The ship headed back to its home port in New Jersey on Sunday after running into another storm, Royal Caribbean Tweeted over the weekend “to avoid a severe storm and provide guests with a comfortable journey back home.”
“On a recent sailing, Anthem of the Seas experienced bad weather that was much worse than forecast; therefore, we want to be extra cautious about our (guests’) safety and comfort when it comes to weather in the area,” a spokeswoman for the cruise line told WNBC-TV (warning: link has video that will autoplay) in New York City. “That is why we have decided to head back to Cape Liberty immediately so that we can stay a safe distance from the storm.”
John Turell, an executive with The Associated Press who happened to be on the ship said that the ship’s captain and its cruise director have made announcements about the norovirus, CBS News reports. There aren’t any numbers yet on how many people were affected by the illness.
“Sanitation levels on the ship have been boosted,” said Turell. “(Ship) workers are scurrying around like ants, scrubbing down handrails, tables and any other surfaces that can be washed.”
The ship skipped planned stops in Barbados and St. Kitts, Turell said, due to a storm developing off Cape Hatteras. The cruise should return to port by Wednesday.
Anthem of the Seas was on its way to Port Canaveral, FL in February when it experienced “extreme wind and sea conditions, with wind speeds higher than what was forecasted,” the cruise line said at the time. The rough seas prompted the captain to ask guests to stay in their rooms until the weather improved, “in an abundance of caution.”