A cruise ship heading from New York to Florida is turning around after being caught in a severe storm at sea.
Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas is en route back to New Jersey after hitting unexpected weather conditions, the cruise company told BuzzFeed News.
"[The ship] experienced extreme wind and sea conditions, with wind speeds higher than what was forecasted," a company spokesperson said in a statement.
The spokesperson added that the decision to nix the cruise entirely was made because further bad weather was forecast.
"We are also sensitive to the fact that our guests have already been through an uncomfortable ride," the statement said. "Returning to Cape Liberty minimizes the risks of further bad weather affecting our guests' voyage; we are optimistic that they will have a smooth sail home."
The ship battled through 30-foot waves and wind gusts up to 125 mph after hitting the storm on Sunday, the Weather Channel reported. Passengers documented the terrifying journey on social media, showing the huge waves and rocking ship.
Passengers reported that the storm pounded the ship for more than 16 hours while they stared helplessly into the sea.
Well, this is terrifying.
"That one time we took on Mother Nature during a cruise," one passenger wrote.
Another passenger told the Weather Channel that the experience left her "shaking all over."
"Panic attack, things like that," Shara Strand said. "I've been on over 20 cruises, I've been through a hurricane, it was never like this. Never. Everyone is saying they never saw anything like last night."
There were four minor injuries reported, according to the cruise line, as well as superficial damage to the ship.
"Glad no one was hurt! Thanks #royalcarribean for getting us fed and keeping us safe!" this passenger wrote.
On the bright side, according to one passenger, bartenders were serving free drinks on their way back to port.
The cruise line said all the passengers would receive a full refund and a 50% discount off a future cruise in recognition of their troubles.
"We appreciate the patience and cooperation of our guests," Royal Caribbean said. "We know it was tough day on Sunday and apologize for their discomfort. We also thank our captain and crew for guiding the ship safely back to better weather."
Stephanie McNeal is a social news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Stephanie McNeal at email@example.com.
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