A tour bus carrying 36 passengers from Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas crashed last Thursday en route to the ship-sponsored Loterie Farm Treetop Adventure shore excursion in St. Martin.
No serious injuries were sustained, but a ship doctor and Royal Caribbean guest care staff accompanied six passengers to the Louis-Constant Fleming Hospital for treatment to minor injuries.
A Royal Caribbean spokesperson told Cruise Critic that the most serious injury was a broken wrist with all passengers returning to the ship on the same day where the onboard medical team continued to provide treatment and counseling where necessary.
Royal Caribbean has not disclosed whether they will terminate their
contract with Dutch Tour Enterprises N.V., the operators of the shore excursion.
“This was a traffic accident, a type of which can happen anywhere and is no reflection on the bus company,” a Royal Caribbean spokesperson told Cruise Critic.
“The bus driver had to take an evasive manoevre to avoid an oncoming vehicle.”
St. Maarten newspaper Today disclosed that the oncoming vehicle was a smaller taxi bus carrying seven passengers.
The taxi was hit by the bus causing it to overturn, with the driver reported as suffering from a broken foot while his passengers sustained minor injuries.
Local police are investigating the accident with Today reporting that Rue de Pic Paradis residents have long been concerned about the road system being too narrow for the regular stream of tourist buses.
The tour bus that Dutch Tours Enterprises N.V. dispatched to the scene to collect the uninjured passengers was also involved in a collision when the driver reversed into the entrance gate of the Loterie Farm which resulted in part of the rear of the bus being ripped off.
Royal Caribbean has not yet disclosed information of any compensation provided to the passengers involved in the accident.