A Southside couple was shocked when they saw the striking photos from off the coast of an Italian island of a cruise ship disaster Friday.
They were on board that same cruise liner under the whim of the same captain just three weeks before the Costa Concordia capsized. Six people were killed, and rescue crews were searching for 29 people.
Cassandra and Forrest Ray were photographed as passengers on the cruise ship last month on their honeymoon.
"I was absolutely stunned," Forrest said of hearing of the disaster. "It was very shocking to see the ship on its side. When we left three weeks ago, it was a great ship."
The Rays also photographed the captain and crew on stage. They said they're surprised to hear the criticisms of the staff.
"I did not feel unsafe by any means," Cassandra said. "You feel, I guess, with the language barrier, you don't feel as tuned in with the information that you need to know."
The Rays said one problem on their cruise was the safety drill, which wasn't held until the second day at sea.
"We had the safety drill a day later. That was a little different, and with the language barrier of all the different languages on board from different countries," Forrest said.
The couple -- avid cruisers -- are now talking about what they would do if this were to happen to them. They said they would try to make it to their room to get a life vest and then get off the ship.
"It would be really hard to get back to your room," Cassandra said. "It's not like it's lit up. The power went out. You would have to know how to get around the ship a little bit."
The Rays said they do expect to cruise again, despite the tragedy.
"We will definitely go on another cruise," Forrest said. "We will pay attention a little more to the safety drill to have a better sense of what to do in an emergency like this."
"We always took the safety drills as a joke," Cassandra said. "People always took pictures thinking they looked goofy. Now we are like, 'Maybe we will take this a little more serious.'"