Now here's a new gripe! Often shore excursions involve a lengthy your bus ride. In years past, these usually had restrooms. They still do, for the most part, but more times than not, they are bolted shut, or we are told not to use them! And did you ever try to find a public restroom in Ireland or Italy? No fun! Has anybody else noticed this?
Babe, I took a lot of long-distance chartered bus trips between ten and five years ago, and once used, the bathroom and area around it always had a sewage odor.
Perhaps it depends on the bus. It could be that I was unfortunate enough to ride in buses whose chemicals and ventilation systems were not effective. However, I tend to believe this was a common problem.
Now posting as MichelleP.
Michelle: While I don't question the truthfulness of your statement about odors one bit, we were on some tour busses in Ireland and England in '98 that had working restrooms, and there was no odor I could detect. It was just like the areas around the toilets on airplanes. In 2001, the busses in these same countries had either a bolted shut restroom, or one that we were told not to use. Had the same problem in Italy week before last. I think that the smelly toilets you encountered, and the bolted up ones I've encountered, are both part of the same problem. A common gripe here --- a part of the travel industry "cheaping out" on us by either eliminating these necessary facilities or failing to maintain and equip them so as to cause no odors.
But again, while it was not done in the cases you observe, I have observed that operating restrooms CAN be provided on tour busses, without odor, if set up correctly. It just costs the tour company a few extra bucks to do it!