Former Mayoral Candidate Sues Cruise Line Over Passport Chaos

By ,   February 6, 2017 ,   Cruise Industry

Former Gold Coast mayoral candidate John Abbott, who wanted Muslims banned from Glitter Strip, is suing Royal Caribbean Cruises for not allowing him to board a cruise ship without a passport.

John Abbott claims he had been refused entry on to New Caledonia-bound Legend of the Seas at port of Brisbane in November, which ended his relationship, caused an eating disorder, heart palpations and “feelings of helplessness and rejection”.

Legend of the Seas

His 20-page statement of claim lodged against RCL Cruises Ltd and travel agency Travel Masters in the Southport District Court on January 24 lists a host of demands, including a $750,000 “tax free” payment and two round-trip cruises for two people with limousine pick up.

Mr Abbott also wants a chartered private jet to the cruises should they leave from an interstate port and up to $100,000 spending money.

The statement of claim accuses RCL and Travel Masters of breaching contracts and acting contrary to Australian consumer and migration laws.

Mr Abbott states he was not told he needed a passport to board the ship, which was expected to dock at Island of Lifou and Isle of Pines.

Once the 70-year-old arrived at the port he was told by RCL staff he needed a passport “to avoid unnecessary delays by immigrations officials during ship clearance”, the claim states.

Mr Abbott argues he and his partner at the time, Laurel Brown, did not wish to get off at either port and because the journey was a “a round-trip cruise” he would only require other forms of identification.

The claim states Mr Abbott received a letter from the Australia Borderforce in May last year which said he would not need a passport.

Mr Abbott also claims he missed a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to enjoy the “atmosphere of the ‘60s”, as advertised as the cruise’s theme.

“As the promoter states (the cruise was) ‘a unique experience’ thus meaning it is not likely to happen again and Abbott was well aware of this when he and Brown booked the cruise,” the claim states.

Mr Abbott also missed out on other “advertised delights” including spending the “pleasure cruise” with his partner Ms Brown, it adds.

“The contract is to provide enjoyment, relaxation and free from vexation but Abbott and Brown were denied this and instead the cruise became a cruise of regrets, dismay, frustration, alienated from his partner and friends, anger and a feeling of being denied unduly, rejected, the mystery of what have been and above all, missing out. These feeling persist and the memories linger unrelentingly.”

Mr Abbott also blames the incident for the breakdown of this relationship saying the pair went their “separate ways” about 24 h after returning from trying to board the ship.

Mr Abbott is also seeking $33.04 reimbursement for travel expenses, the cost for the original trip and $169.11 in interest.

Mr Abbott, a former leader of the men’s rights group Blackshirts, received 2% of the vote at this year’s Gold Coast City Council elections. He also ran for mayor in 2012.

He came under fire this year for saying that Australia was a Christian nation and Muslims and Christians “do not mix”.

“I would do everything I can to make sure there are no more mosques on the Gold Coast.”

According to The Daily Telegraph, Mr Abbott had not returned multiple calls.