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Boston-bound cruise ship runs aground in Bermuda

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Thousands of passengers bound for Boston will spend Tuesday night stuck aboard a Norwegian cruise ship after it ran aground as it tried to depart Bermuda, officials and passengers said.

Small boats, divers and tug boats circled the Norwegian Dawn ship as officials tried to figure out how to solve the situation.

The ship hit the reef near Bermuda's North Channel and is in a stable position, an official with Bermuda's Rescue Coordination Center told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The official, who was not authorized to talk to the media, said there are 2,675 passengers and 1,062 crew members aboard.

Cruise ship passenger Rachel Hansen, from Londonderry, New Hampshire, spoke to the AP by phone and said the captain told everyone that the ship would not move until Wednesday morning. She said the ship was about three miles from Bermuda when it ran aground.

"We definitely felt it," she said. "We were in the middle of eating dinner ... There was a shudder for maybe 30 seconds to a minute and then there was a sudden stop."

Hansen, 19, said she and her family gathered essential belongings and joined other people who went to the top of the ship to see what had happened.

"We had crew members running around in a panic, and we felt like we had to panic," she said, adding that overall, the majority of crew members reacted calmly and quickly.

As the hours went by, she said passengers settled into their evening routine and the ship still held entertainment shows as planned.

Hansen said the captain told passengers that they might be able to get off the reef and drop anchor with the help of the approaching high tide.

Norwegian Cruise Line said in a brief statement that the ship temporarily lost power and its propulsion was affected. Officials said everyone aboard is safe and that the ship has full power. The company did not return a request for additional comment.

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The U.S. Coast Guard declined comment and referred calls to authorities in Bermuda.

The Norwegian Dawn offers a seven-day, round-trip cruise to Bermuda, where it spends three days in port.

The situation raised concern among those scheduled to travel to Bermuda aboard the Norwegian Dawn this Friday, including Nicole Boucher, 29, of Uxbridge, Massachusetts.

She said she has plans to travel with her mother and young daughter to celebrate their birthdays, but that Norwegian cruise officials told her they didn't know yet if the ship will available.

"It was a girls' trip," she said. "My mom actually let me know through Facebook and said, 'Oh, this is our luck.'"

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