Battered cruise ship coming home to NJ: Passenger says it’s creeking, groaning
The cruise ship Anthem of the Seas is heading back to New Jersey after being battered by a storm system off the southeast coast on Sunday.
"Jonathan," a passenger on board the Royal Caribbean ship from Hoboken who did not want his real name used in this report, held up his phone as the ship's captain made a shipwide announcement.
The captain said the cruise line will fully refund the cost of the cruise for all aboard the vessel and offer a 50 percent discount on a future cruise in an effort to "maintain relationships" with passengers. The news was met with applause from passengers.
A tweet from Royal Caribbean said the ship sustained some damage to public areas and cabins but the ship remains "seaworthy." Four injuries were reported but none severe according to the cruise line. The decision to return home was made "for guests" comfort due to weather forecasts."
Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Sea cruise ship (Royal Caribbean)[/caption]
A second storm is expected to move up the east coast so the ship will turn around and follow the storm north. The ship is expected to return to Cape Liberty in Bayonne at 6 a.m. on Wednesday morning.
Jonathan said much of the damage in pictures tweeted out from the ship has been repaired.
The ship, with more than 4,900 guests and 1,600 crew members, set sail from Bayonne on Saturday for a seven-day cruise to the Bahamas. It was scheduled to arrive in Port Canaveral, Florida, at noon Monday. Passengers were told to remain in their cabins as the ship made its way through the storm with high winds.
Meteorologist Dan Zarrow, looking back at reported winds for Sunday afternoon off Cape Hattaras, said sustained wind gusts reached 60 mph. Tweets from aboard the ship, however, showed wind gusts of 75 mph.
Jonathan said passengers were allowed to leave their cabins late Sunday night and that all seemed to be back to normal on Monday under partly sunny skies and a temperature of 60 degrees.
However, he said the ship, which had been quiet prior to the storm, now makes many groans and creaks. A lot of passengers are "angry and on edge" following their ordeal according to Jonathan, who said he and his fiance have stockpiled food in the cabin.
During their time in their cabin on Sunday, "Jonathan" said the captain gave updates every hour. He said that the mini-bar was opened to all for snacks and alcohol, while Wi-Fi and on-demand movies and television were made available everyone — allowing passengers to watch the Super Bowl.