Anthem of the Seas Sails Again
Photo via Twitter/ClaudineWgrz
Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas recently sailed through a powerful storm that subjected 4,000 cruise vacationers to a harrowing journey, which also damaged the vessel. A passenger on Anthem’s first cruise since the incident wrote about his experience for TravelPulse.
Despite some minor setbacks and cosmetic damage, Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas set sail on its regularly scheduled cruise Saturday after a hurricane-force storm prematurely aborted the ship’s previous itinerary.
Shattered glass and dinnerware have been replaced and a small portion of collapsed ceiling on deck 14 repaired. My stateroom on deck 13 is missing a balcony shield, which was torn off by wind during the storm.
Pamela Brooks, a passenger from Stamford, Conn., said a crewmember told her that because of broken glass around pool areas, it was questionable as to whether the pools would be open during the voyage. “I have three kids with me on this trip,” she said. “I need those pools open.”
In the aftermath of last week’s storm that barreled up from the south, this week Mother Nature wreaked havoc of a different kind — but from the north. The subzero temperatures created a problem with the sprinklers in the ship’s solarium, an indoor pool area, which were set off by the sub-zero temperatures and began spraying water.
With wind chills dropping temperatures to below -20 degrees Fahrenheit, all exterior public spaces were closed on our first day at sea for safety reasons.
Nonetheless, the general mood of passengers was positive — even jovial — despite having spent several days wondering whether they would sail — and only getting an official okay from the Coast Guard inspection a day before departure date.
The general feeling among crewmembers is that media coverage of last week’s events was largely overblown. However, they are also quick to add that weather-wise, the predicament on the ship was indeed alarming.
“When you work on a ship at sea, one moment all can be calm, and the next you’re being tossed around, we get used to this, passengers, not so much,” said Raven O, a veteran Royal Caribbean entertainer and the star of the ship’s “Spectra’s Cabaret” show. “Furniture was moving about and tumbling through public areas. Sitting in a chair in my cabin was impossible.”
Raven O, along with other crewmembers I interviewed, was effusive in their praise of how Anthem of the Seas Captain Andre Anderson navigated the ship through the storm. “He should be getting a medal and a bonus for his smart thinking,” said Raven O. “It was one man and his crew against Mother Nature and he got us though it — bravo Captain.”
During our lifeboat drill, Anderson talked about the storm briefly, noting that something positive came of the ship’s encounter with the storm. “Royal Caribbean has changed their policy concerning sailing into inclement weather,” he said, echoing published reports from the cruise line promising to bolster its storm avoidance policy.
My own impression is that Royal Caribbean has done a fine job of making guests feel we are in very capable hands. Anthem of the Seas appears to have handled her brush with disaster gracefully. I imagine the rest of this voyage will go smoothly.
But in the words of Raven, “The sea can be a fickle mistress.”
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