in relation to shore excursions, I have seen a couple of interviews with passengers that took the approved tour and they said had they known the type of road, they would not have gone. They said it was a hair raising riI dont think this is because some one took a tour on their own. The road, if you see it on the news, is very narrow and any sudden move to either side, will mean a drop down as what happened in this accident when the buss swerved to avoid another vehicle. From news reports it did not seem to be an issue of a route never travelled, it was the same road as the cruise operators use, and they hire locals as well. Personally, I dont feel any safer in a cruise sanctioned tour than one I arrange on my own, I can tell you when you go some where in the carribean, the same guy working for a company servicing the ships also runs his personal service. I am thinking St Thomas, where one guy operates a shuttle for the beach, I can tell you as a fact, he works as a taxi on hius own as well, and his skillls are no better thne else. I know him quite well as he is an Antiguan.