Passengers from Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas were involved in a taxi van accident while ashore in St. Maarten yesterday, June 22, 2019.
Cruceros Puerto Rico posted a video showing a bus partially submerged in the water with the rear doors open with several people lying by the side of the road. There are reports on social media that local people rescued several of the people riding in the small van.
There have been a number of deadly bus accidents involving Royal Caribbean cruise ship passengers over the years. Seven years ago, a Royal Caribbean sponsored excursion tour bus crashed in St. Martin (on the French side of the island) and injured passengers from the Freedom of the Seas. There is no indication at this time that the current accident involved an excursion or was arranged through the cruise line.
Royal Caribbean has not issued a statement regarding this incident yet. There is no publicly available information whether there were any injuries to the Royal Caribbean guests.
The Freedom to the Seas was delayed leaving port in St. Maarten yesterday. The Royal Caribbean cruise ship left San Juan, Puerto Rico a week ago on June 16, then sailed to Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curacao; Kralendijk, Bonaire and Philipsburg, St. Maarten. The ship returned to San Juan this morning.
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June 23, 2019 Update:
The SXM KPSM Sint Maarten Police posted a tribute to the young men in St. Maarten who rescued the cruise tourists.
In response to an inquiry by FOX News, Royal Caribbean stated that the accident involved the operation of a van :transporting 12 guests from Puerto Rico while on an independent shore excursion in St. Maarten . . .
Video and screengrab images – Cruceros Puerto Rico / Travelling with Bruce.