Storm-Battered Cruise Ship Docks in Australia Harbor

The Carnival Cruise ship had more than 4,000 people on board.

ByMeghan Keneally
April 22, 2015, 1:50 AM

— -- Thousands of people on a cruise ship that was stuck at sea in a fierce storm have made it back to dry land, after the 30-foot waves that prevented the ship from entering Sydney Harbor have subsided.

The Carnival Spirit cruise ship was caught in the storm on Monday night and barred from docking Tuesday when the entire port was closed.

The ship was finally able to dock Wednesday.

The ship had 2,500 passengers on board along with 1,500 crew members, according to the Sydney Morning Herald who was getting reports from an Austrailian reporter who happened to be on the ship with her family.

"It was horrific," Fairfax Media reporter Rachel Browne told the paper. "You couldn't hear a thing anyone said, the noise was so loud and the rain was blowing sideways."

PHOTO: A man runs past heavy seas as sand is blown inland by heavy winds at Sydney's Bondi Beach
A man runs past heavy seas as sand is blown inland by heavy winds at Sydney's Bondi Beach, April 21, 2015.
Jason Reed/Reuters

"The glasses and teacups in my room smashed -- they just blew off the table and hit the wall," she told the paper.

According to Browne, the crew said the ship would be able to withstand the storm but there was visible damage, including shards of glass by the pool.

PHOTO: Huge waves crash over swimming baths at Avalon Beach in Sydney, Australia, April 21, 2015.
Huge waves crash over swimming baths at Avalon Beach in Sydney, Australia, April 21, 2015.
Glenn Nicholls/AP Photo

The ship was returning to Sydney from what was scheduled to be a 12-day trip to New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji, the company said.

The ship offered "a full program of onboard activities and entertainment and the Captain is ensuring guests are as comfortable as possible" while the ship waited for the harbor to reopen, a Carnival spokesperson said in a statement released to ABC News.

The Associated Press reported that about a foot of rain has fallen in parts of New South Wales since the storm started Monday and winds have reached 60 miles an hour.

The storm's reach has stretched along the coast and three deaths were reported and one town floated away in the town of Dungog, which is approximately 125 miles north of Sydney.

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