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Australian tourists are among thousands stuck on a ‘cruise from hell’

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An Australian politician and his family are among the nearly 2,000 tourists caught up in the ‘cruise from hell’ which has left passengers threatening to sue.

Australian politician Gary Baildon (pictured) and his family are among the nearly 2,000 tourists caught up in the 'cruise from hell' which has left passengers threatening to sue

Australian politician Gary Baildon (pictured) and his family are among the nearly 2,000 tourists caught up in the ‘cruise from hell’ which has left passengers threatening to sue

Those onboard the Norwegian Spirit had paid up to AUD$9,968 for a dream ‘mystical fjords’ tour of Iceland and Norway.

After disembarking Southampton in the UK on September 27, strong winds stopped the ship from reaching Reykjavik and passengers were instead diverted to Glasgow and Belfast.

Tensions boiled over in the ship’s atrium, with mobile phone footage showing passengers confronting staff and later holding up signs demanding refunds. 

Gold Coast former mayor Gary Baildon, his wife Kathy and granddaughters Ally and Emma Bray were all on board.

While Mr Baildon – a Surfers Paradise councillor – did not join in with the mutiny, his son Andrew told The Sunday Mail his parents couldn’t wait to get off.

‘I spoke to them briefly the other day and they said it had been really bad – a disaster,’ he said.

‘Mum and Dad kept out of the (passenger) revolt but they couldn’t wait to get off the ship like everyone else.’

‘They’re fairly calm and measured people but I’m sure they’ll be looking at getting a refund when they get home next week.’

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Tensions boiled over in the ship's atrium, with mobile phone footage showing passengers confronting staff and later holding up signs demanding refunds (pictured)

Tensions boiled over in the ship’s atrium, with mobile phone footage showing passengers confronting staff and later holding up signs demanding refunds (pictured)

Those on board the Norwegian Spirit (pictured docked at Southampton, where the ship began and ended its voyage) had paid up to AUD$9,968 for a dream 'mystical fjords' tour of Iceland and Norway

Those on board the Norwegian Spirit (pictured docked at Southampton, where the ship began and ended its voyage) had paid up to AUD$9,968 for a dream ‘mystical fjords’ tour of Iceland and Norway

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Norwegian Cruise Line for comment.

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Weary travellers revealed on their return to Southampton they had spent seven days at sea, rather than the planned four. 

They said the ship’s captain had tried three times to speak a crowd of 500 passengers – a quarter of the ship’s population – as they headed to Belfast, but on each occasion he was drowned out by chants of ‘we want a refund’ and ‘bulls***’. 

Juliana Oswald travelled from New York with husband Jared and two-year-old son Jehu to Southampton, where the cruise started its voyage on September 27.

She said: ‘It was absolutely terrible. I was one of the first passengers to start protesting because by that point I’d had just about enough.

‘My child had been sick for three days, the ship had poor sanitation, we spent half the time at sea and we missed a lot of what we wanted to see.

Blue shows where it travelled, red is where it should have gone via Iceland and green shows stages left to complete. It failed to dock at La Havre, Amsterdam, Reykjavik and Glasgow

Blue shows where it travelled, red is where it should have gone via Iceland and green shows stages left to complete. It failed to dock at La Havre, Amsterdam, Reykjavik and Glasgow

Jeff and Marla Sarkozi from Orange County, California, spent $20,000 on flying to the UK for the cruise, where they had booked a suite.

Marla said: ‘Our daughter is an attorney at a big law firm in the States and we will be discussing this issue with her.

‘We are communicating with other passengers via email and they are also talking about bringing a possible lawsuit against Norwegian Cruise Lines.’ 

The Norwegian Spirit, which launched in 1998, offers guests 17 dining options, including a steakhouse and Japanese restaurant, 12 bars and lounges, a casino, spa, theatre, fitness centre and aqua park for children.

Luxury suites cost up to £5,300 per person and feature a living room, dining room and separate bedroom, as well as a 24-hour butler and concierge service. Prices for cabins start at £1,799 for ‘inside’ rooms, rising to more than £2,000 for rooms with an ocean view and balcony.

A spokesman for Norwegian Cruise Line said: ‘Norwegian Spirit was forced to cancel her call to Greenock due to weather conditions as well as a delay caused by a departing Navy vessel that experienced a technical malfunction.’

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