(5:45 a.m. EST) – One of the world’s newest and largest cruise ships, the 4,180-passenger Anthem of the Seas, has been caught up in a severe storm, reportedly equivalent to a Category 2 hurricane, off the U.S Carolinas coast.
Passengers on the Royal Caribbean ship were instructed by the Captain at approximately 3.30 p.m local time to remain in their cabins and have been posting regular updates on the Cruise Critic boards, reporting on interior damage, a collapsed ceiling, overturned furniture, and smashed glassware and crockery. It is understood passengers are still in their cabins more than 10 hours later and have been provided free movies and free minibar.
Our members are posting live from the ship on the Cruise Critic message boards: “Captain has sent everyone to their cabins. The ship is dealing with 115mph winds and severe seas,” said Cruise Critic member KarinaGW. “Much water came though the deck doors on deck 5 before they shut the watertight [doors].”
Jjohnb said: “We have been stuck in 125+ mph winds 30+ foot waves for 4 hours. Captain said they are in communication with the coast guard, struggling to point ship into wind but can’t move forward. All passengers told to stay in cabins water entered ship on upper decks, large white structure broke off top of ship landed in pool. At the height of storm waves breaking above the top of lifeboats and ship listing almost 45 degrees, with wind looked like a total white out… Some passengers sitting in muster stations.”
According to Jjohnb, conditions have eased but the cruise is expected to be cancelled. “We’ll be disembarking tomorrow, ship is too damaged to continue. Ceiling collapsed on deck 14,” he said.
The 16-deck Anthem of the Seas, which launched last year, departed New Jersey for Port Carnaveral on Saturday 6 February. It was due to sail a seven-night Bahamas cruise.
Royal Caribbean is currently unavailable for comment but we will keep you posted when official information is released.