(7:30 a.m. EST) -- Sixteen male passengers have been kicked off P&O Cruises Australia's Pacific Dawn following a brawl that had to be broken up by the ship's security staff.
The fight broke out on the penultimate night of the week-long cruise, which ends in Brisbane tomorrow. The passengers, most of them in their 20s, were escorted from the 70,000 ton, 1,590-passenger ship in the Queensland port of Gladstone and handed over to the police. It's not clear what started the fight although the News.Com Web site in Australia claims the men were arguing over a female passenger.
Peter Taylor, spokesperson for Carnival Australia, told Cruise Critic: "We are serious about a zero tolerance of poor behaviour onboard our ships and worked with the local authorities to transfer the passengers off at the first opportunity.
"With more than 20 security staff and 500 cameras onboard Pacific Dawn we were well prepared to manage the situation."
--by Sue Bryant, Cruise Critic Contributing Editor