Carnival Legend BrawlA video of a brawl on the Carnival Legend shows Carnival security officers and other security personnel kicking passengers while they are on the floor. Carnival officers are also shown trying to prevent other passengers from videotaping the violence.

The video, which was taken by a passenger and aired by Australia’s 3AW693 Talk Radio, is circulating on social media. It shows as many as six officers and a equal number of personnel wearing dark colored shirts with “SECURITY” on the back fighting with unruly passengers on the Carnival Legend.

The news article also states that passengers reported that ship security staff attempted to “censor the situation.” A father who received a telephone call from his son on the ship said that “the security came in and took his phone, and deleted a lot of images from his phone.”

We have reported on many such ship brawls, which have primarily occurred on the Carnival brand of ships over the years.

This latest incident occurs just a few days after a violent brawl on the P&O Pacific Explorer.

We first wrote about the problem of violence on cruise ships back in 2009 in Cruise Ship Brawls – A Problem that Will Get Bigger with Bigger Ships, where we covered a “mini-rampage” on the P&O cruise ship Ventura and a brawl involving Carnival passengers who punched, scratched and bit it out with police in Antigua. The following year, we covered another violent brawl on another Carnival ship in More Carnival Legend BrawlCruise Ship Violence – A Drunken Brawl On Carnival’s Dream. We also wrote about this problem in Another Brawl Breaks Out on a Carnival Fun Ship. YouTube is filled with videotapes of violence on Carnival ships.

The problem arises when the “wider audience” (a term coined by Carnival chairmen Micky Arison) finds their way onto cruise ships attracted by low prices. Add too much alcohol, and too few well-trained security guards on these budget ships, and this is what happens.

Carnival quickly sent out a press statement which states:

“Safety is the number one priority for Carnival Cruise Line, we take a zero tolerance approach to excessive behaviour that affects other guests and we have acted accordingly on Carnival Legend. The ship’s highly trained security staff have taken strong action in relation to a small group of disruptive guests who have been involved in altercations on board. The ship’s security team is applying our zero tolerance policy in the interests of the safety and comfort of other guests.”

Many people posted comments on our Facebook page about the outrageous conduct of the Carnival security personnel kicking the passengers and trying to prevent the videotaping of the brawl.

February 17, 2018 Update: The Washington Post has an interesting article about this incident – A Carnival cruise in the South Pacific descended into violent anarchy.

Photo and video credit: 3AW693

  • Will B.

    Does the cruise ship staff have any right to take a cell phone away? I can understand them backing folks away from the scene to a safe distance. Not sure a search / seizure / deletion is… legal?

  • Janeen B.

    I agree with Will. No one on the ship has the right to take someone’s phone and delete pictures. If that was my phone I’d preserve it until I could have the fingerprints of the crew member taken from it and file formal complaint.
    I also believe the security team is not trained to subdued a person correctly. They should have same training as police officers. Kicking someone who is already restrained on the floor is unacceptable.
    This another reason I will never set foot on a Carnival ship.

  • M.H.

    What a bunch of animals (crew) – kicking people on the ground are “accepted” practices in their countries. Carnival brand exactly as the name entails.. a circus.

  • John Smith

    If you pay attention to the video they were more annoyed by onlookers not realizing the quick escalation of violence and adding more security concerns. Priority is to break the group and restore calm. It can get messy in these situations. One more thing in general is that you don’t want things like this to get filmed since intel on security response onboard can be derived.

    So to all of you. next time you see a big brawl onboard how about walking away to a safe place and help the security diffuse the situation by doing that, onlookers tend to motivate and encourages those hooligans. There are plenty of cameras onboard getting better footage than yours and it will be turned to the authorities. We do not need POV samsung footage, it is unsafe to do so and really does not help the situation.

    Jim as to your comments it is true that security guards aren’t all of the same caliber as they used to be. We used to have a lot of former military and special ops trained guys. While there is a financial component to this the other problem would be that if guards responded more forcefully everyone would be crying foul on excessive force. So the need for such response has not been there as much the super trained guys are still around just not as many of them. As for this particular response I have seen actual large city police officers respond with less vigor and usefulness in big brawls than what these guys did so I am not sure you can say they were less trained then a city cop from that short footage.

    Lastly, I hope people can have some sympathy for security that in this case responded promptly and risked their own safety trying to control the situation from people who should not belong in a modern society. The security guards are not the one who started this and not a single crew members onboard enjoys those events and they are not the one starting them. How about publicly identifying the idiots who caused all this trouble in the first place?

  • john smith

    M.H. Your comments are plain racist – you are one word away from being equal to Trump’s comment. I’m not sure which country you come from but I cannot think of one industrialized country where crowd control did not involve hitting the instigators back when they continue to be violent.

    Even crowd control from the police of student protests in Canada a few years ago was much more violent. I guess next time there is a city riot we should give flowers and chocolate to the police officers as opposed to a baton and shield? Would the response feel more “clinical” and acceptable if the security would have had the time to get their baton as opposed to using their feet?

    Again I am shocked that the focus is on the security as opposed to the instigators – they are the animals? Really?? I think most of the people here have never faced a serious brawl with people set on causing maximum carnage and not concerned for possible fatalities int he process.

    It is one thing to sit and watch it on screen and actually face someone in a fit of rage fueled by alcohol or drug which is more akin to facing a grizzly bear with rabies.

    And before people start speculating… no I do not work for Carnival and do not have stakes in the company.

  • Steuer

    Check the criminal history of the offenders.

  • Mark

    John, While I have plenty of sympathy for security guards that need to step into a volatile situation and attempt to restore safety and order, I have absolutely zero sympathy for any guard who would confiscate phones and destroy evidence. Anybody who does that should be fired immediately, and I would never do business with any company that believes such conduct by its staff is acceptable.

    If a brawl breaks out, should you stand there in the middle of it filming? Of course not. And it would be absolutely reasonable for security to ensure that anybody doing anything so stupid moves out of the way immediately. But if the situation is so calm that guards have time to go through passengers’ phones to delete evidence, clearly the emergency is very much over by that point.

  • gordon

    My personal thoughts is that the brawlers should have been chucked overboard.

  • Tara

    @John Smith, even though you make ‘some’ valid points. I would say randomly kicking the person while 3 people are already on top of him does not ‘calm’ the situation but as you say ‘kicking a man that’s already down’ is just more unwarranted action and clearly NOT helping the situation. Furthermore, more footage would just back up ‘any’ action taken. The staff of the ship has relationships and a ‘rep’ to protect so the footage that is turned over ‘could’ be tampered with. More footage is just that more, keeping people honest and that in itself is a tall, tall task. Worrying more about stopping people from filming or confiscating others property (in my opinion) is a tell all that someone did not follow protocol and ‘someone’ took their authority too far.

  • L

    Having attended large festivals for decades, I’m not surprised that a subset of (usually) inebriated, antagonistic troublemakers started up the brawls and now will try to portray themselves as the victims. Along with that, the cruise lines, like some festivals and concert venues, still won’t put forth the money to properly train and pay security, endangering everyone’s safety.

    I understand the current propensity to start filming what’s occurring, but the best thing to do imo (having had blood splashed on me when two groups of jack*sses suddenly engaged in a brawl near where I was standing in a capacity crowd) is to get away from the violence asap.

  • Janeen B.

    I agree with Will. No one on the ship has the right to take someone’s phone and delete pictures. If that was my phone I’d preserve it until I could have the fingerprints of the crew member taken from it and file formal complaint.
    I also believe the security team is not trained to subdued a person correctly. They should have same training as police officers. Kicking someone who is already restrained on the floor is unacceptable.
    This another reason I will never set foot on a Carnival ship.

  • John

    Janeen, No you don’t have that right, and no he was not subdued. A ship is a private property and you cannot film other individuals without their consent nor can you do the same of employees. There is also such thing as due process and people filming and posting on the internet is not part of that and can jeopardize investigation effort.

    So again to all of you who think that you must take evidence of something and stand there – no! You don’t, walk away go back to the safety of your cabin or even to somewhere else to have a drink. Don’t stand there filming it does not help it at all. If you do decided to stand there and film against the advice of security who ask you to walk away you are in violation. (that part is very much like being on the street actually you have to comply). If you took bad footage evidence and they ask you to delete and seize your phone yes they can. It is not up to you to control such thing and CCTV had much better footage. Lastly if you took video of a crime on the street or pics you can be sure you will lose your phone for a few weeks so the police process it. There is this new madness now that everyone with a smartphone believe they are press covering some story and are doing some great work. You want to be helpful walk away, if you need to get involved how about calming people down around you instead of filming the agitation whoever stands there and film is part of the problem.

    Lastly, there are no giant conspiracies to hide evidence and cover things up and you guys need to calm down .Security and cruise line turns over all the footage and tamper with nothing. You think the meager security officer salary is worth going to jail? hell no everyone complies and follow the law not worth risking for 2-5K a month.

    And if you don’t believe that fine *sigh* than make my day just go take a drive to area 51 and go document some more cover ups with your smartphone.What is going there is much more exciting and their response will make you wish for a security guard on Carnival!