Yet another brawl on Carnival Paradise in the dining room

Our family and friends (party of 18) were involved in a brutal attack on Carnival Paradise. We traveled May 12th - May 17th 2018. I will post the letter sent to Carnival on our behalf here shortly.

This topic was brought up by someone else on Cruise Critic the night it happened. However, post by others, including me, to respond were subsequently deleted without cause - an apparent attempt to cover up the brawl. The thread on CC is now labeled "closed thread".

Tags: Carnival Cruise Lines security Carnivla Paradise brawl fight May 2018 dining room Elation dining room

55 Answers

Portion of Letter sent to Carnival Cruise Lines:

I traveled on Carnival Paradise May 12-17, 2018 with 18 family members and friends. On May 16th around 7:45 PM my family, friends and I were seated at the Elation dining room by a window. We sat down and opened the curtains so we could see the ocean. Within five minutes of sitting down, as we were looking at our menus, we were approached by an angry woman who demanded we close the curtains. My husband stated that we wanted to look at the ocean while we dined. She angrily replied, “You can look at the ocean anywhere else.” We then agreed to close the curtains after she continued to angrily complain. As she walked away she said, “Thanks for ruining my F... dinner, A...”. My husband responded, “we aren’t being a pain in the A..., you are”. She went back to her table and within one minute her husband came over and asked my husband if he called his wife a B.... My husband replied no, and immediately four other extremely large men from their group came over to our table. They were all bowed up and stood directly right behind my husband who was still seated at our table. These five large men began brutally beating on the men in our party (who were still seated at this time). These men were VERY large, and extremely brutal and violent. They were punching our family members in the head over and over again. It was awful. Two of our long tables were turned over, one table was broken, and all the wine and water glasses were shattered. A huge area in the Elation Dining Room was trashed. My 11-year-old sister and 9-month-old daughter were caught in the middle of this fight. My 11 year old sister had a panic attack; she decided to run to get help. When she got to a waiter and asked for help he just stood there staring at her. At this point, she was having a difficult time breathing, and her legs almost gave out. I also ran over to other waiters asking them to call security and they just stood there and stared. After not receiving any help from the waiters I ran over and tried pushing one of the large men away and begging him to please stop because my 9 month old was over there; he continued to walk, pushing me back and began fighting again. The fight was NOT stopped by security; it was only stopped when a man that was dining nearby decided to help. He diffused the situation. This unprovoked attack has left all of us traumatized; we do not feel safe cruising with Carnival. Several people in our party were injured. My husband’s head was swollen after having been repeatedly punched in the head. My sister’s boyfriend suffered a concussion as well as bruising and scratches on his back and buttocks. An innocent bystander, NAME REMOVED FOR POST, who saved my 9-month-old daughter from the middle of the fight messed up his ankle from the other party stomping it. He was taken to medical in a wheelchair. My husband’s aunt got cut badly on two fingers from the broken glass. Several members of our party had to go to the medical onboard. These were just a few of the injuries. The five men who attacked our family ran away before security arrived (it took way too long for security to respond; they need more training). Even if security would have arrived during the fight there is NO way they could have stopped these huge men. The security men and women on the Paradise were very small and were not equipped to handle such an incident as this. To say the least, we all felt completely helpless. A woman who was seated with her husband about 20 feet away told me that she had the video of the incident and had sent it to Carnival security. Another woman came up to me stating she had already sent the video to Carnival. The instigators were finally stopped by security on the same floor by the elevators after they ran. However, after this horrible attack they were let go to walk around freely on the ship. Before giving our written statements downstairs, we advised the Guest Services Manager, NAME REMOVED FOR POST, that the attackers were still walking around on the ship freely. She seemed surprised, and she stated that she would see if she could get security to detain the men. We had to literally beg Carnival security to detain the men because none of us felt safe on the ship. They were finally detained in their rooms with security guards outside their rooms until the boat arrived in Tampa the next morning. Also, when we were viewing their photos in the security office, we saw the stateroom/cabin numbers where they were staying. Both the floor and room numbers were handwritten on a piece of paper placed on the table in front of us and were easily visible. This should NOT have been available for any of us to see or vice versa. They are also banned from cruising Carnival again. After the incident, we told Carnival that we wanted to press charges and they took written statements. When the ship arrived in Tampa on May 17, 2018 we were taken to speak to the Tampa police who essentially told us that we could request to press charges but they would most likely be thrown out. The police discouraged us from even trying. They stated that it could take up to eight months and if the attackers were charged that they would only receive 30 days of probation. The Tampa police also stated that unless someone was either airlifted off the ship or dead nothing could be done as far as arresting them and this was just “simple battery”. They also said since the Tampa police was not present on the ship to witness the attack they could do nothing. The police officer called the Paradise the “Parasite” and said it was the Jerry Springer of cruises. He then advised us to not cruise Carnival again. NAME REMOVED FOR POST also stated that the attackers would be escorted off the ship and we would not have to see them again. However, this did NOT happen. They were in the Custom’s Line unescorted and were just behind several people in our party. I am very upset and disappointed that there is such a huge disconnect between Carnival and the police. No one takes responsibility for what happens at sea when you are on a ship. The cruise should be a safe haven for all of its guests. It certainly appears that one can literally viciously beat someone and injure them on a Carnival cruise and not be prosecuted. I feel that Carnival needs their security guards to be better trained so they can respond quicker and less people will be injured. I also feel that Carnival should take care of any victims that are attacked or hurt on their ships due to other guests. I have called Carnival and was told someone would call me back within 14 days. I am beyond disappointed with this whole experience.

Sorry to hear this happened. With the two videos out there, you should be able to get some justice (in my humble opinion). Why did the woman want the curtains closed in the first place? I can't imagine that an open curtain would ruin a meal!?!

Well, I certainly don't have any idea exactly what happened and who said what here. However, I have a good idea what instigated it, in fact it is one of my pet peeves in all the dining rooms on board the vessels we frequent, including the luxury line. Happens all the time. Folks want a window seat. So they book early or in the case of the MDR get one. After being seated they demand the shades be pulled. Meaning, anybody close by who thought they might dine, while viewing the ocean, are greatly disappointed. However, it doesn't stop there, some guests get the window seat and allow the shades to remain open, however other guests, sometimes those 30 or 40 feet away, ask the waiters to pull the blinds down. Almost always, the reason for this is that some folks don't like the sun on their dining tables. We had that occur on one of our last cruises in the specialty restaurant, the waiter asked if he could pull our shades down, so we couldn't see the beautiful evening sunset from our table. WHAT?? He pointed to a couple many tables away that said the sun bothered them. I can't repeat here now how I responded. Anyway, stuff like that doesn't really help one enjoy the atmosphere and dinner very much. Same thing occurs on the tour coaches. Here you are expecting to view parts of the world you have never seen and probably will not have the opportunity to do so again, and you suddenly find many shades around you are being pulled down. All because the others don't like a little sun on them or something. Grrrr.

Short of a dining room without windows, there is no way to satisfy everyone.

Although this is a drastic idea, people need to be able to get along with each other, as well as realize that the world does not revolve around them (not aimed at the OP).

This is the second time this week I have heard of security giving out someone's room number -- this is deeply disturbing. In the first case, the accused was innocent, but had the victims father pounding on his door and then assaulting him in his own cabin.

In my opinion, Carnival seems to attract more than its fair share of self-centered cruisers. The line needs to figure out a way to diffuse situations such as this before they escalate out of control. If this means posting security in the MDR, then so be it -- they do not need to be intrusive, just present.

Yes, it was because of the sun setting. And, some of the other windows had their curtains open at this time allowing the diners to enjoy the sunset.

From what I understood from your narrative, you and your group made every attempt at diffusing the situation. It appears to be the other group that the world revolves around.

I feel very sad that something like this occurred, especially on a large family vacation. Unfortunately there are two factors at play here.1) Cruise staff receive too little training and are not fully qualified for their security roles. This is because the cruise lines are trying to minimize expenses while increasing profit. 2) Is the general downward spiral of out society. Rude and aggressive behaviour is becoming more frequent and more common everywhere and not just on cruises. It is a sad state of affairs but it is a fact in the world that we are in.

Better yet, get rid of the curtains. On both ships and coaches. Kids, if you can't play together nice, then I take away the toys.

Then someone would demand that a tablecloth be taped over the window "because I am allergic to sunlight".

Of course the same people might just demand that a hole be cut in the wall of the windowless MDR.

Sorry to hear this and a bit surprised.

Back in 2011 after 4 nights of the table next us encouraging a baby they had with them to squeal between entrees, to apparently to amuse themselves, my mother and several other passengers from nearby tables all complained to the Maitre'D. He then asked the child's mother to take the baby out of the MDR. Soon after 2 of the teens at the table started to imitate the baby's squeals, so my mom asked the waiter for the Maitre'D to come back over. After witnessing their behavior the Maitre'D ejected the whole family from the MDR, stating he would send their main courses and desserts to their cabin if they liked.

For whatever reason the eldermost "gentleman" from their group came back into the MDR as we were ordering dessert and proceeded to just stand behind my mom. The waiter staff witnessing this was unable to get the Maitre'D so they called security themselves. Security came in forcibly removed the person. For the rest of the cruise our family had a security escort (at a discrete distance) everywhere we went on board. The following morning (disembarkation day) a copy of the incident report was under her cabin door, basically a description of the night before but only first names of passengers were used, and a list of staff that witnessed the interaction. A note was included that more or less said if there was any additional action my mother wanted to take against the male passenger for menacing her that Carnival would provide more details to law enforcement.

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