Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas Battles Severe Atlantic Storm, Injuries Reported

Royal Caribbean’s newest cruise ship, Anthem of the Seas, battled hurricane force winds and waves off the Carolina coast yesterday afternoon into the evening.

According to the National Weather Service, the powerful Atlantic storm, occasionally referred to as a “bomb,” was roughly equivalent to a category 2 hurricane. Reports state Anthem of the Sea’s position experienced wind speeds up to 150 mph and waves cresting at 30 feet. The storm was forecasted earlier this week, however, initial reports leading up to the storm called for significantly less severe conditions.

Reports from guests aboard Anthem of the Seas state the weather began to rapidly deteriorate around 3:00 pm on Sunday afternoon. As the weather continued to worsen, guests state the ship’s Captain ordered all guests to remain in their staterooms as a precaution. According to onboard reports, the ship was beginning to roll and list violently with the high seas by the late afternoon.

The ship continued battling strong waves and wind through the night, unable to move from its position. Reports from the ship state waves reached as high as deck 5, promoting the ship’s crew to close watertight to control minor onboard flooding. Guests report the ship’s Captain remained in regular communication, updating the ship’s guests and crew of the situation from the navigational bridge every hour into the late evening. Guests have publicly applauded the ship’s Captain and crew for their communication and handling of the situation. Conditions at sea began to improve around 1:00 am Monday morning and the ship began to sail for Port Canaveral, Florida.

Royal Caribbean has released a statement noting the ship has suffered damage in public areas and staterooms, but remains seaworthy. Four injuries have also been reported, however none have been classified as serious. Royal Caribbean has stated Anthem of the Seas will continue towards Port Canaveral with a delayed arrival. A new update on the ship’s arrival time into Port Canaveral is expected later this afternoon.

12:15PM UPDATE: Royal Caribbean has announced Anthem of the Seas will return to Bayonne, New Jersey out of concern for guest comfort. Royal Caribbean states the forecast would have impacted the remaining portion of the original itinerary. Guests aboard Anthem of the Seas will receive a full refund of the cruise and a future cruise certificate for 50% of their paid cruise fare.

Pictures posted across social networks show the impact of the storm, showing furniture overturned, dishware smashed, and damaged ceilings across the ship.

Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas is currently sailing on a 7 night cruise to the Bahamas and Florida from Bayonne, New Jersey. At this time, it is unknown if or how the storm and subsequent damage will impact the ship’s planned itinerary.

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Mike Faust

Mike Faust is an avid world traveler, often found traversing city streets in Asia and Europe rather than his home city of Boca Raton. Mike has touched down in 39 countries, set sail on 35 cruises, and flown over 400,000 lifetime miles.