The movie was filmed based on the ending of the movie The Poseidon Adventure (1972) when the ship still remains afloat. The original script called for the ship to sink after the survivors take off in a helicopter, but when it did not turn out right, it was therefore decided to keep the ship afloat.
After the movie was released, Angela Cartwright was quoted with saying, "I was disappointed in certain aspects of the film and in hindsight I realize it was really a film about water, fire and stunts."
Another abandon idea for the sequel had Gene Hackman reprising his role. The film would begin with Hackman playing his twin brother flying in a helicopter toward the floating upside down Poseidon. Hackman would be there to try to rescue his brother.