RE Anthem of the Seas: This video was broadcast to all the staterooms on the RCTV internal channel the day after the storm. I recorded it with my iPhone and published it here for those not on the ship to see. Video credit Sean Ferguson.
You Tube Link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jo0SLwupq10
Comments: It appears from this video that the Captain was anticipating 40-50 knot winds with 4-5 meter seas. The track shown in the video passes near Cape Hatteras then continues SSW towards the east coast of Florida. Looking at the NOAA forecast chart issued shortly after midnight Saturday night it appears that winds of 40-50 knots and 4-5.5 meter seas were forecast near Hatteras, however, just southward winds were forecast at 50-65 knots with seas 6-7 meters (21-24 feet) by early Sunday evening with the storm intensifying rapidly.
The master indicated winds were 150-160 knots but best evidence so far is that peak winds were in the 65-75 knot range late Sunday afternoon into early Sunday evening which would have been severe enough. Given sustained winds of 65-75 knots it is likely that wind gusts could have been in the range of 80-95 knots (90-110 mph)! These conditions are not uncommon with intense winter storms over the North Atlantic, however, this is likely an extreme event for this particular location.
Additionally, the captain indicated that due to the storm caused delay and a forecast for more gale winds east of Georgia they decided to turn the ship around and head back to Bayonne, NJ with no mention of engine problems. (One of two diesel-electric azipod units used to propel Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas sustained damage as the ship battled an intense hurricane-force storm off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina on Sunday).