A Canadian couple on board a luxury cruise ship that ran aground and partially sank off the coast of Italy Friday are tired but doing fine, their daughter says.

"It's been a crazy last 24 hours for them," Jory Willits told CTV News Channel Saturday.

"They said they didn't get much sleep last night, so I'm sure a good night's rest will help them out a lot," Willits, 20, of Wingham, Ont., said in a telephone interview.

Alan and Laurie Willits, also from Wingham, were watching a magic show in the ship's main theatre when they felt a vibration or shudder throughout the ship and heard strange noises, Jory Willits said.

"They knew right away it wasn't going to be good and that something was going on, so they went back to their cabin and got their lifevests and then met up on deck," she said.

The Costa Concordia ran aground off the tiny island of Giglio near the coast of Tuscany, tearing a 50-metre gash in its hull and sending in a rush of water.

Three people have been confirmed dead and 70 others are missing.

Willits hasn't spoken with her parents since last night. They are staying at a hotel in Rome.

"She (mother) called to reassure us that she was OK and that they were in a safe place," Willits said.

The couple told other media agencies the ship was listing so badly the magician's curtains appeared to be on their side.

"And then the magician disappeared," Laurie Willits said, saying the magician left the stage and panicked audience members fled for their cabins as well.

Once at their life boat station, crew members directed passengers to go upstairs from the fourth floor deck; Alan Willits said he refused.

"I said 'no this isn't right.' And I came out and I argued 'When you get this boat stabilized, I'll go up to the fifth floor then,' " he said. Eventually, his lifeboat was lowered down.

Jory Willits said her parents have taken many cruises and this incident isn't likely to deter them from taking another.

She also said her parents met one other Canadian who had been on board, a man from Toronto, once they were safely on land.

Foreign Affairs said Saturday at least 12 Canadians were on board the ship and that it's working closely with local authorities.

"Canadian consular officials are providing consular assistance as needed," a media release stated. It's not known if any Canadians are among the missing.

The Costa Concordia was sailing on a cruise across the Mediterranean Sea, starting from Civitavecchia with scheduled calls to Savona, Marseille, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Cagliari and Palermo.

--with files from The Associated Press