Update: The current sailing of Anthem of the Seas will be cut short. The vessel will return to Cape Liberty and the passengers will be disembarked. All travelers will receive a full refund and future cruise certificated worth 50% of the cruise price paid. In a tweet Royal Caribbean Line cited forecasted weather conditions as part of the reason for the cancellation.
The third largest cruise ship ever built, 168,666-ton Anthem of the Seas, on Sunday was caught in a severe storm, equivalent to a Category 2 hurricane. The captain ordered passengers to remain in their cabins for safety.
The 4,180-passenger ship, which launched last year, experienced not expected "extreme wind and sea conditions" as it was sailing south from New York area to Port Canaveral, according to a Royal Caribbean statement.
Cruise passengers tweeting from Anthem described giant waves and hurricane-force winds that rocked the vessel, smashing glassware, overturning furniture, and collapsing part of a ceiling in one of the public corridors.
Royal Caribbean said in its statement, there had been no reports of serious injuries. The damages to cabins and public areas "in no way affect the sea worthiness of the ship."
The 16-deck Anthem of the Seas departed New Jersey for Port Carnaveral on February 6, Saturday. It was due to sail a 7-night Bahamas cruise.