Back in early September, we mentioned that several residents of Brooklyn on a Carnival Victory cruise to Antigua got into a fracas with police there
-- the causus belli
was a taxi fare the Brooklynites found excessive -- and were thrown in jail, then released but required to give over their passports. They only got home this weekend. Though they protested that they were manhandled
and had no way of knowing that some of the informally-dressed members of the constabulary with whom they fought were in fact police, five of the six detainees pleaded guilty this weekend
to various charges. They were released and returned to Brooklyn
, carrying home horror stories of their rat-infested and feces-festooned Antigua jail, threats of rape, and general unjust treatment.
Carnival has dropped Antigua from its Victory Cruise itinerary; though it claims it had been thinking of doing so for a while, and has another cruise that will dock there, this significantly reduces its tourism load to the island, and this well-publicized incident -- along with the murder of a honeymooning couple at the Cocos Hotel and Resort in the summer of 2008 at the -- is suspected as a motivation.