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 Carnival Cruise Ship - Violence - Alcoholsecurity 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

  • John

    Dear Jim just last june almost the same situation
    while cruising with my husband on board of Mariner
    of the seas @ ellington´s bar.The security guard left
    the bar and run away while the intoxicated young couple
    calling him so loud…TALIBAN !!GO HOME…USA,USA…
    Amazing our first cruise ,the hotel staff just great and outstanding and that´s all of our cruise…

  • Suzanne

    Disgusting behavior, truly and shocking to see. Quite a different demographic from those that sail the luxury lines! =)

  • Maritime Injury Lawyer

    What a scene! Safety and security of every passenger in the vessel should be the first concern of the management. Having this scene was really disgusting to those in the cruise. The management should take actions with this one.

  • Denise

    My family and I were on this cruise. My son, who is of legal drinking age did not go to the clubs – he stated he did not feel safe. The ship was over-crowded and mobs of young adults wandered the ship at all hours. Security was non-existent until after the brawl. The security staff that I saw, appeared inexperienced and some did not speak English. I have cruised other lines and never experienced this type of behavior. I will NEVER cruise Carnival again, they need to improve security and customer service.

  • Goldenfoxx

    I have two cruises booked with Carnival, but these will be my last two cruises with them. Children/gangs are now the norm on these ships and Carnival refuses to address the intoxicated people on board. Heck, that’s where a lot of their revenue comes from–alcohol sales. I have actually seen barf on stairwells and loud mouthed obnoxious behavior. I guess that’s what you get when you sail the WalMart of the seas. That’s it for me–if I could I would cancel these cruises.

  • Mark

    I was on this sailing as well, and it will be my last Carnival Cruise for quite some time to come. There where over 20 people kicked off in Costa Maya the next day, and the fight, yelling and carrying on carried from the Caliene Club down to deck two in the hallway outside of my 2 cove balcony staterooms.


    We were also on this cruise.
    The “Dream” team told us our 12yo son was on board when he was actually let off the ship by himself in Mexico.
    Found out later he was with other distant family members, THANK GOD, but the ship told us he was still on board when one has to use their id card(s) so leave and return.
    We were in limbo for over 4 hours looking for him.
    YES I would have to agree, Carnival needs to improve their system!

  • hubert akers

    I just came back from a carnival legend cruise. IT SUCKED, i have sailed with them before and this time the kids and young adults were all over the ship yelling and a large group would walk the lido deck and make you have to move out of the way or you would get yelled at. I seen this many times happen to women and older couples. I will never again sail with this company. this was not the only problem, the service was below par and the food was very boring and not hot at the dinner table.

  • Laura

    Have any of you ever tried restraining or controlling someone who does not want to be restrained? How about someone who is intoxicated? How about in a situation where you and your colleagues are outnumbered 10 to 1? Why is no one blaming the drunken hill billies in the video who are contributing to the brawl or standing around whistling and cheering the thugs on!! If you go into a club or bar or hotel on land how can you reasonably expect security there to equate the number of patrons in it? Does your local police department have an equal ratio of officers to civilians? Passenger to crew ratio onboard equates roughly 3:1 and crew members in other departments are relied upon to back up security and other departments in such situations. It’s very easy to point fingers at the staff but more realistic to take an objective look at the videos.

  • Kathy

    What happened to the bartenders stop serving intoxicated people. The “all inclusive” drinking is a bad idea on any ship, you are just inviting trouble. People spend a good amount of money to cruise and this behavior should not be tolerated.

  • Bear

    When you put 3000-5000 people on a ship for 6,7,8 days, it doesn’t matter the age, there will always be trouble!
    That said, the trouble by teens and those in their twenties is too much drinking, too many young people in crowded spaces, and a show off attitude of toughness that will unfortunately end up with someone, someday being killed, then cruise industry will wake up!

    Truthfully I don’t go anywhere near any business that caters to the younger crowds, either on a ship, or ashore in Malls, Clubs, etc.! You can always feel the tension, that trouble is only a moment away!

  • Paul Julian

    Interesting reading, however, you are slightly innacurate in stating the Security on Cruise Ships consists of only 2 or 3 ‘inexperienced’ guards.
    I worked on Royal Caribbean from 1997 onwards. On our smaller ships we had 10 guards, 2 Security Supervisors and a Chief of Security. All of the guards were ex Ghurkha British Army Soldiers, highly experienced in Security and able to break up any fight in a matter of seconds!
    On the newer bigger ships there are as many as 26 guards, 4 Supervisors, 2 Deputy Security Officers and a Chief of Security.