Royal Caribbean cruise ship thrashed by storm returning on Wednesday

Lawmakers Call for Investigation After Cruise Ship Is Caught in Storm
Lawmakers Call for Investigation After Cruise Ship Is Caught in Storm

(Reuters) -- A Royal Caribbean cruise ship forced to turn back early after being battered by an Atlantic storm was expected to return to its New Jersey port at 9 p.m. on Wednesday (0200 GMT Thursday), bringing with it 4,500 rattled guests and 1,600 crew, cruise line officials said.

EARLIER: Insane passenger footage captures cruise ship being rocked by hurricane-force winds

The Anthem of the Seas ship departed Saturday for what was supposed to have been a seven-night cruise. On Sunday it encountered a storm with high winds and 30-foot (9 meter) waves off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

See more of the damage in the gallery below:

At least four people suffered minor injuries as the rocky ride toppled furniture, collapsed ceilings and shattered glass on the vessel. Passengers posted images and video to social media of rough seas and cabin rooms in disarray.

Royal Caribbean said the storm was more severe than expected.

The company said in a statement that the ship's operation was not affected but concerns about more rough weather prompted the decision to return to Cape Liberty, New Jersey, rather than continue on to Port Canaveral, Florida.

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