Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas, which earlier this month was struck by a major storm in the Atlantic, has turned back to home port after bad weather threatened her current cruise. The ship is to return to Bayonne, New Jersey.
There are also reports of a norovirus outbreak onboard after, according to Sky News, a cruise passenger said that sanitation efforts had been increased.
A spokeswoman for the line said:
"The decision to return home was based on avoiding forecasted gale warning weather conditions along our original itinerary and our desire to ensure the safety and comfort of our guests and crew. A small percentage of our guests have experienced gastrointestinal illness thought to be norovirus" - some nine or 10 cases per day out of more than 6,000 passengers and crew on board. Those affected by the short-lived illness are responding well to over-the-counter medicine".
John Turell, an executive with Associated Press news agency who is onboard the Anthem with his wife, said the captain and cruise director had made announcements telling guests of the norovirus outbreak. He said:
"Sanitation levels on the ship have been boosted. (Ship) workers are scurrying around like ants, scrubbing down handrails, tables and any other surfaces that can be washed."
On Saturday night, February 27, passengers were told that the cruise was being cut short by 2 days because of a storm developing off Cape Hatteras. Planned stops in St Kitts and Barbados were cancelled and Anthem of the Seas is expected to arrive in New Jersey on March 2, Wednesday.
Earlier this month, four people were injured on Anthem after the ship was hit by 30ft waves and winds of over 100mph during a storm off North Carolina.
You can read an extensive article with reports and statistics on Noro virus outbreaks on cruise ships at CruiseMinus.com.