as they confirmed to me).

PS - I am not a "girl on the hunt", I just like to feel tidy.

Richardb
#16 Posted : Wednesday, August 24, 2016 2:22:26 PM

Posts: 167

You know, Scottishtraveller, that is always what I admire about ladies - they enjoy taking so much trouble with the little things that matter. As for us men, when we see the ladies come floating so elegantly into a gathering we just admire them and take their turn out for granted without considering the sheer time and effort they have expended on presentation. I guess that is life - easy for us men to don a shirt/ tie and jacket which is all rather boring really.
What you should never doubt is that we men do ALWAYS notice and appreciate our lady companions but we are just rubbish at making sure we tell you our appreciation.
Please keep it up and I hope you all find acceptable curlers and straighteners for your cruise.
Claudia Sails
#17 Posted : Wednesday, August 24, 2016 2:26:47 PM



Posts: 1,060

Differing priorities. Not at all unreasonable to do some grooming for a river cruise. (At least if it doesn't carry the risk of burning off my hair.) My understanding husband didn't complain when I had to shop in Amsterdam for a round hairbrush having forgotten mine at home. But then I understand his need for a 10lb bag of mystery electronic plugs and cords.

And no Richard, we don't all wear sun hats. I loath hats. But maybe I'm rebelling after a 20+ year career in the military being required to wear one.