Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas was pounded by rough weather last night, according to passengers leaving comments, photos and video on the internet.
New accounts initially indicated that there was no damage to the cruise ship or injuries to the passengers but this notion was quickly dispelled by images of extensive damage caused by the storm.
Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell, posted photographs of the damage on his Facebook page.
The storm was the result of a sudden although predictable intensification known as "bombogenesis," which is explained by this article in Forbes magazine.
ABC News reported that "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.”
Passengers contacted us indicating that several guests were injured in the mayhem caused by the hurricane strength 125+ MPH winds and 30+ foot waves.
The cruise line said initialy that it would be late getting to Port Canaveral but later said that the Anthem would return to New Jersey. Passengers would be refunded 100% and, in addition, receive 50% of their fares a future cruise credit in compensation.
The storm and damage to the ship reminds me of a harrowing incident on the Brilliance of the Seas when several passengers were seriously injured when a storm hit the Royal Caribbean cruise ship in December 2010. The ship tried to outrun a known storm into Alexandria, Egypt. Royal Caribbean tried to spin the story in the media, saying that the storm was far worse than expected.
February 8 2016 Update: Seems that Royal Caribbean is playing the "unforseeable" weather game again. Weather professionals are not buying it - Royal Caribbean ripped by weather pro for routing 'Anthem' cruise ship into storm. Also read 4,000-passenger cruise ship inexplicably sails into Atlantic mega-storm. The Weather Channel pointed out that several weather programs predicited the high waves and high winds last week, and questioned where the cruise line obtained its weather forecasts.
February 9 2016 Update: Master of the Anthem of the Seas: Storm Not Accurately Forecast.
Image Credit: NOAA/NASA via Forbes