Sailing from the Bahamas to New York to celebrate New Year was supposed to be a relaxing getaway for thousands of passengers on board the Norwegian Breakaway.
But instead they were plunged into a three-day nightmare of lashing rain, snow, and high seas after the captain sailed straight into 'bomb cyclone' Storm Grayson, writes dailymail.co.uk.
Some were left fearing for their lives as waves smashed against the sides of the ship and left water pouring down stairwells.
Karoline Ross wrote on Twitter: 'I was on with my entire family and thought we would never make it back.
'My daughter called her fiancé who was not on board to say goodbye.'
Ishan Byrde added: 'I cannot believe a decision was made to put all our lives in danger. This ordeal emotionally impacted many lives including my family.
'The crew was mopping water throughout the ship. Water was running down walls, dishes crashing and the ship sailed on a strong tilt for hours.
'I felt bad for the senior passengers that could not take elevators as they were shut down at times.
'Artwork was taped down and passengers were lying in the main lobby, likely nervous to be in their cabins as waves were higher than the windows on the lower decks.'
Others said that little or no information was provided to passengers on board, heightening the sense of danger.
One Twitter user, LA4Life, said the captain simply repeated a message saying 'we are optimizing speed to reduce impact' before announcements were made about on board activities.
'[We had] no information, no updates, 3+ days of rough waves, and entire family sick, locked inside a tilted ship. Disgraceful,' he wrote.
'Captain "we are optimizing speed to reduce impact......" - heard this repeatedly, originally it was suppose to be rough for 1 night and then improve - only to be followed by Cruise Director's announcements of on board events be changed, relocated, or cancelled.
'And the smell of vomit lingered in dining areas...'
Plus-size model Christina Mendez, who was also on board, wrote: 'I think the unknown affected us more.
'We were provided little information that we started thinking the worst. Honesty and constant communication would have helped.'
The beginning of the 14-day New Year celebration on the Breakaway went smoothly, but it ran into major problems during the final days of the trip as it made its way back from the Bahamas to Manhattan.
Three days before it was supposed to re-dock in Manhattan, the ship ran into the 'bomb cyclone,' a massive storm that buried the Northeast in snow and ice.
Passengers aboard the ship flocked to social media to share videos and photos of huge waves crashing against the boat causing it to rock back and forth in the middle of the Atlantic ocean.
'It sounded as if the boat was just going to break in two,' passenger Brenda Walsh-Matias told WNEP.
'It was the scariest thing I've ever experienced. The waves were over 40 feet and it was continuous – children crying, people seasick, vomiting all over the boat.'
Other videos showed art work taped to the wall so they wouldn't crash to the ground and towels spread across the sopping floors. Passengers who were too afraid to sleep in their rooms, camped out in the main lobby.
Another video showed water pouring from the ceilings, flooding and the balcony and outside deck covered in ice.
'It was so ferocious. I can't even explain it,' Walsh-Matias said.
Another passenger, Julia Wedidow, said she woke up on the first night of their three-night disaster to items from her closet falling on top of her.
'I literally started saying prayers because I was so scared,' Wedidow, who was on the cruise with her three-year-old son, told WNEP.
Although the 4,000 passengers made it safely back to New York, many of them are still haunted by the experience.
Gabby Merlino added: 'My family and I experience our first cruise on Norwegian and never want to go on a cruise again.
'Going 72 hours in the middle of a Bomb Cyclone with intense rocking back and forth, water leaking into the boat and no information from the crew is absurd!'
Many of the passengers said they requested refunds from Norwegian, but only received a $500 credit towards another one of their cruises.
The cruise line said in a statement that weather conditions were 'stronger than expected' and they apologize for any 'discomfort' passengers may have experienced.