It appears that someone decided to rock the boat, baby, as dozens of passengers were involved in a dance floor brawl on a Carnival Cruise Line ship headed for Pier 88 at W48th Street. While we’d like to know where they got the notion, NYPD and US Coast Guard investigators were still trying to determine the cause of the mid-cruise melee. 

Carnival Magic Pier 88
Carnival Magic docking at Manhattan Terminal at Pier 88 at 5:45 this morning. Photo: Phil O’Brien

The Carnival Magic — returning from an eight-day cruise to the Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos, and a private island in the Bahamas — was on its way to the Manhattan Terminal at Pier 88 when two passengers got into an altercation of unknown origin on the ship’s dance floor at around 5:20am (according to PIX 11). Soon, as many as 60 passengers were involved in the incident, leading cruise officials to summon a Coast Guard ship from Staten Island to escort the liner back to the Hell’s Kitchen pier. Upon its arrival at just before 6am, the NYPD and EMS were waiting — though it was unclear if any arrests were made at the scene.

In response to the incident, Carnival Cruises spokesperson Matt Lupoli said in a statement: “Last night while Carnival Magic was returning to New York, a number of guests were involved in an altercation in a nightclub. Thankfully no serious injuries were reported and our onboard security team intervened. The ship arrived as scheduled this morning and shoreside law enforcement authorities were notified and met the ship to interview suspects and witnesses and conduct an investigation.”

W42ST has reached out to the NYPD, the US Coast Guard, and Carnival Cruise Lines for additional information on any charges. One unusual unknown was the jurisdiction that any suspects (if charged) would be prosecuted under — as it was unclear whether the ship was within New York, New Jersey, or international waters. “We are unsure of [which state] the incident took place,” police told Patch. “But that is under investigation right now.”

Cruise ships have returned to regular port in Hell’s Kitchen after a lengthy pandemic shutdown, but not without a bit of drama. The first departure from Manhattan Cruise Terminal resulted in six passengers testing positive for COVID-19 upon arrival to the Bahamas and 22 electing to quarantine. And in January, the Crystal Symphony cruise ship left New York for Miami, only to take a detour to the Bahamas to avoid arrest on unpaid fuel charges. 

Carnival Magic Pier 88
Carnival Magic at Pier 88 in Hell’s Kitchen today. Photo: Phil O’Brien

As officials await more specific details of the marine meltdown, we advise all ship-bound passengers to please keep their emotions on cruise control. 

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