The last things passengers on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas expected when they departed from New Jersey on Saturday was a live reenactment of the The Perfect Storm, but that’s exactly what they got.
Anthem of the Seas left port in Bayonne, NJ on Saturday, February 6, headed towards the Bahamas with 4,529 passengers and 1,616 crew members on board, according to Royal Caribbean.
Unfortunately the trip came to an early end as the ship was back in port Wednesday after sailing directly into a storm and battling 125-mile-per-hour winds and seas over 30 feet. Luckily, despite the ship leaning so much that water from the faucet hit the wall instead of going down the drain, only four passengers received reportedly minor injuries.
— ABC News (@ABC) February 12, 2016
According to Royal Caribbean, the storm was more severe than anticipated. Since the storm had been well forecast, many have called the company into question as to why the storm wasn’t avoided altogether. Forecasts as early as Thursday night (Feb 4) indicated that the Atlantic Ocean off the Carolinas would experience high winds over 50 mph and seas over 31 feet.
Since returning to land, passengers aboard the vessel have flooded social media with their account of the harrowing ordeal in which the 168,666 ton, 1,100 foot ship was tossed around like a toy boat at bath time.
Sailing a billion dollar boat w/4000 passengers into a well-forecast hurricane-force cyclone is negligent & Royal Caribbean should admit it.
— Ryan Maue (@RyanMaue) February 8, 2016
Passengers of the cruise are set to be refunded the cost of the trip with a voucher for half off their next Royal Caribbean ticket.
The voyage is to be investigated by the Coast Guard, while the ship is undergoing repairs for cosmetic damage it sustained during the ordeal in order to set sail this Saturday.
“Based upon progress made over the last two days, it is anticipated that
Anthem of the Seas will be able to sail as scheduled,” said Coast Guard spokesman Charles Rowe.