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Millenium bus accident


Gypsea

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Yes, it helps very much.

Thank you for posting that~I do appreciate it. I am guessing

by now some of the victims are home now (thankfully).

Again, Eileen and Mark.....Pat and Rod....and any other friends

we have on here....my best thoughts and heartfelt wishes

go out to all of you.

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Lois,

 

I just read your post and have an answer for you. I was just reading the obituaries in our local paper (I live very close to the community where the victims were from). They are asking for donations to :

 

Frieda Kovar

Arthur Kovar

Memorial Fund

c/o B'nai B'rith

1420 Walnut St. Suite 720

Philadelphia, PA 19102

 

Hope this helps.

 

Hi Travelgirl and Lois,

 

The fund for my in-laws is actually the B'nai B'rith Arthur & Frieda Kovar Memorial Fund. The rest of it is correct. The newspaper didn't have it exactly right but it was close enough. It was a surreal experience today at the funeral. The press was at a safe distance from us which gave us some privacy but it was still very strange to have that much public interest in what we view as a family tragedy. It's so comforting to receive that much support from strangers but at the same time very strange that so many people know.

 

Eileen

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Just want to let everyone know that the accident happened on a brand new 2006 mercedes bus. This horrible accident could have happened to a ship organized excursion (they have accidents too). People get into accident on Casino busses going to Atlantic city, and on some of the best organized tours to New york among other places in the US.

In my opinion there is nothing wrong with booking a side trip on wour own. Many of these trips are by the same people that run the ship excursions.

By doing it on your own, you are cutting out the middle man.

I wouldn't think twice of going on another one of these tour or taking a cab or a bus and doing our own tour. We had many good experiences from organizing our own trip, on our last one it was windy and the cab (van) driver called ahead to find out the condition of the waves on the beaches to find us the perfect beach for us. He was very friendly and a very good driver.

We also recomend that if you are in Puerto Rico to take the public trasportation accross the street from the cruise terminal, they are free and it is a great way to get around.

 

The only difference is the cruise line has experience dealing with the operators and may insist they have insurance. You do rely on the cruise line to do some checking and know the difference between fly by nights and responsible tour operators. I do book a lot of stuff my self, but I do try to check out the operators. Even great operators occassionally have a bad day or something that can't be helped(Princess Star as an example)

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Eileen,

I hope I wasn't out of turn, posting the memorial information. After I posted it I thought maybe I should have waited. Please accept my apologies if that is the case.

My thoughts have been with you and all the other families and the residents of the Ponds, as I know what a close knit group the adult communites are. They, in some way become a "family" to each other and I know they are hurting terribly.

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Yes, there were many photographers at the Kovar funeral, they were at a safe distance with very large zoom lenses. There were also many cops for security and to keep the photographers away. This was the first time that we attended a double funeral and the firs time that we saw so many friends, family and neighbors attending a funeral, that says a lot about the Kovars. we will all miss them.

 

The only difference is the cruise line has experience dealing with the operators and may insist they have insurance. You do rely on the cruise line to do some checking and know the difference between fly by nights and responsible tour operators. I do book a lot of stuff my self, but I do try to check out the operators. Even great operators occassionally have a bad day or something that can't be helped(Princess Star as an example)

 

We do rely on the cruise line to do some checking and that is a false sence of security. Nothing in life is guaranteed, you can only hope that the cruise line do their job and check on these excursions. The cruise line don't always check all operators and they could be lied to and shown false ID. The cruise line check for the operator's licences and permits specially for a new operator and they hope that their regular operators metain their credential.

All Countries require tour operators to be licenced and they have many strict rules to keep them in line. These wonderfull ports do everything they can to make us feel safe and happy (Jamaica cleaned their ports from the drug dealers, Mexico built many beautiful shopping areas) tourism is a major industry for the Islands.

You can also do the same thing as the cruise line, just ask the tour operator to show you their valid licence if they don't walk away.

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The fund for my in-laws is actually the B'nai B'rith Arthur & Frieda Kovar Memorial Fund. The rest of it is correct. The newspaper didn't have it exactly right but it was close enough. It was a surreal experience today at the funeral. The press was at a safe distance from us which gave us some privacy but it was still very strange to have that much public interest in what we view as a family tragedy. It's so comforting to receive that much support from strangers but at the same time very strange that so many people know. Eileen

 

Eileen,

Our thoughts and prayers have been with you, Mark, and the boys since we learned of this terrible tragedy. We were hoping to find information regarding memorial contributions, and I'm glad that I checked this board.

 

Be well.

Chris and Mike from the CB

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I don't usually post here, I am usually on the Princess board. I got tired of reading about the Star fire, so I thought I would add my sympathies to those involved in the bus tragedy.

I would also like to say, that I have traveled extensively in South America (I lived there for a year), and this type of tragedy is very common there. The concept of safety seems to be foreign to the area. Houses and even public buildings are built with unreinforced concrete blocks, even though the area has some of the worst eathquakes in the world. Hundreds of people die every year from ungrounded electrical wiring that has never been inspected. Human stampedes have left hundreds dead because stadiums and other venues don't have enough exits.

As for driving, people purposely don't stop at red lights. I once took a bus trip from Bogata, Columbia to Lima, Peru. The bus continually passed slower vehicles on blind curves and sometimes our bus would round a curve to find two vehicles passing each other coming right at us. Every time an accident was avoided by slamming on the brakes and moving back into the proper lane. Meanwhile the passengers could look down the embankment and see the wreakage of vehicles that had gone over. On one particulary dangerous section of road, the driver stopped the bus at a shrine, lit a candle, said a prayer, and then proceeded to drive like a bat out of hell down the road.

The point I am trying to make here is that any excursion, whether it is endorsed by a cruise line or not, can be very dangerous in South America, or anywhere in Latin America, for that matter. Any activity where safety is of concern should be avoided. The people who lost their lives in this tradegy were probably never advised accordingly.

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Eileen,

I hope I wasn't out of turn, posting the memorial information. After I posted it I thought maybe I should have waited. Please accept my apologies if that is the case.

My thoughts have been with you and all the other families and the residents of the Ponds, as I know what a close knit group the adult communites are. They, in some way become a "family" to each other and I know they are hurting terribly.

 

No you weren't out of turn at all. Thank you!

 

Tonight was our last night of shiva at the Ponds for the family. A couple of women came to us who were close friends of my in-laws and said how much they were going to miss my in-laws but then quickly added "you might have lost two parents and grandparents but you gained 500 more parents and grandparents." The residents of the Ponds are an amazing bunch of people that formed their own family with each other. I don't know of any other community that considers itself a family like the residents of the Ponds do. The entire community is mourning and is devastated beyond belief. They'll have to go through all this again when the Millie returns on April 2nd.

 

I have no words that can even come close to describe the support and love our family has received from the Pond's community. They are very special people.

 

Eileen

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Eileen, I have been saying prayers for you and your family. I am glad that you are blessed with such a big "family" to help you through this time. I hope you may eventually find peace about this.

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Hi, just checking in here to say hello and letting you know many

of us are still thinking of you.

I hope its ok....I called B'Nai Brith in Philly today and spoke with

a really nice woman. Her name is Joyce. She said she knows everyone

and will make sure everything gets distributed properly.

 

I am making a donation in your in-laws name and will be sending

an addtional card for you, Mark and your kids.(Hope she sends it along).

And I read your post on the "Lawyer thread" and am really pleased

you were able to bury asap.

 

Again, hope you know we are all thinking of you and your family.

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While in Synagogue today,It was my obligation to say "Kaddish" for those ,of all religions, who lost their lives in Chile,

 

Those of us who travel far distances in search of happiness and fulfillment remember our fellow Cruisers .

 

 

m

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