Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines reportedly issued full refunds to passengers who complained that their experience was ruined by at least 1,300 employees of Indian gutka company Kamla Pasand.
Australian website 9news reports: "The lavish Voyager of the Seas was turned into the "voyager of the sleaze" shortly after leaving port when roughly 1,300 employees from Indian company Kamla Pasand took over the ship's pool decks and bars – blocking shocked passengers from many parts of the 140,000 tonne vessel."
Some websites described the men as 'rowdy'. The men apparently went into a 'frenzy' around the women entertainers dressed as Playboy bunnies and 'jigged and jived' on the deck, forcing other passengers to leave these spaces.
They alleged that the other passengers had to huddle into restaurants and other quieter parts of the vessel because the decks, pools and bars were all taken over by the employees of the Indian company. Reports say the company had apparently also hired burlesque dancers. Some customers told reporters that they were not comfortable with women in tiny bunny costumes gyrating to loud music on the decks.
The passengers and 9News also, curiously, seemed to have taken offence to the fact that the employees of Kamla Pasand's gutka company had gotten "'crates and crates" of their own food onto the ship".
A passenger from Sydney, Cassandra Rinii, told reporters that the men were constantly filming her daughter and her friends on their smartphones. "Cameras everywhere – everyone had a camera in their hand," she told reporters.
A spokesperson for the cruise company told The Telegraph that they are "looking into the incident". "While we have had a long history of successful group bookings in which all guests have enjoyed their cruise, we are looking into this incident, including all guest feedback, to ensure our group booking policies are suitable and that our guest conduct policy is applied appropriately," a spokesperson told Telegraph.
The Australian passengers seemed to also have been dismayed by the fact some of the popular events on the cruise had to be cancelled because they had no takers and they chose to blame the Indian contingent for it. Some of the Australian passengers complained about Bingo night being cancelled and little participation for the 'trivia night'.
A passenger called Daniel Rinii told Newsweek, "If ignorance and arrogance was part of the ticket to get on board the ship then I think they did a good job, Royal Caribbean International, by getting these people on."
A representative of Tirun Travel Marketing, the agency through which the travellers had booked the trip told The Times of India that six Australians had complained against the men and they had not created any trouble as alleged. "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," they said.