Oasis of the Seas will summer in N.Y. in 2020

Royal Caribbean International said the Oasis of the Seas will make its 2020 summer home in the New York metropolitan area, sailing seven-night itineraries to the Bahamas from Cape Liberty in Bayonne, N.J. It marks the debut of the 5,400-passenger ship in the Big Apple.

The Oasis will be the first ship in its class, and the largest, to sail from the Northeast.

The Bahamas sailings will include a stop at Perfect Day at CocoCay; the private island will receive calls from 10 different Royal ships in 2020.

The Oasis will have a Canada/New England season, as well.

In addition, the Adventure of the Seas will return to Cape Liberty in 2020, sailing a variety of five- and nine-night summer and fall itineraries to Bermuda; New England and Canada; the Bahamas; and the Caribbean.

Travellers can extend their leaf-peeping experience with longer sailings aboard the Vision of the Seas, which will offer three 10- to-11-night, open-jaw itineraries between Cape Liberty and Quebec City with an overnight in Quebec’s capital.

Anthem of the Seas Cruise Cut Short to Avoid Storm

Anthem Of The Seas Cruise Ship

Anthem of the Seas

Royal Caribbean isn’t taking any chances when it comes to weather following its nightmare cruise into a hurricane force storm earlier this month, cutting Anthem of the Seas’ latest voyage short to avoid a storm off the mid-Atlantic seaboard.

The cruise ship giant said Saturday that it was closely watching a “large storm” off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, making the decision to head back to its homeport in Cape Liberty, New Jersey immediately to avoid the storm and provide guests “with a comfortable journey back home”. An update on Monday said Captain was following the company’s new storm avoidance policy and that the decision was made after the Captain consulted with shore side experts.

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#AnthemoftheSeas will head back to Cape Liberty immediately to avoid a severe storm & provide guests with a comfortable journey back home.

As you’ll recall, Royal Caribbean found itself in some hot water earlier this month after the Anthem of the Seas with more than 6,000 people on board sailed into the a hurricane-force storm off the Cape Hatteras that damaged part of the ship’s propulsion and left passengers shaken as they took to social media to post about the nightmare conditions.

Royal Caribbean has insisted that the storm in that case was worse than forecasted, but nonetheless the company said it identified gaps in its planning system that would be addressed to prevent a similar occurrence in the future. Within days of the event, Royal Caribbean made moves to strengthen its storm avoidance policy, supposedly adding shoreside resources at its Miami headquarters to provide additional guidance to our ships’ captains.

But looking at marine charts from this past Saturday, it seems Royal Caribbean’s decision to cut the latest cruise short may have been out of an abundance of caution or perhaps to avoid the inevitable bad publicity that would come with any Royal Caribbean ship sailing in any storm at the moment.

NWS OPC Saturday Night Forecast
NWS OPC 24 hour forecast issued Saturday night. 

A 24 hour forecast chart issued Saturday night by the National Weather Services Ocean Prediction Center predicted a relatively modest 993 mb low over the Great Lakes moving ENE with gale force conditions forecast off the Mid-Atlantic and New England coast by Sunday evening.

“What Storm? The low moving across the Great Lakes was forecast to produce near gale to gale conditions from Hatteras northward (mostly 30-40 knots). Might be a bit rough but hardly storm conditions,” marine meteorologist and ship routing expert with Ocean Weather Services, Fred Pickhardt, commented to gCaptain.

In other Anthem of the Seas news, Royal Caribbean said Monday that about 10 guests per day were reporting symptoms of norovirus during the cruise, but the company insists that the outbreak didn’t impact the decision to return to port early.

Storm that rocked Anthem of the Seas called a ‘weather bomb’

Weather Bomb

ABOARD THE AZAMARA JOURNEY — The Feb. 7 storm that rocked Royal Caribbean International’s Anthem of the Seas and forced it back to Cape Liberty in New Jersey 10 days ago was likened to a “weather bomb” by a captain on Royal’s sister line, Azamara Club Cruises.

Magnus Davidson, captain of the Azamara Journey, said that based on what he’d heard from headquarters in the days after the storm, winds of 75 knots were forecasted but Anthem actually encountered gales of twice that velocity.

“The storm intensified very rapidly,” Davidson told a group of journalists on one of the Journey’s first cruises after an extensive drydock. But, he added, at no time was the ship in danger or unsafe.

The storm, off the coast of North Carolina, battered cabins and public areas and frightened guests. After assessing the damage and the likelihood that further bad weather was waiting as the ship continued on its planned itinerary, Royal Caribbean decided to abort the cruise and return to Anthem’s homeport.

Davidson said captains consult a variety of standard weather sources used by mariners, such as Passageweather.com, to decide how to proceed when storm conditions threaten.

Decisions are made in consultation with weather experts at the Miami headquarters of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., the parent of both Royal Caribbean International and Azamara Club Cruises.

In the case of the Carolina storm, Davidson said it was several hundred miles wide so it was not possible to simply go around it, as he said some Internet commenters had suggested.

However, he said that Anthem’s captain did make a course adjustment intended to take it more toward the edge of the storm.