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Tour Bus accident during our FOS July 19, 2012


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Thanks for sharing the link. I, too was once on an excursion that had a horrific ending and it was hard to go back on the ship and enjoy our cruise. Thankfully it was at the end of the sailing w/only one sea day left, but the images of that day still come to mind for us from time to time. I'm glad it wasn't worse then it was. Be safe everyone!

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I was on this particular sailing of FOS, and was on a private excursion in St. Maarten (with Bernard - yay!). Anyway, I didn't hear anything until the next day - a sea day - when we were having lunch in the dining room. Our table mates had not been on this particular bus - but came upon it in a different bus, as they were returning from an RCI excursion. They were "stuck" for awhile at the accident scene and could not get by it. The man told me that he saw several RCI passengers with minor injuries (possible broken bones); he said the biggest problem was that no authority appeared to be in charge. It was mass confusion for quite awhile with the passengers.

 

Thankfully, no one was killed; I can't imagine having a bus with no brakes going downhill...that had to be terrifying.

 

And...as far as RCI excursions being "safe"...you should have heard this guy's stories about the zip-lining adventure they had just done that morning in St. Maarten....:eek::eek: I know they had gone to Guest Services to register a complaint about that excursion, as they deemed it far from being safe.

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I was on this particular sailing of FOS, and was on a private excursion in St. Maarten (with Bernard - yay!). Anyway, I didn't hear anything until the next day - a sea day - when we were having lunch in the dining room. Our table mates had not been on this particular bus - but came upon it in a different bus, as they were returning from an RCI excursion. They were "stuck" for awhile at the accident scene and could not get by it. The man told me that he saw several RCI passengers with minor injuries (possible broken bones); he said the biggest problem was that no authority appeared to be in charge. It was mass confusion for quite awhile with the passengers.

 

Thankfully, no one was killed; I can't imagine having a bus with no brakes going downhill...that had to be terrifying.

 

And...as far as RCI excursions being "safe"...you should have heard this guy's stories about the zip-lining adventure they had just done that morning in St. Maarten....:eek::eek: I know they had gone to Guest Services to register a complaint about that excursion, as they deemed it far from being safe.

 

People are naive about cruise lines excursions. Of course they are not inherently unsafe like one poster seemed to say but they are not inherently safe either. The excursions are outsourced to local operators. RCI is acting as middleman. That means they have the responsibility of vetting the operators they engage. When I used to book cruise line excursions I was on some good ones but also some that were certainly not safe. Crammed onto excursion boats with too many other passengers for example. Snorkel excursions that should have been cancelled to to rough waters. So don't just blindly go on the zip line or jump in the water, or get on the excursion boat or bus because it is a cruise line excursion.

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And...as far as RCI excursions being "safe"...you should have heard this guy's stories about the zip-lining adventure they had just done that morning in St. Maarten.... I know they had gone to Guest Services to register a complaint about that excursion, as they deemed it far from being safe.

I didn't find the ziplining to be any more "unsafe" than any others. The rules and safety system were very well explained and demonstrated. Ziplining can be unsafe, but if you follow the rules, it's just like any other "adventure"excursion.

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I'm thankful that no one was seriously hurt. Although this could have easily happened anywhere including the US, it shouldn't have happened on an RCCL sponsored excursion. The ship needs to investigate these trips before putting their passengers in harms way.

Gem:)

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I was on the bus sitting front row, directly behind the driver. My twin boys were sitting front row on the passenger side. No other passenger saw what I saw - it was the most frightening experience of our lives and one which will haunt us forever. I got seriously banged up and required stitches as well as one of my sons. Had I not dove over to protect them and absorbe their impact before we hit they would have been much more seriously injured. How no one was killed is a miracle. This should never been an endorsed excursion by the cruise line - not for the zip line part itself, but for the access in and out of the property and lack of safety guidelines that one would assume would be a stricked requirement of the operators moving passengers. My son and I were transported by separate ambulances...ambulance attendants had to get out of the ambulance to make it up this ski hill of an access into this excursion. I have much more to say but prefer to remain silent at this time.

Prayers going out to you and your boys and any others who were on this excursion.

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I'm thankful that no one was seriously hurt. Although this could have easily happened anywhere including the US, it shouldn't have happened on an RCCL sponsored excursion. The ship needs to investigate these trips before putting their passengers in harms way.

Gem:)

 

Do you know for a fact that they don't, or that the equipment wasn't inspected before this particular trip? You seem very quick to blame the cruiseline without any evidence one way or the other. Unless the equipment was visibly defective or obviously poorly maintained, potential problems can be missed. Anytime we are dealing with mechanical items there is always a possibility of an accident and when you factor in the human element, the odds can increase. Until we have results from a thorough investigation of the incident, it seems more than a bit premature to be assessing blame or placing the responsibility on anyone, the driver, the equipment, the tour company, or RCI.

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Do you know for a fact that they don't, or that the equipment wasn't inspected before this particular trip? You seem very quick to blame the cruiseline without any evidence one way or the other. Unless the equipment was visibly defective or obviously poorly maintained, potential problems can be missed. Anytime we are dealing with mechanical items there is always a possibility of an accident and when you factor in the human element, the odds can increase. Until we have results from a thorough investigation of the incident, it seems more than a bit premature to be assessing blame or placing the responsibility on anyone, the driver, the equipment, the tour company, or RCI.

 

I wouldn't expect a thorough investigation either. We live in such a litigious society in this country that we demand our investigators get to the bottom of everything. I'm not sure other countries are hostage to the same demands.

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People are naive about cruise lines excursions. Of course they are not inherently unsafe like one poster seemed to say but they are not inherently safe either. The excursions are outsourced to local operators. RCI is acting as middleman. That means they have the responsibility of vetting the operators they engage. When I used to book cruise line excursions I was on some good ones but also some that were certainly not safe. Crammed onto excursion boats with too many other passengers for example. Snorkel excursions that should have been cancelled to to rough waters. So don't just blindly go on the zip line or jump in the water, or get on the excursion boat or bus because it is a cruise line excursion.

 

 

Agreed. People are under the impression that the cruise lines care about them. They don't. If they treat you nicely after a negative event it is for damage control only. If something seems unsafe don't go just because RCCL says its ok. I'm not talking specifically about this bus accident- I have no idea if the bus "seemed" safe but I do know how bad taxi and bus drivers can be. I'm talking more about the snorkeling in too rough of water, zip-lining on twine, or similar excursions.

 

Let the RCCL cheer leading begin. Oh and let me add fuel to the fire. I don't tip drivers that drive recklessly. :D

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I wouldn't expect a thorough investigation either. We live in such a litigious society in this country that we demand our investigators get to the bottom of everything. I'm not sure other countries are hostage to the same demands.

 

I don't think litigation is the reason they would or would not have a thorough investigation. Both sides of the island seem to be regulated. Since this was a major accident, that there were no deaths was very lucky, I expect it will be investigated to the best of their ability.

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I wouldn't expect a thorough investigation either. We live in such a litigious society in this country that we demand our investigators get to the bottom of everything. I'm not sure other countries are hostage to the same demands.

 

The Natalie Holloway story will prove your point. These island nations want it to go away as quickly and as quietly as possible, none more so than this one.

My prayers to all those affected by this accident.

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This is why I always take ship sponsored tours. At least then the cruise line will give you the time of day and wait for you if you are delayed past time the ship sails. If you are on a private excursion and this happened they will leave without you. I know Bernard's is the greatest, and private tours are cheaper but accidents do happen. I just prefer a little more peace of mind my being on a ship sponsored tour.

 

That said I am sure all lines will be looking into how to make this and all excursions as safe as possible. I read one post talking about how someone felt they went through an unsafe area to get to Lottery Farm. That is the only way to get there. We stayed a week on the island and there are not that many roads and the ones they have are pretty poor. There are areas of expensive homes but mixed in with poverty level shantys. Just part of being on an island.

 

My best wishes to all that were on the bus. Having been in an accident before, I can imagine how traumatic it was and I hope you are healing well from your injuries. I hope in time you will be able to remember the good things about your cruise and have happy memories.

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My entire family (16 of us) were also on this sailing and heard absolutely nothing about this accident. I'm grateful that no one was seriously injured and everyone was able to return to the ship.

 

I completely agree with peteukmcr that once again, a thread has migrated to everything but the original topic. It's for this reason, I won't post my numerous list of issues with this sailing on these boards. Instead I plan on sharing them directly with RCI Customer Service. I'm afraid the "Loyal to Royalers" will take my Diamond C&A head off if I say anything negative.

 

I do hope that you will at least share your experiences after you deal directly with RCI customer service has had a chance to address your issues. I imagine it will just be a "sorry" this happened but there are some of us here that just like to make educated choices when cruising and may need your input. I have just quit reading posts because of those "loyal to the royalers". They are on all the other boards too, same type of people, just different lines they are loyal too. I will tell you that most on CCL and DCL say RCI is the place to be if you want to try another line. So maybe you could post on those forums, there are those there that would like to hear your story and may be less "flaming."

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Do you know for a fact that they don't, or that the equipment wasn't inspected before this particular trip? You seem very quick to blame the cruiseline without any evidence one way or the other. Unless the equipment was visibly defective or obviously poorly maintained, potential problems can be missed. Anytime we are dealing with mechanical items there is always a possibility of an accident and when you factor in the human element, the odds can increase. Until we have results from a thorough investigation of the incident, it seems more than a bit premature to be assessing blame or placing the responsibility on anyone, the driver, the equipment, the tour company, or RCI.

 

Do you really think that someone from the cruise line actually is involved with the inspection of vehicles involved?

I’m not talking about a cruise line employee who collects maintenance forms from the vehicle owners.

The cruise line should be very open about the danger that tour passengers may be exposed to.

It seems that the cruise line wants to hide these incidents.

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Do you know for a fact that they don't, or that the equipment wasn't inspected before this particular trip? You seem very quick to blame the cruiseline without any evidence one way or the other. Unless the equipment was visibly defective or obviously poorly maintained, potential problems can be missed. Anytime we are dealing with mechanical items there is always a possibility of an accident and when you factor in the human element, the odds can increase. Until we have results from a thorough investigation of the incident, it seems more than a bit premature to be assessing blame or placing the responsibility on anyone, the driver, the equipment, the tour company, or RCI.

 

Why are you bitting my head off. I am not blaming anyone. When I go on a cruise I expect to return home without broken bones cuts and bruises. If RCCL sponsors an excursion, passengers expect a certain level of safety. All I said was that someone from the shore excursion department needs to be aware of the tour and routinely see that equipment has been maintained. At this point it doesn't really matter who is at fault. It was a terrible accident and adults and children were hurt.

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Why are you bitting my head off. I am not blaming anyone. When I go on a cruise I expect to return home without broken bones cuts and bruises. If RCCL sponsors an excursion, passengers expect a certain level of safety. All I said was that someone from the shore excursion department needs to be aware of the tour and routinely see that equipment has been maintained. At this point it doesn't really matter who is at fault. It was a terrible accident and adults and children were hurt.

 

If they are sponsoring an excursion they should be doing periodic safety audits of the equipment. Maybe they are doing that.

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Do you really think that someone from the cruise line actually is involved with the inspection of vehicles involved?

I’m not talking about a cruise line employee who collects maintenance forms from the vehicle owners.

The cruise line should be very open about the danger that tour passengers may be exposed to.

It seems that the cruise line wants to hide these incidents.

 

Apparently they didn't do a very good job of "hiding" this one or other similar incidents. I do believe that the cruise lines do make a reasonable attempt to vet all of the tour operators whose excursions they sell, but no amount of vetting is 100% failproof and accidents do happen even to the most safety conscious companies which may possibly even include this particular tour company - we really don't know. I think we are entering dangerous territory when we imply that a cruiseline knowingly places their passengers at risk.

What kind of warning would you have cruiselines offer their guests? Would you have them list all of the possible things that could happen in the manner that drug companies list so many possible side effects from their medicines that you have to wonder why anyone would even consider taking them? At some point don't guests have some responsibility for insuring their own safety. If the equipment didn't appear to be in safe condition or the operator didn't appear competent, would any reasonable person continue on an excursion just because the line sold them a ticket?

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If RCCL sponsors an excursion, passengers expect a certain level of safety. All I said was that someone from the shore excursion department needs to be aware of the tour and routinely see that equipment has been maintained.

How would you expect the shore excursion department to be aware of the tour and routinely see that equipment has been maintained? Would you expect them to have a contract with the operator where the operator submits maintenance and driver information? Or would you expect them to do a safety check on every vehicle and validate the driver's safety record before allowing it's use on the excursions? Also, in my experience, I see many RCI employees on excursions, routinely validating the tour content and service.

If you buy an airline ticket through an online website, do you expect the same level of scrutiny of the airline by the website?

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If they are sponsoring an excursion they should be doing periodic safety audits of the equipment. Maybe they are doing that.

I would hope that they do. I would be shocked and very disappointed if the weren't. The magic word is periodic, even airlines who have well established maintenance procedures get bitten every so often.

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If they are sponsoring an excursion they should be doing periodic safety audits of the equipment. Maybe they are doing that.

 

I agree. Some, however, seem to prefer to believe, without having any evidence to support their claim, that these things aren't being done. A thorough investigation should show whether or not the cruiseline and the tour company are performing responsibly. Until the results of the investigation are released it seems to me to be more than a bit irresponsible to claim otherwise.

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what kind of warning would you have cruiselines offer their guests? Would you have them list all of the possible things that could happen in the manner that drug companies list so many possible side effects from their medicines that you have to wonder why anyone would even consider taking them? At some point don't guests have some responsibility for insuring their own safety. If the equipment didn't appear to be in safe condition or the operator didn't appear competent, would any reasonable person continue on an excursion just because the line sold them a ticket?

 

amen.

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