Security staff aboard the Carnival Magic asked the US Coast Guard for assistance in the early hours of 28 June as 40 to 60 passengers became embroiled in a dance floor fight at around 5.20am. It’s unclear what caused the incident, though it is said to have started as a fight between two passengers.
The Coast Guard launched a small boat from Staten Island to escort the cruise ship to its home dock in Manhattan, according to NBC. Members of the NYPD were on stand by when the ship docked.
Passengers disembarked from the ship as normal at the end of an eight-day cruise that included stops in Dominica, Turks and Caicos and a private island in the Bahamas.
No statement has been released on whether anyone involved in the brawl has been arrested, nor have officials released information on which authority will be investigating the incident as it is unclear at this stage whose jurisdiction it falls under – the NYPD, New Jersey police or another authority, if the fight occurred when the ship was still in international waters.
In a statement, Carnival said: “Last night while Carnival Magic was returning to New York, a number of guests were involved in an altercation in a nightclub. Thankfully no serious injuries were reported and our onboard security team intervened.
“The ship arrived as scheduled this morning and authorities were notified and met the ship to interview suspects and witnesses and conduct an investigation.”
The Carnival Magic has a capacity of 3,690 guests and a crew of 1,367. It measures 1,004 feet in length and features the world’s first at-sea ropes course as well as a waterpark and spa. A five-day Bermuda cruise aboard the Carnival Magic costs from $284 (£233) per person per night.
This is not the first time that tensions have run high on cruise ships. In February 2018, several fights broke out on board the Melbourne-bound Carnival Legend, forcing it to make an unscheduled stop in Eden, New South Wales. Twenty-three members of a Melbourne family were removed from the ship following the incident that involved up to 30 people.
In 2019, a row broke out at a buffet aboard the P&O cruise ship Royal Britannia as it travelled through the Norwegian fjords. Three men and women were assaulted in the fray, which began after a family objected to the course language used by a fellow passenger. The incident went to trial in 2021 and Paul Evans was convicted of two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and sentenced to 21 months in prison.