Cruise Royal Caribbean vows to improve weather avoidance after Anthem incident By Tom Stieghorst / February 11, 2016 Share 1 -- Royal Caribbean International said it has taken steps to strengthen its storm-avoidance policy after the Anthem of the Seas had to abort a storm-battered cruise and return to port.The storm, which Royal Caribbean said strengthened more than expected, damaged cabins and public areas and led to four passenger injuries. Winds reached hurricane strength, according to meteorologists. The cruise line's decision to sail through the storm has drawn criticism, including from Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.). In a speech on the Senate floor, he compared the Royal Caribbean incident to the sinking of El Faro cargo ship in a hurricane last summer, in which 33 seamen died.“The very same thing almost was beginning to happen, only this time, a 4,000-passenger cruise ship sailing from the New York area to Port Canaveral, Florida, and then on to other destinations in the Caribbean, sailed right into a hurricane that had winds topping 100 mph,” Nelson said, according to a transcript of his remarks.Nelson, the ranking Democrat on a Senate subcommittee that oversees the cruise industry, called for the National Transportation Safety Board to “come up with a quick report” on the incident.After looking at the likely weather on the balance of Anthem’s itinerary, Royal Caribbean decided to return to Cape Liberty, N.J., rather than continue the cruise. In a statement after the ship arrived in New Jersey on Thursday, Royal Caribbean said that it would add resources at the Miami headquarters “to provide additional guidance to our ships’ captains,” and that the storm exposed gaps in its planning system."Though that system has performed well through many instances of severe weather around the world, what happened this week showed that we need to do better,” the statement said.