Passengers of a family cruise ship in Australia ended up having a “huge bachelor party” instead of a relaxing three-day vacation after an unexpected arrival of a rowdy group.
Some 1,300 men from Kamla Pasand, a data company based in India, reportedly hijacked Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas and took control over its decks and bars over the course of three nights.
The allegedly disruptive passengers boarded the cruise ship before the boat left its Sydney dock on Sept. 6 to attend a conference but started throwing wild parties as soon as night fell.
The ship’s deck became a dance floor for scantily-dressed women who were surrounded by the men, according to 9News Australia.
“It was crazy… little Playboy bunny outfits, you know this is a family boat,” passenger Christine Weyling was quoted as saying.
“I think that they should have notified us that there was a big group that had been booked and had booked the pool deck out…everyone on that ship should have been notified,” she added.
Another passenger, named Cassandra Riini, noted how the cruise was turned into a “huge bachelor party.”
“It is hard to forget after seeing all the flashbacks of these men around all the time, 24 hours a day, like we could not escape,” Riini’s daughter Tahli said.
Some of the passengers also alleged that the men harassed other young female passengers by filming them using their smartphones, Newsweek reported.
Most passengers were then forced to just stay in their rooms as the men occupied the common spaces. Without access to the buffet, other passengers had to dine at restaurants.
Cruise staples such as bingo games and outdoor cinema screenings were also canceled as the Indian company took over the activities and videos screened.
Meanwhile, a representative of Tirun Travel Marketing, the travel agency which booked the trip for the Indian travelers, defended them in a statement released to The Times of India (via HuffPost India).
According to the agency, the men did not misbehave, noting that only six Australians complained against them.
“The Indian group was appropriately dressed and didn’t create any nuisance. Even if the Indian group created a nuisance, why didn’t the Australians complain to the authorities on the ship itself? They complained about it after the trip got over. Of the 3,900 passengers on the ship, it seems that only six Australians had an issue,” the agency said.
Following the backlash from the passengers, Royal Caribbean issued full refunds to affected passengers and released a statement, saying, “We operate with the safety of our guests and crew as our highest priority, and are currently looking into all guest feedback regarding this incident to ensure it does not happen again.”