The 10-day cruise to the South Pacific was forced to make an unscheduled stop in Eden, New South Wales, on 16 February for 23 members of a Melbourne family to be removed following the brawl.
Other passengers caught the violence on camera, with several videos of the incident showing up to 30 people fighting while others screamed and the ship’s security guards pinned the perpetrators to the floor.
“It was a bloodbath,” one passenger told 9NEWS. “We will not be leaving our cabins and are truly scared for our safety and what could happen next.”
Passenger Kellie Peterson told 3AW: “They were looking for trouble from the minute they got on the ship."
NSW Police confirmed in a statement that they had removed passengers from the ship and were investigating the incident: “Police are investigating an alleged fight onboard a cruise ship while it was about 220km off Jervis Bay.
“Police have been told a fight involving several men took place on board the ship after an argument about 12.45am today. Security intervened and detained the men before notifying the Marine Area Command. “About 1.30pm today, six men and three teenage boys were removed from the ship at Twofold Bay, Eden. A further 14 passengers, including women and children, also left the ship. The group were transported to Canberra where other travel arrangements were made.”
A Carnival Cruise Line spokesperson said the company took a “zero tolerance” approach to violence. They said in a statement: “We are deeply concerned by the incidents that occurred on-board board Carnival Legend last night, as the safety and security of our guests and our crew is our number one priority.
“We apply a zero-tolerance approach to excessive behaviour that affects other guests.
“In line with this policy, we contacted NSW police this morning and we asked them to attend Carnival Legend in Eden today to remove a large family group from the ship that had been involved in violent and disruptive acts. The group has disembarked from the vessel and we are cooperating fully with employees.
“We are confident that this strong action has addressed the disruption on-board Carnival Legend and enabled our remaining guests to properly enjoy the closing stages of their holiday.”
So she said. I doubt she felt that optimistic. Carnival is going to take a while to live this down, and it is not going to do the cruise sector much good at all. Except, perhaps, for the luxury cruise lines, who might be facing an unprecedented demand from people who are willing to pay a lot more, for their personal safety.