Passengers cheered as a family group of accused troublemakers were removed from the Carnival Legend cruise ship at an unscheduled stop in the town of Eden on the NSW south coast.
Paddy wagons waited at Eden wharf while a bus had been booked to take people to Canberra Airport for the flight to Melbourne, where the ship was due to arrive on Saturday.
One woman yelled that she had been mistreated as she was being removed after what fellow passengers complained had been days of mayhem and violence.
Some passengers told of threats to throw them bodily over the side and complained that fear, rather than fun, dominated days and nights aboard the ship
Shocking video footage has emerged online of a melee in one of the vessel’s restaurants that shows black-clad security men repeatedly kicking combatants in the brawl.
Trouble also erupted elsewhere on the ship over the 10-day cruise.
Carnival Cruise Line says police were requested to the Carnival Legend and “remove a family group of passengers”.
Speaking from on board, passenger Kellie told 3AW that a group of troublemakers had been starting fights for a few days, including in front of children playing in the pool.
“There’s people walking around with cut heads and hands,” she said.
David Barkho says his son phoned and begged him to call authorities after he suffered a head injury while on the ship.
His 20-year-old son said “a lot of people are bleeding, a lot of people down”.
“He rang me about 1am this morning and said, ‘Please, dad, please dad, call the federal police’,” Mr Barkho told the radio station.
One passenger told the Nine Network they would not leave their cabin and were scared for their safety.
The ship’s crew and security can be seen struggling to break up the fight in the restaurant and are seen kicking two men on the ground.
Ship staff attempted several times to stop the passenger from filming the violence.
Some intending passengers are now contacting Carnival Cruise Line asking for refunds for future trips, saying they are concerned about safety.
Carnival issued a statement saying their security staff have taken 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,” the company said.
“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,” a statement said.
“The ship’s security team is applying our zero tolerance policy in the interests of the safety and comfort of other guests.”
-with AAP and ABC