The Anthem of the Seas
The Anthem of the Seas

Cruise ship hit by 160km/h winds, massive waves

A MASSIVE cruise ship has been hit by 160km/h winds and huge seas which toppled tables, broke vases and left   numerous passengers injured.

Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas, which can carry 4000 passengers, turned around hitting hurricane-force winds on its way to Florida.

The ship was expected to arrive in Port Canaveral, but Royal Caribbean announced it would turn around and head back to New Jersey, where it left from on Saturday.

Passengers posted photos and videos to social media  after nearly 12 hours of rough sailing.

Questions are being raised about whether the ship failed to heed storm warnings which had been forecast for days.

The National Weather Service reported hurricane-force winds of more than 100 mph and significant waves of at least 30 feet.

Royal Caribbean said the ship experienced "extreme wind and sea conditions, with wind speeds higher than what was forecasted."

"In an abundance of caution, the Captain asked all guests to stay in their stateroom until the weather improved," the statement said.

Four injuries have been reported, but none were serious.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, on Monday called on the National Transportation Safety Board to investigate the circumstances surrounding the cruise ship's decision to sail into the storm, the Associated Press said.

More on this at The Orlando Sentinel