Last year I wrote a blog entitled "Cruise Ship Brawls - A Problem that Will Get Bigger with Bigger Ships" addressing the increasing violence on cruise ships. I posted the following comments and questions:
"Complicating matters is the huge amount of alcohol which the cruise lines sell to the passengers, which often leads to drunken brawls in the bars and discos and sometimes around the pools. It will be interesting to see how Carnival and the other cruise lines handle the "wider audience" flocking onto the larger cruise ships. If cruise ships are like cities and "stuff happens," what steps are they taking to protect U.S. families?
Will the cruise lines elect to hire a full complement of well trained and experienced security guards? Or will they continue to try and save money with only 2 or 3 inexperienced "guards" trying to protect 2,000 or 3,000 passengers?"
Well, the answers to these questions may be found in YouTube videos which have surfaced regarding a brawl which broke out in the Caliente Club on Carnival's Dream cruise ship three weeks ago.
The August 12th fight was widely reported by the news media, including Professor's Ross Klein's Cruise Junkie which contained the following account from a passenger:
"We were on the Carnival Dream sailing 08/07 to 08/14 and heard that a brawl broke out in the dance club around 3:00 a.m. on the morning of the 12th. We heard from passengers and a bartender that the brawl started over a song. It involved so many young people (men and women) that the security on board was unable to handle everyone and had to call in assistance from wait staff and other crew members. The fight spilled over into the art gallery located next door and apparently a $10K painting was ruined with blood spatter. Flat screen tvs were smashed and there was a lot of damage done. We heard that people on the ground were getting kicked in the head by men and women and that one person needed to be revived because he was hurt so badly. We also heard that the crowd spilled out of the dance club and that innocent people were getting punched in the face as they were walking by.
The next morning in Costa Maya there were a bunch of people (10 people) sitting by the side of the ship with all of their luggage as they were kicked off the ship and their relatives were shipped off to Mexican jails. Carnival needs to learn a lesson here and not serve alcohol after a certain time and perhaps shut down the 18+ dance club before 3:00 a.m. Nothing good can come of drunk teenagers at 3:00 in the morning."
An article in Florida Today "10 Cruise Passengers Evicted After Brawl" contained a rather understated PR statement by Carnival:
"A fight occurred on the vessel. It was broken up by ship's security and the cause of the fight was investigated which resulted in 10 guests being disembarked in Mexico . . . The safety and security of our guests and crew is of utmost importance and we will not tolerate behavior that could put any of them at risk."
Carnival has a problem with way too much alcohol served on their cruise ships and way too few security guards to handle the unruly drunks. Here are two videos of the fight.
Video credits: i008 YouTube
Photo credit: Szymek S.'s Flickr photostream