Anthem of the Seas Retreats from Storm

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February 7 storm seen from cabin on Anthem of the Seas, credit YouTube

By MarEx 2016-02-28 18:26:42

Royal Caribbean issued a statement on Sunday saying it has cancelled the current Anthem of the Seas itinerary as a result of a storm building up on the U.S. east coast. The company says the decision was made with passenger safety and comfort in mind, and it follows a recent incident involving the vessel that saw it damaged in a storm on February 7.

“The safety and comfort of our guests and crew is always our first priority,” said the company in a statement. “On a recent sailing, Anthem of the Seas experienced bad weather that was much worse than forecast. Therefore, we want to be extra cautious about our guests’ safety and comfort when it comes to weather in the area. That is why we have decided to head back to Cape Liberty immediately so that we can stay a safe distance from the storm.”

The company tweeted on Saturday night that it was concerned about a storm developing off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. “We want to be extra cautious when it comes to weather in that area,” said the tweet.

Some media reports that the vessel may also be suffering an outbreak of norovirus.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd faces at least two lawsuits by passengers accusing the company of negligently endangering their lives by letting Anthem of the Seas sail into the February 7 storm.  

The vessel encountered 100mph winds and 30-foot waves, and Royal Caribbean said the storm was more severe than expected. Royal Caribbean later turned the ship around, and it returned to New Jersey on February 10. Anthem of the Seas’ port azipod burnt through “all four clutches” during the storm. 

After the incident, Royal Caribbean announced that it would strengthen its storm avoidance policy and add resources in its Miami headquarters to provide greater assistance to its captains at sea.