I used to be a Water Safety Instructor, meaning I could train and certify lifeguards. One of the first lessons is that people panic. Adrenaline kicks in and very, very few will even try to keep a level head.
From what I read, the Costa captain was sailing much closer to land than he was supposed to. They had not had their lifeboat drill yet, either. But, in truth, I doubt the crew would be any less prone to panic than anyone else. Chaos was almost unavoidable. And my impression from the news is that the crew was not informed properly anyway. I think that the captain panicked, jumped ship and did not initiate even standard life saving procedures. A horrible situation all around and I pray for those involved. At least the people who lived on the island tried hard to help the survivors.