An entire family were removed from a ten-day cruise in the South Pacific after a mass brawl and accusations of repeated intimidating behaviour towards other passengers.
Footage captured the Carnival Legend ship’s crew and security personnel attempting to break up a chaotic fight between several passengers at around 12.45am on Friday morning.
It is unclear what prompted the scuffle, with members of staff in the video seen attempting to stop passengers from recording the the incident.
Carnival Cruise Lines confirmed a large family group had been involved “in violent and disruptive acts”, forcing the ship destined for Melbourne to make an unscheduled stop in New South Wales so 23 passengers could be removed.
One passenger described it as a “bloodbath” and told 9NEWS that threats were made to stab and throw people overboard.
“We are so scared after witnessing a traumatic experience yet again with the same offenders,” he said before the group were removed.
“We will not be leaving our cabins and are truly scared for our safety and what could happen next.”
Another passenger, Kellie Peterson, told 3AW the group were “looking for trouble from the minute they got on the ship”.
“My husband said to take it away, because there’s kids here, and five of them surrounded my husband,” she said.
She added there were “people walking around with cut heads and hands” with “bandages everywhere” following the disruption.
“Fights have been going on for a few days now,” she said.
“We're scared. We've been told to watch our backs by this group so we're scared to go anywhere alone in the ship.
“We can't wait to get off.”
A 21-year-old female passenger said a friend was “subjected to a large violent outburst” by the group after he accidentally brushed past a member of the family.
“He was essentially thrown to the ground, it was completely unprovoked," she told The Age. “They had him by the neck and they were punching and kicking him.”
Some members of the family were removed from the cruise by New South Wales Police after the ship’s captain refused to take them any further.
Jennifer Vandekreeke, Carnival Cruise Line’s vice-president, said the decision to remove an entire family was “unprecedented”.
Carnival Cruise Line said in a statement that safety is its “number one priority”, adding they take a “zero tolerance approach to excessive behaviour that affects other guests”.
“We are confident that this strong action has addressed the disruption on-board Carnival Legend and enabled our remaining guests to properly enjoy the closing stages of their holiday,” added Ms Vandekreeke.
“These events are completely isolated to this family group and out of character with the experience on-board Carnival Legend. We are also initiating a full internal investigation into what occurred.”