A Royal Caribbean cruise ship docked safely in Malta this morning after severely listing in rough seas over the weekend, tossing passengers and loose objects like rag dolls.
The Brilliance of the Seas was carrying 2,100 passengers including 1,600 American vacationers, when it encountered rough waters over the weekend in what the cruise line described as a "serious incident."
The 90,000 ton ship swayed as far as 15 degrees in either direction several times.
Several passengers reported minor injuries such as bumps and bruises and at least two people suffered broken bones.
The problems began when the ship left Greece. Vicious storms lashed the Mediterranean Sea just before 3 a.m. Sunday morning as the ship approached Egypt.
Linda Miller from Laporte, Indiana, described being knocked out of bed as 80-mile-an hour winds and 30-foot waves slammed the liner.
"I caught the bed again and then it rolled again. I didn't know if the ship was going to tip over or not," she said.
The rough seas toppled the ship's Christmas tree, shattered windows and tossed furniture across cabins.
Justine and Jimmy Lovelace from Connecticut were on their honeymoon.
"We got hit, then we went down, then we went down, then we went down," Justine Lovelace said. " We did think we were going down."
The experience prompted some passengers to prepare for the worst.
"I pinned a love note to my children to my breast pocket because we didn't know," said passenger Karen Harasen of Canada. "It was that scary."
The ship never made it to Egypt as conditions were too rough.
Some passengers became angry when a cruise ship representative said they would offer everyone a $200 credit following the ordeal.
After those protests, Royal Caribbean reversed its decision and stopped the near-mutiny.
"Once we talked to more and more of our guests we felt it was the right thing to offer a refund for the full cruise value," Dominic Paul with Royal Caribbean.
When asked if she would take another cruise with the refund money, passenger Linda Miller said, "Of course... I might wait a while!"
The ship is expected to stay in port for a couple of days.