Anthem of the Seas: Storm forces damaged Royal Caribbean cruise ship back to port in New Jersey

'I've been on over 20 cruises, I've been through a hurricane, it was never like this. Never'

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The Independent US

One of the world's largest cruise ships has been forced to return to port after it was struck by 30ft waves and winds of up to 100mph in the Atlantic Ocean.

Passengers on the Anthem of the Seas, owned by Royal Caribbean, were forced to stay holed up in their cabins as amateur videos showed furniture sliding around decks.

The Anthem of the Seas was on a seven-day voyage to the Bahamas, but it returned to New York when it encountered the rough seas off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

The cruise line has stated the ship only incurred minor damage and only four people suffered minor injuries.

Passenger, Shara Strand from New York City said:"I was shaking all over, panic attack, things like that.

"I've been on over 20 cruises, I've been through a hurricane, it was never like this. Never."

The Anthem of the Seas is the third largest ship of its kind in the world, much larger than the Titanic and is 100ft longer than the US Navy's aircraft carriers.

US Senator Bill Nelson has called for the National Transportation Safety Board to investigate why the ship was allowed out of port.

He said on the Senate floor: "The thing about this storm was that it was forecast for days.

"So why in the world would a cruise ship with thousands of passengers go sailing right into it?"

The cruise line insists the weather was worse than was forecast but that the ship was seaworthy throughout its shortened voyage.

Damage to the railings on the Royal Caribbean cruise liner

Royal Caribbean said in a statement: "We know it was tough day on Sunday and apologize for (passenger) discomfort.

"Safety is our highest priority and ships are designed to withstand even more extreme circumstances than Anthem of the Seas encountered.

"While the weather was unpleasant, the ship remained seaworthy at all times."

All passengers have received a full refund for their ticket and credit for a future cruise fo 50 per cent of their fare.