NEW JERSEY, United States, Wednesday September 7, 2016 – For the second time this year, Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas sailed into weather that rocked the boat and upset passengers in every sense of the term.
The massive cruise ship reportedly sailed near some of the stormiest sections of post-tropical hurricane Hermine en route to Bermuda on Sunday evening, battling raging seas and winds in excess of 100 mph.
Passengers took to social media to vent their displeasure, posting videos and photos showing churning seas and slate grey skies.
— Louise Hardage (@NeuroSpineChick) September 4, 2016
North Carolina native David Hughes, who was on the cruise with his wife, said at least half of the passengers and crew were sick.
“Royal Caribbean easily put money and profits ahead of safety,” he said, adding that he had heard other cruise lines cancelled their cruises or changed their itinerary.
Another passenger, Robert McHugh of Point Pleasant, New Jersey, posted a video from the ship on Twitter during the storm.
— Robert McHugh (@Robert_J_McHugh) September 4, 2016
He said the rough conditions worsened early Sunday when the ship “started swaying a bit”. Swells were up to 40 feet and gusts were up to 90 knots, he added.
An on-board video screen from the ship provided confirmation, showing 98 knot winds – the equivalent of 112 mph.
McHugh said dishes were “all over the place” when passengers tried to eat, and passengers were obliged to hang on to handrails as they moved about.
“When you’re walking down the hallway, the ship is lifting up and dropping down,” McHugh said.
The Anthem of the Seas left Bayonne, New Jersey, on Friday, and earlier Sunday “was basically in [the] worst quadrant of post-tropical Hurricane Hermine,” tweeted meteorologist Ryan Maue.
— Ryan Maue (@RyanMaue) September 4, 2016
Sunday’s storm appears to be the latest in a string of incidents involving the ship this year.
In June, an eight-year-old boy drowned while in one of the Anthem’s pools, and in February, it sailed into another Atlantic storm that tossed passengers and furniture about the vessel. Passengers described that voyage as “a cruise from hell.”
In an unfortunate twist of fate, passengers Deena Abbate and Steve Matyasovsky were on board the Anthem in February when it encountered the powerful winter storm. They received a refund and a credit towards their next trip, which ironically happened to be last weekend’s cruise during Hermine.