Royal Caribbean’s newest cruise ship, Anthem of the Seas, hit a winter storm off of the coast of the Carolinas that produced category 2 hurricane force winds with gusts up to 130 mph. The ship was on her way to Port Canaveral, Florida when the ship hit the storm.
Passengers posted updates on social media sites as the storm gained in strength on Sunday afternoon that sent the ship rocking and everyone confined to their stateroom. Royal Caribbean issued a release saying that the ship’s seaworthiness has not been affected after Anthem of the Seas experienced extreme wind and sea conditions. There have been four injuries reported, none serious.
The cruise line also stated that there was some damage to the public areas and some staterooms. A few passengers posted photos and videos on Twitter and Facebook showing the damage. For their safety, passengers were confined to their staterooms for more than 6 hours on Sunday evening as the ship rode out the storm. The captain gave the passengers hourly updates to keep everyone informed.
Royal Caribbean has decided to cancel the rest of the cruise and return back to Cape Liberty Cruise Port in New Jersey. Passengers will receive a full refund and a 50% off certificate for a future cruise.
Wind gusts exceeded 90 knots which rocked the 168,000 gross ton ship, currently the 3rd largest cruise ship in the world. Anthem of the Seas was on a seven night cruise to Florida and the Bahamas out of Bayonne, New Jersey carrying 6,145 passengers and crew members.
Updates from passengers who are currently on Anthem of the Seas.
— Greg (@flatgreg) February 8, 2016
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— Orlando Sentinel (@orlandosentinel) February 8, 2016
— the Weatherboy (@theWeatherboy) February 8, 2016
— Maggie Kulbokas (@maggiekulbokas) February 8, 2016
— Royal Caribbean Blog (@theRCLblog) February 8, 2016