When the Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas set off from Cape Liberty, New York on an overcast Saturday afternoon on Feb 6th 2016, it was supposed to be the start of an exciting 8 day cruise to the Bahamas for the 4,500+ passengers on board. Little did we know that within 24 hours the Anthem of the Seas would be embroiled in a storm so severe that it would result in the cancellation of the entire cruise and returning to Cape Liberty, not without drama along the way.
|The calm before the storm that rocked Anthem of the Seas
From around midday on Sunday, it was apparent that we were approaching ‘inclement’ weather and the captain kept the passengers and crew aware of the coming weather system. The extent of that system however seems to have been significantly underestimated. From 3pm, all passengers were instructed to return to their stateroom and await further instruction with more details of the storm being fed to passengers hourly.
As the hours rolled by, along with the 10m waves and as we know now, over 150mph winds, it’s fair to say that travelling with my wife and 2 young daughters (whom thanks to the movie ‘Minions’ were largely oblivious to the situation), was a rather worrying experience. Advised to stay in our staterooms until 9am (a full 18 hours), the extent of the damage was not known until we headed to breakfast on what seemed much calmer seas on Monday morning.
What was Damaged;
Caught in the storm on the Anthem of the Seas Cruise Ship
- Ships Satelite – crashed down into the swimming pool deck
- Swimming Pool – glass screens around pool smashed, leaving broken glass all over the top deck
- Roof lights – at least 4 of the large glass roof panels over the pool area
- Ceilings – a number of ceilings and services collapsed
- Lifts – At least 6 of the 24 lifts were out of service, assumed damaged.
- Shops – luxury jewellery and watch shops displays scattered
- Furniture – Numerous fixed and loose furniture items damaged
- Balcony – Screens separating stateroom balconies ripped from fixings
|Huge glass panels over pool smashed in the storm
The following morning, the Captain stated that the events yesterday and through the night were his “worst day at sea”, which for a seasoned Captain of cruise ships speaks volumes. A further statement from the Captain followed, that the damage sustained in the storm had in no way affected the seaworthiness of the ship, however it’s clear to everyone on board, that significant repairs will be required before the ship sets sail again.
The announcement made early afternoon on Monday that the cruise was to be cancelled and we were heading back to Cape Liberty. A further storm, expected to be as severe as the previous night’s sat between the Anthem of the Seas and its planned first stop, Cape Canaveral and the Captain stated he was not prepared to put the “dear guests, dear crew” or indeed the ship at any further risk. It was announced that every single passenger would receive a full refund which is likely to run into millions of dollars and also a 50% discount on a future cruise, however as a first time cruiser, this could be a discount that we won’t be cashing in. Holidaying on firmer ground seems very attractive as I write.
Was anyone injured? Or worse?
Thankfully not, we understand that a few minor injuries were sustained and I did witness a young man wearing a sling, but no rumours of any serious injury have arisen, thankfully.
And the storm? It hasn’t been formally named as yet, but ‘Storm Anthem’ seems appropriate as it seems the Anthem of the Seas was this storms victim, albeit thankfully for all on board, only the victim of a cancelled holiday rather than what could have been much worse.