COCO CAY, BAHAMAS—In the latest clash between rivals that have long vied for control of highly prized cruise routes, a barrage of cannon fire from Royal Caribbean’s M.S. Allure of the Seas sank a Carnival Cruise Line ship that crossed into disputed waters off the coast of the Bahamas, sources said Thursday.
The Allure, an Oasis-class recreational vessel with a standing crew of around 2,300, opened fire on Carnival’s M.S. Magic after it allegedly ignored repeated warnings not to approach Coco Cay, a private island owned by Royal Caribbean. After sustaining several direct hits, the enemy ship’s hull reportedly ruptured, immediately flooding its bingo hall and spa with seawater, collapsing several theme restaurants, and ultimately killing all 3,675 guests on board.
“By approaching within three nautical miles of Coco Cay, the M.S. Magic was in direct violation of the terms of the 2011 Caribbean Nights cease-fire agreement,” said Captain David Beeman of the Allure, stating that the attack was necessary to safeguard the recreational interests of the customers he is sworn to serve. “Per standard procedure, our limbo emcee first alerted the Magic that it had entered our territorial waters by issuing a verbal warning and blasting conga music over our PA system. When the ship refused to change course, we proceeded to launch a broadside from our starboard cannons, delivering a direct hit to their most crucial facilities, including the engine room, water slide, and Red Frog rum bar.”
“We suffered just one casualty ourselves, losing a tango instructor to friendly fire,” he added.
Pulling up alongside the smaller enemy vessel, the 1,187-foot Allure reportedly extended its powerful battery of guns from the portholes of a lower-deck theater currently staging Mamma Mia! Witnesses said Magic patrons standing in line for the 24-hour seafood buffet had little time to take cover before the Allure opened fire, scattering body parts and shrimp scampi all over the ship’s pool deck and mini-golf course.
“When the first shells hit, you could see blasted sections of the hull, bloody scraps of cargo shorts, and flaming flip-flops raining down into the ocean all around,” said Allure passenger Nicole Rice, adding that a few Magic guests tried to run for safety behind overturned massage tables, but were set upon by a Royal Caribbean boarding party that had crossed over with the assistance of their ship’s zip-line and ropes-course operators. “Once the second round of fire took out the piano bar and Guy Fieri’s Burger Joint, it was pretty much all over. The Magic had just dropped anchor for the Dune Buggy Heritage Adventure Tour, so it really had no chance of escape.”
Maritime historians are calling the attack upon the Magic the deadliest encounter between rival ocean liners since the so-called Cruise Wars of the 1990s, when the wrecks of sunken pleasure vessels littered the waters from Fort Lauderdale to St. Kitts. During that era, the upstart Disney Cruise Line came to rule the waves, and marauders dressed as Pinocchio, Goofy, Tinker Bell, and other company-owned mascots were known to slit the throats of their competitors’ guests and plunder everything from bar supplies to blackjack tables to karaoke equipment.
Despite official explanations, Thursday’s attack is actually believed to be in retaliation for a 2013 incident in which a Royal Caribbean vessel on a nine-day Best of the Bahamas cruise was captured off the coast of Paradise Island. According to deck logs, its entire passenger list was impressed into service as caterers aboard Carnival’s Breeze flagship.
“I’ll never forget the sight of the Magic’s crew and guests desperately trying to bail out the Club O2 teen zone as the ship started to tilt, causing all the deck furniture, the ice cream sundae station, and those seniors on their church group trip to go sliding off into the sea,” Allure passenger Jason Heidt said. “Then I guess they lost power, because suddenly all the party lights shut off and everyone in the Punchliner comedy club went silent as the ship capsized.”
“Everyone except Joe Rogan,” Heidt continued. “He kept on telling jokes until he was completely underwater.”