An extended family had their vacation cut short after numerous incidents of violence resulted in the entire group getting booted from their cruise days earlier than expected.
The unidentified extended family of over 20 were involved in multiple violent incidents during what was supposed to be 10-day trip traveling the South Pacific on a Carnival Legend cruise ship, ABC reports.
In one video that began circulating online, multiple people can be seen getting involved in a brawl that broke out in the ship's restaurant area. An unnamed passenger filmed the ship's crew and security officers trying to break up the fight and, at one point, kicking two male passengers already on the ground.
That particular fight reportedly started over someone's sandal getting stepped on, the Australian Associated Press reports. Over the course of what some passengers had taken to calling the "cruise from hell," multiple violent incidents — including a fight in a nightclub and in an elevator — involving the extended family occurred, reportedly leaving some guests concerned for their safety and locking themselves in their rooms as a result.
"Lots of yelling people being threatened. Being called dogs in the smoking area. A pool was full of children, people were pulling their children out of the pool because they were crying and scared," one passenger told AAP.
Another passenger claimed that the family attacked a security guard, while another alleged that they threatened to stab and throw people overboard.
Though the ship was scheduled to return to Melbourne, Australia on Saturday morning, the vessel made an unexpected stop in the coastal town of Eden on Friday because the captain reportedly refused to take the troublesome family any further. The entire group — which included older people, teenagers, and young children, one passenger reported — was escorted off of the ship and onto a police boat while other passengers watched and cheered. They were then transported to Canberra Airport, where other travel arrangements were made, police say.
A Carnival Cruise official told the AAP that the decision to boot an entire family from the cruise was "unprecedented."
"Disembarking a family from a cruise is an unprecedented incident — it is always our last resort," said Cruise Line Australia vice-president Jennifer Vandekreeke, who also confirmed that the group was involved in a number of "limited and isolated events."
Zac, a member of the family that was removed from ship, reportedly told 3AW Radio that he believes he and his family were unfairly targeted, and claimed that the restaurant fight was instigated by another group.
"This is all over a thong, not a foot, a thong being stepped on and being instantly apologized for," he said.
Carnival Australia president Sture Myrmell told reporters that the company has a zero-tolerance policy on "excessive behavior," ABC reports. When asked if the aforementioned policy extends to crew members, Myrmell responded, "Excessive behavior of all kinds is something that we do not tolerate, regardless of guests or crew members, but until we have conducted the investigation, it's too early for us to comment."