Cruise ship in storm: Royal Caribbean apologizes


Passengers who were on board the Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas cruise ship are back on solid ground.

Out of the 6,000 passengers, Royal Caribbean says only four walked away with minor injuries. The "Anthem of the Seas" left New Jersey Saturday before getting caught in category 2 hurricane force winds. In a speech on the Senate floor, he compared the Royal Caribbean incident to the sinking of the El Faro cargo ship in a hurricane last summer, in which 33 seamen died.

The ship - with more than 4,500 guests and 1,600 crew members - sailed Saturday from Cape Liberty, New Jersey.

Royal Caribbean cruise line said it will change its policy regarding sailing into storms after passengers on its Anthem of the Seas endured 120-mph winds and 30 foot waves off the coast of North Carolina this week.

The ship came under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge Wednesday night, back to Bayonne. Best said the captain of the ship ordered passengers to their cabins for 17 hours at the height of the storm. 

The ship will be met at the dock by a team of U.S. Coast Guard inspectors.

It's always the discretion of the captain, and the captain only, as to whether the ship leaves port, said Bill Baumgartner, the senior vice president of Global Marine Operations, Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited.

"My wife, she got sea sick and crying", Melke said. Passenger Peter Aloupis said it felt "exactly" like being in a washing machine when the ship started listing, or tilting, because of the intense winds and turbulent weather. AAA offices in western and central NY are assisting with those refunds, but say the local passengers on board are not "willing to speak with the media", according to a AAA release.

As early as Thursday, the National Weather Service's ocean prediction center in Washington forecast winds of 46 to 57 miles per hour and 23- to 31-foot seas on Sunday night in the area where the ship encountered the storm, CNN meteorologist Jennifer Gray said.

Andrea said the experience didn't scare her off cruises and that in fact her parents are taking her on another cruise for March Break. "We are optimistic that they will have a smooth sail home". To say I love you before you leave because you never know. The cruise line said the storm was more severe than expected. "I had a lot of faith that the ship wasn't going to just tip over and we weren't going to die", she said. Reporter: Charlotte Lipman's father asher treated her to the cruise for her 10th birthday.