The vacation plans of several Australian families were effectively ruined after more than 1,000 men from Indian gutkha (tobacco) company ‘Kamla Pasand’ went wild on their cruise ship.
According to a report in Australia-based 9News, the incident forced Royal Caribbean International to apologise to the rest of the passengers and issue ‘mass refunds’.
Around 1,300 employees of the tobacco company were onboard the lavish ‘Voyager of the Seas’ cruise in September, filling over a third of its 3,000 passenger capacity and taking over its pool decks and bars since it left port.
As burlesque dancers entertained the rowdy company men, families rushed to their rooms to escape the embarrassment.
“Burlesque dancers and scantily clad women dressed as Playboy Bunnies were brought on board by the “Pirates of the Royal Caribbean”, sending the huge contingent of colleagues into a frenzy as they jigged and jived on the ship’s main deck while families took refuge inside,” 9News reported.
Their presence in large numbers at the buffet-area left the Royal Caribbean staff with no option but to accommodate the remaining passengers in other restaurants. The men, incidentally, also brought ‘crates’ of their own food onboard the cruise.
While some passengers likened the group’s activities to that of a ‘bachelor party’ attended by over a thousand men, others were distraught over their attempts at ‘sneakily’ clicking pictures.
One of the girls who was allegedly filmed by one of the men told 9News that “everyone had a camera in their hand”.
The organisers were also forced to cancel the game of ‘Bingo’ due to lack of participation, much to the dismay of the other tourists, as most of the tobacco company’s employees seemed more interested in the poolside cabaret.
The everlasting chaos on deck, women in playboy bunny outfits onboard a ‘family boat’, outdoor cinema screens featuring company videos from Kamla Pasand – coupled with their inability to escape – added to the passenger’s woes.
Although nothing could make up for the lost time, the families were reportedly grateful to Royal Caribbean International for listening to their concerns and issuing full refunds.
“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,” the company said in a statement.
Despite the changing landscape of business and industry in the country, it is still common for traditional Indian companies to take employees, distributors, retailers or other stakeholders – mostly comprising of men – on such international vacations in a bid to motivate them or as an excuse for blowing off steam.Back to latest news