Pacific cruise liner brawl sends guests fleeing to cabins

MELBOURNE, Australia — Passengers say their cruise in the South Pacific was interrupted by brawls apparently caused by a 23-member family who threw punches at other guests, some of whom locked themselves in cabins to escape three days of violence.

The Carnival Legend arrived in its home port of Melbourne on Saturday, a day after a family was offloaded in an unscheduled stop in New South Wales.

Police say they're investigating the incident and the operator apologized for the "disruptive behavior" by the group that was removed from the cruise liner.

Passenger Lisa Bolitho told reporters the "big Italian family" spent days attacking Australians aboard the ship, with people "getting strangled and punched up."

She also criticized the ship's leadership for inaction.

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