A cruise ship that was battered by a major storm earlier this month is cutting short its most recent voyage amid a norovirus outbreak and the possibility of a severe storm.
Royal Caribbean announced on Twitter on Saturday that the Anthem of the Seas ship would return to its home port in Bayonne, New Jersey, to "provide guests with a comfortable journey back home."
An Associated Press staffer aboard the ship said Sunday that the ship's captain and its cruise director have made announcements about norovirus issues. The ship, carrying more than 6,000 people has seen an average of 9 or 10 cases a day over the last seven days, a Royal Caribbean spokeswoman told NBC 4 New York.
Cynthia Martinez, the spokeswoman, said the ship was returning home "to avoid a severe storm."
"On a recent sailing, Anthem of the Seas experienced bad weather that was much worse than forecast; therefore, we want to be extra cautious about our (guests’) safety and comfort when it comes to weather in the area. That is why we have decided to head back to Cape Liberty immediately so that we can stay a safe distance from the storm," Martinez wrote in an email.
The norovirus is only impacting a "small percentage" of guests, Martinez noted.
The ship was damaged a day after it set sail on Feb. 6, when it encountered 30-foot waves and hurricane force winds. Its 4,500 passengers hunkered down for hours.