Storm-battered cruise ship returning to homeport

Anthem of the Sea to arrive in New Jersey Wednesday night

Courtesy: @flatgreg
Courtesy: @flatgreg (Courtesy: @flatgreg)

BAYONNE, NJ – A cruise ship is returning early to its New Jersey port after it was battered by a major storm in the Atlantic Ocean.

Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas is scheduled to dock at Bayonne's Cape Liberty at 9 p.m. Wednesday.

The ship, carrying more than 4,500 passengers and 1,600 crew members, departed Saturday on a seven-day cruise to the Port Canaveral, Bahamas. But the 1,141-foot vessel never made it to its destination, as sailed on Sunday into a major winter storm, encountering winds that topped 100 mph. 

The captain asked passengers to stay in their cabins as powerful winds and waves as high as 30 feet tossed the vessel around. Royal Caribbean says four passengers reported minor injuries and the ship sustained some damage to its public areas and staterooms.

On Tuesday Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla, asked that the National Transportation Safety Board to investigate why the boat sailed into hurricane force winds. 

Passengers will get a full refund and a certificate toward 50 percent off a future cruise.