Texas authorities have shut down a San Antonio cruise company after it canceled several sailings of its ship, the Galaxy, allegedly failed to make refunds to hundreds of people and left 90 passengers stranded in Panama.
According to several passengers who were on the most recent voyage of the Galaxy, scheduled to cruise from Acapulco through the Panama Canal to Cancun, Mexico, a crew mutiny erupted off Costa Rica, the captain engaged in knife fights with crew members and blood was found afterward in the main lounge.
Passengers aboard the ship, run by Golden Cruise Tours, also told of cabins without air conditioning, poor food, an unshaven crew and land tours that were delayed until after dark.
A spokesman for the Texas attorney general's office, Ron Dusek, said passengers stranded in Panama secured a charter flight, with some assistance from the State Department, and flew home through Mexico.
Dusek said Texas authorities have obtained a temporary court order barring Golden Cruise Tours from doing business and ordering it to refund much of the $4.6 million collected from would-be passengers since last summer.
"Actually, they had already shut their doors and left the state," Dusek said.
He said the authorities were seeking Lorna and Fernando Inigo, the San Antonio tour agents, and the owners of the line, Fernando Mendrillo, Fermin Gutierrez and Manuel Fernandez.