MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Rough winds and high seas rocked a cruise ship headed down the East Coast over the weekend.
The Royal Caribbean cruise ship was expected to dock at Port Canaveral later on Monday but at last check, the company said the ship would turn around and head back to New Jersey.
They issued a statement Monday around noon saying in part,
“Anthem of the Seas will turn around and sail back to Cape Liberty, New Jersey. This decision was made due to weather forecasted for the next few days that is likely to impact the ship’s original itinerary. We are also sensitive to the fact that our guests have already been through an uncomfortable ride. Returning to Cape Liberty minimizes the risks of further bad weather affecting our guests’ voyage; we are optimistic that they will have a smooth sail home.”
The Anthem of the Seas – the third largest cruise ship in the world- ran into the rough weather while traveling from New York – hitting hurricane force conditions near the Carolina coast overnight Sunday.
Passenger tweets say the winds hit 106 knots, about 122 miles per hour.
The company said four people were injured in the incident.
Passengers on board posted to social media showing the rough seas and the ship moving around. Pictures also showed a ceiling that collapsed on the deck. Restaurant chairs and tables were seen knocked over. Waves were reportedly crashing into the ship up to five decks up.
The company issued a statement early Monday morning saying, “Anthem of the Seas encountered some high winds and seas during its transit to Port Canaveral, Florida. In an abundance of caution, the Capitan asked all guests to stay in their stateroom until the weather improved. There has been no damage to the ship due to the weather.”
CBS4’s Gary Nelson reports there is a conflict between what the National Weather Service is saying and what Royal Caribbean has said. The company says the ship did not anticipate the intensity of the weather; however, Nelson spoke with the National Weather Service in Charleston, S.C. Meteorologist Steven Rowley said “hurricane storm force wind warnings went up early at least two days in advance.”
The company said Anthem of the Seas guests will be getting a full refund and a future cruise certificate for 50 percent off the cruise fare.