A cruise ship carrying hundreds of passengers was supposed to dock in Miami on Saturday, but has instead sailed to the Bahamas to avoid being seized by US authorities.
Crystal Symphony changed course after a federal judge in Florida issued an arrest warrant for the ship on Thursday as part of a lawsuit over $4.6m (£3.3m) in unpaid fuel.
The order would allow a US marshal to take charge of the vessel once it enters the country’s waters.
Crystal Cruises or Star Cruises, which are responsible for the liner, are being sued by Peninsula Petroleum Far East for breach of contract due to unpaid debts.
As of Monday morning, the ship remains docked in the Bahamian island of Bimini.
Passengers and staff members posted on social media to say they were surprised to learn about the legal case.
One guest posted a letter on Facebook from Crystal Cruises Management that said the change in itinerary was made over “non-technical operational issues”.
“We all feel we were abducted by luxurious pirates!” passenger Stephen Heard Fales posted on Facebook.
Elio Pace, a musician who has toured off and on with the ship since 2013, said he thought: “Are you actually kidding me? This is a joke, right?”
He was among the passengers who were taken by ferry to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Sunday.
“It was two hours I never want to live through again,” he said, adding: “I have never, ever felt sick on a ship before.
“But you know those horror videos you find online when they show the ship … going from side to side, and it almost looks like it’s going to topple over? That’s what it was like.”
A Crystal Cruises spokesperson said the ride was “uncomfortable due to inclement weather”.
Guests were also taken to local airports, the company said, refusing to comment on the lawsuit.
The vessel can carry up to 848 passengers but the exact number of guests is not known, with reports suggesting 300 to 700 guests were on board.
Mr Pace estimates that between 30 and 50 crew members disembarked because their contracts came to an end.
He said other crew members do not know when they will get off the ship or if they will lose their jobs.
“This is a human story,” he said. “This is about people and their jobs, their dedication and their loyalty to a company. There are people on that ship that have been there for 15, 20, 25 years.”
Earlier this week, Crystal Cruises said it was suspending operations through late April.
It has two other ships at sea, which will end their voyages on 30 January in Aruba and 4 February in Argentina.
“Suspending operations will provide Crystal’s management team with an opportunity to evaluate the current state of business and examine various options moving forward,” the company said in a statement.