(5:45 p.m.) -- This just in: Princess Cruises' Crown Princess, which departed Port Canaveral today at 3:40 p.m., experienced an unexpected list to the port side as it was sailing north to New York. The ship is expected to return to its dock at Port Canaveral within minutes.
Cruise Critic member Elizabeth Perna rang Cruise Critic to report the incident. She had just spoken by cell phone with her mom, Theresa Plaskon-Angelou, who is onboard. According to Perna, Plaskon-Angelou said she was "taking a nap and everything just started flying off the dresser. She fell into the sliding glass door but was not injured."
The cause of the incident is unknown at this point. There are injuries though she could not provide more details at this time.
Stay tuned to Cruise Critic throughout the night as we'll be updating our news as the situation warrants.
Cruise Critic members who happen to be onboard or on land near the port are posting observations. Among them:
Thanks to doggfan7 for this onboard report: "This was probably the scariest moment I have ever experienced. The water came up to the Promenade Deck and actually almost hit the lifeboats. We have heard that the rear and port side of the ship were fairly well in the air.
"The stairwells turned into waterfalls. The gift shops and casino turned into glass and chip graveyards.
"The dining room right now is full of injured people and passenger doctors and nurses are doing whatever they can to help.
"The 5th deck seems to catch the worst as there is blood all over the place. I saw a man with a broken foot hobble to the dining room bloody and crying and kids screaming. The internet cafe is crowded with people booking flights home from Florida as they do not want to stay on.
"I came on here primarily to see if anybody had loved ones on the ship and hadn't heard from them or were scared. I will check back and see if I can see if they are alright.
"It is very scary and we do not know how long we will be in Port Canaveral.
"About an hour before it happened, the captain said we were going into rough waters and that they turned the stabilizer on so it could be. They said the steering mechanism locked though.
"We will be in port in about 5 minutes they said and they have ambulances waiting for those seriously injured, and believe me there are quite a few. I had typed an account of the worst injury I have heard of a little girl but just erased it as it is too sad and gross, let's just say we all need to pray for this little girl who needs to be in a hospital in the next 5 minutes."
SeaBrz is ashore and says: "It's a little crazy out here in Cape Canaveral. Lots of helicopters, mostly news that I can see, but some red/white ones (Coast Guard?). Was told by a port worker that 20 ambulances were requested, four pumper trucks, and other assorted emergency vehicles. As posted above, according to the news (Channel 2) the Coast Guard needs to establish that the ship is controllable before they will let it into Port since it's supposedly listing at 12 degrees. Not sure what the option is."
Nliedel offers this chilling account. "Regarding injuries. People are badly injured. They called, 'Alpha, Alpha, Alpha.' They have closed the medical center to all but serious injuries and opened a satellite medical center. Carol is posting under my name, so it's not all just me posting.
"We have no idea what will happen. There is glass everywhere. Some people were hit by TV's falling off the shelves. There are some very severe cuts that I personally saw. The crew is very busy and people are panicking in life vests. Carol says some crew panicked and handed out life vests. They did not call the muster drill.
"Did I say Titanic is the MUTS movie tonight? That's some irony for you."
More from Nliedel (Carol): "Deborah, also one of our Cruise Critic group, was in an elevator when it happened. She's still shaking. CaroleLee was naked on a massage table in the Lotus Spa. As the ship listed, the equipment table next to her went sliding, and her table traveled about 15 feet across the corridor into a treatment room across the way. All of the Lotus Spa Pool is now in the Lotus Spa.
"All of the pools are pouring down the aft staircase and aft elevator shafts.
"The contents of the gift shops are all over the floors, mostly smashed. The contents of the bars are on the floors, and equipment is leaning or fallen.
"There is broken glass everywhere and many people are injured. There are children crying, and some passengers were handed life jackets by crew members. This just made them more upset.
I see people limping, bloody feet and other cuts. Most of the people that we know have wandered by and we know that they're ok. We are sitting outside the Explorers Bar."
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Crown Princess Lists Heavily, Heads Back to Port
July 18, 2006