Group of Minnesotans reflect on vacation aboard cruise ship that crashed

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A vacation aboard the “Norwegian Epic” turned into an epic disaster after the cruise ship hit part of a dock in San Juan, Puerto Rio last week.

The story went viral after videos of the crash were posted on social media and as it turns out, a big group from the Twin Cities was on board the ship.

It was a cruise these friends had looked forward to for months, but things got off to a rocky start.

“It was, I think, our first day at sea. Full day at sea. And we just stopped out in the middle of the ocean,” said Brianne Jones, one of the passengers.

The Norwegian Epic was rerouted to San Juan to get the engine problem addressed and that’s when things got really off course as they pulled into port.

“I was on the phone with my mom and I was like mom we are going to crash,” said Mande Sedlacek, another passenger.

“I thought it was crazy,” said Jones. “My daughter was screaming that we were going to die.”

The group couldn’t believe what they were seeing.

“So, we watched it over the balcony and said, ‘Oh my gosh, we just took out the scaffolding,’ and people on the pier were running to safety,” said Sedlacek.

The cruise ship had crashed into the dock, destroying part of the pier.

“It was just so surreal, we had been on a couple of cruises before and never had this happen before,” said Jones.

Luckily, no one was injured and passengers were able to get off the ship. While Norwegian didn’t give them a lot of details, they learned more as the day went on.

“No one really said why,” Jones said. “We had heard later there were two tug boats on the other side of the ship trying to steer us in.”

There was damage to the hull of the ship, but the ship was able to cruise out a day later. Then, however, more bad news struck. They wouldn’t make any of their stops and were heading back to Florida.

“My kids were so upset, but again, it was such good company,” Sedlacek said. “All my friends and my kids had friends on the boat.”

Those aboard couldn’t complain, because, as they said, they had food, friends and something Minnesota didn’t: warm weather.

“We honestly had a great time,” Jones said. “The weather was great we had food, we had friends.”

Plus, they got some good news at the end of the epic disaster. They received a 100 percent credit for a future cruise.