Two dozen passengers sued the Norwegian Cruise Line (search) for $100 million yesterday after one of its ships was battered by a fierce storm while racing back to New York for a TV shoot for "The Apprentice (search)."
In the suit, filed in Miami federal court, the passengers claimed they feared for their lives on April 15, when the Norwegian Dawn battled waves of up to 70 feet and harrowing gale-force winds that smashed windows and flooded more than 60 cabins. Four passengers were injured.
The passengers said the ship, which was returning from a cruise to the Bahamas, could have avoided the storm by staying in port or taking another course.
The line has acknowledged that the Norwegian Dawn (search) was to have had a cameo appearance on "The Apprentice" on April 17 — as first reported in The Post — but has denied that the captain, Niklas Peterstam, was under any pressure to hurry back to New York.
A source close to the show said the line paid $1 million for the appearance, which never happened because the ship was diverted to Charleston, S.C., for repairs.
Passenger Roseanne Hughes of Springlake Heights, N.J., said the storm — on her first vacation since she lost her husband on 9/11 — was "24 hours of torture, emotionally and physically."
"As the captain tried to maneuver the ship, people literally had to hold on," she said. "It was a storm that progressively got worse as time went on."
"There was such a noise I thought we hit something," she added. "Everyone was screaming."
Hughes said she has gone back into therapy "because of all the emotional distress. It brought back memories of 9/11. For me, it brought back a lot of issues."
She said she went to beach the other day and couldn't go into the water because of flashbacks.
Sandra Krahling, 62, of Delaware Township, N.J., said she was sitting at a table when, suddenly, she heard a loud noise.
She went flying across the table.
"I looked to the side, and I saw the water was up to the deck," she said.
Krahling said she managed to move to another table and sat there, frozen.
"I couldn't move. I was so terrified," she said.
She said she was banged up when she took the elevator down to her cabin, adding, "I don't even remember getting off the elevator."
Krahling said she managed to get into bed, but was tossed out of it.
"The bed was vibrating so hard, I was thrown from it," she said. "I hit my head and the side of my face."
"It was the most horrible trip I've ever had," she said. "I'll never take another cruise again."