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A cruise line was forced to refund passengers after 1,300 men took over a boat and turned it into a 'bachelor party' with burlesque dancers

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By Susanna Heller, INSIDER
  • In September, a group of 1,300 men commandeered a Royal Caribbean Australia cruise ship.
  • Passengers said the men brought burlesque dancers on board, partied on the boat's deck, and harassed young female passengers by filming them on their phones.
  • One person who was on the ship compared it to an out-of-control bachelor party.
  • Families said they were forced to hide in their rooms.
  • Royal Caribbean has refunded passengers on the boat, which had a capacity of 3,000 people.

Vacation should be a peaceful time. But for a group of passengers aboard a Royal Caribbean International Voyager of the Seas ship last month, rest and relaxation was hardly an option, 9 News Australia reported.

On September 6, the boat left the port in Sydney, Australia, and 1,300 men who reportedly work for Kamla Pasand, a data company based in India, boarded for a conference. Shortly thereafter, the men took over the boat, passengers said.

Over the course of three nights, passengers said, the men brought burlesque dancers on board, partied on the boat's deck, and harassed young female passengers by filming them on their phones.

"It was crazy … little Playboy bunny outfits, you know this is a family boat," Christine Weyling, a passenger on the boat, said. "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."

Passengers said the families on the boat were forced to stay sequestered in their rooms to avoid the ruckus.

"Their doors would be open and you would walk past and be like, 'What am I going to be looking at when I walk past this door?'" passenger Cassandra Riini told 9 News. "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, Tahlia, said.

Royal Caribbean International has since issued refunds to the people who were on board the ship, which has a capacity of 3,000.

"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," Susan Bonner, managing director of Royal Caribbean Australia and New Zealand, said in a statement to 9 News.

"It was almost like a huge [bachelor party] - a [bachelor party] for 1,200 people," Riini said of the experience.

And while this story has certainly made waves, it's not the only tale of a cruise gone wrong that just might convince you to stay on dry land.

A representative for Royal Caribbean International didn't immediately return INSIDER's request for comment.

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Travel - U.S. Daily News: A cruise line was forced to refund passengers after 1,300 men took over a boat and turned it into a 'bachelor party' with burlesque dancers
A cruise line was forced to refund passengers after 1,300 men took over a boat and turned it into a 'bachelor party' with burlesque dancers
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