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Terrifying Video Captures Chaos As Cruise Ship Hits Unexpected High Winds

Even on terra firma, vacations can go wrong awfully quickly. The only saving grace is that, usually, you're not too far from safety. Mind you, at this point in history, cruise ships ought to be well and truly safe. They're massive things, floating cities, and armed with the best tech in nautical history. But to think that nature won't assert itself whenever it wants to is to invite trouble.

Just as a reminder, a ship recently ran into trouble on the high seas, and passengers got some pretty amazing video.

Passengers aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines' Norwegian Escape were barely out of port when their vacation plans went badly off course.

Facebook | Norwegian Cruise Line

As the blog Cruise Law News reported, the ship left port in New York the afternoon of March 3 and at about midnight, a sudden, unexpected burst of high winds battered the ship, sending chairs, tables, and people skidding across the floors as the ship listed heavily to one side.

Norwegian Cruise Lines later confirmed the account in a tweet, saying that the ship had encountered an "extreme gust of wind, estimated at 100 knots."

Twitter | @gpallone13, Frank Pignataro

Although the cruise line said the ship didn't sustain damage, unfortunately at least eight passengers were injured badly enough that they had to be taken to hospitals in Florida, ABC News reported.

Many passengers on board took to social media to describe the ordeal.

Twitter | @realtimwilliams, AJ Black

In a Facebook post, Samantha Foster said that "the life rafts on the deck below us were completely submerged and we are on the 10th floor! I kept thinking it can't possibly keep tipping and it kept tipping. Everything in our room falling and sliding...I have never been so scared in my life."

"Many spent the night in the commons areas with jackets on ready to evacuate," she continued.

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"Even the cruise director when we came on right after the tilting started, his voice was shaking and he could barely speak. All the plates and glassware smashed on the floor. A lotto machine fell on a lady. Blood everywhere...All the staff who were below decks were screaming and crying."

Pictures from a bar area showed how chairs went flying to one side of the ship and collected in a heap.

Twitter | @gpallone13, Frank Pignataro

One passenger, Roy Fernandez, told ABC News that he was at the bar when everything tilted 45 degrees. "We had to leave the bar and head out to the atrium while things kept falling," he said. "We were avoiding sliding tables and furniture. We got to the atrium and looked out the port and saw water straight down."

A few passengers had the wherewithal to catch some of the action on their phones.

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Tony Ciaramello posted a video to his Facebook account showing passengers struggling to walk, furniture sliding across the floor, and you can hear a massive crash of glass breaking behind a bar and passengers screaming. A voice comes over the loudspeaker calling out "Code Alpha," which indicates a medical emergency.

Fernandez said that he had trouble sleeping for a couple of night even after the ordeal was over.

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"The last two nights I haven't been able to sleep more than two hours as I've been extremely anxious," he said. "Knowing that nothing like this (has) happened to me in the past has me on high alert."

All the same, the cruise ship continued on its course.

"Neither the current itinerary, nor the next sailing are expected to be impacted," the company stated in a tweet. Ambulances were waiting when the ship pulled into its next port of call, Port Canaveral.

h/t ABC News