Ms Wyatt said passengers had wandered around the ship quietly after Captain William Kent
announced there had been an accident.
"The captain was so shaken up, he was in such distress.
"You could tell, he had to keep stopping talking to announce it and just said that there'd been a tragic accident and kind of explained it and just said for now we just had to sit and wait."
Ms Wyatt and her husband Dennis were among about 40 passengers who climbed the hill to Port Chalmers Presbyterian Church today, seeking solace within its walls.
The church was not open, but Ms Wyatt said cleaners opened its doors and let people inside."
"Meredith Schmahl said she and her friend, Dianne Bartalot from Virginia, wanted to thank Captain Kent for his leadership.
"The captain has been so open and updating us and I know there were some complaints, and it's like, he does not deserve that, he's been the consummate professional and and just really taking charge of everything."
A Carnival Australia spokesman said the company was deeply saddened by the crewman's death.http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/324243/'it's-a-pretty-horrific-thing-to-happen-on-a-holiday-cruise