Cruise ship hit by 100-mph winds, turning around

Posted at 9:23 AM, Feb 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-08 18:38:17-05
Royal Caribbean says a cruise ship that suffered minor damage as it sailed through a storm, sending passengers to their cabins overnight, will turn around and head back to its home port of Cape Liberty, New Jersey, instead of continuing on its way to Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Royal Caribbean announced the news on its corporate Twitter account Monday.
Passengers say the storm started mid-afternoon Sunday, and the captain of the ship Anthem of the Seas ordered them to their staterooms for their safety.
The tweets say guests will receive full refunds and certificates toward a future cruise.
The cruise line also tweeted: "We appreciate our guests' patience and cooperation. We know it was tough day on Sunday."
Original Story:

It was a scary night at sea for the passengers aboard Royal Caribbean cruise ship Anthem of the Seas as they were caught in hurricane-force winds off the Carolina coast Sunday night.

Furniture tumbled over, ceilings fell down and table-top objects crashed to the ground as the ship tried to regain it's footing amid 30-foot waves, with the company reporting no serious injuries.

About 4,000 people were ordered to stay in their cabins.

Some passengers reported the ship listing at 45 degrees.

The ship left New Jersey Saturday for a seven-night cruise to the Bahamas, but instead will dock in Cape Canaveral, Florida, because of the weather.

Royal Caribbean says the ship’s seaworthiness has not been affected. "On Sunday, February 7, while sailing to Port Canaveral, Florida, Anthem of the Seas experienced extreme wind and sea conditions, with wind speeds higher than what was forecasted. In an abundance of caution, the Captain asked all guests to stay in their stateroom until the weather improved,” it said in a statement.

“At this time there have not been any serious injuries reported. The ship has sustained some damage to the public areas and guest staterooms, which in no way affect the sea-worthiness of the ship."

The U.S. Coast Guard was also aware of the incident. "After seeing pictures and people’s comments on Twitter and other social media platforms, the USCG contacted the Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas to check in,” spokesman Mark Barney said. “The ship said that everything was fine, and no distress calls have been issued.

“The ship was caught in the storm off the shore of Charleston. There are 40 plus knot winds and large swells. The USCG will continue to monitor the situation."


Keep up with local and trending headlines on Twitter

Like ABC Action News on Facebook