A Royal Caribbean cruise ship carrying about 1,000 Americans was jolted by high seas in the Mediterranean over the weekend, causing some damage and minor injuries onboard, but as CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips reports, it was a nightmare they are luckily still able to talk about.
It was the latest in a series of dramas at sea, reports Phillips. The massive ship, the Brilliance of the Seas, was caught in a ferocious winter storm which pounded the eastern Mediterranean with hurricane force winds and thirty foot waves.
It was bad enough on land, but it was also devastating at sea.
The ship rolled violently as the storm's huge waves crashed into the hull, throwing furniture, passengers and the ship's christmas tree around and breaking some interior glass.
American passenger Evelyn Hoffa told CBS' "The Early Show" it was "horrifying" as the waves crashed above the ship's 10th floor windows. She said water was all over the passenger quarters as ice buckets and papers flew across cabins.
Another American on the ship, Lorraine Brewer, told "The Early Show" co-anchor Harry Smith she woke up to "very rough" seas before being hurled back and forth in her cabin with her husband for about five minutes.
Brewer said her husband got a "little banged up" and she knew others on board had received some cuts and scrapes, but she was unaware of any serious injuries.
The Brilliance of the Seas' 12 day cruise was supposed to take it from Spain to Italy, then on to Greece, and finally Egypt. It's now trying to head back toward Malta.
It's been a bad month for cruising. The, with 88 Americans on board, was hit last week by a massive storm between South America and Antarctica and had to limp back to port in Argentina.
And thein the Pacific Ocean, off Mexico, when a fire in her engine room left the ship without power last month.
Luckily, nobody has been killed in any of these incidents, thanks largely to the high safety standards on passenger vessels these days, reports Phillips.
However, a cargo ship with 11 crew members on board did sink off the Israeli coast in the same storm which battered the Brilliance. The crew was rescued after they took to life rafts.
Back in the Antarctic waters, a South Korean fishing vessel wasn't so lucky Monday. The boat, leaving 22 people feared dead. Twenty more were rescued thanks to the fast action of other boats in the area coming to the rescue.