Townie has no regrets from Anthem of the Seas cruise

Bruce and Deborah Woodruff's view while on the stormy seas

Bruce and Deborah Woodruff’s view while on the stormy seas

IMG_0296 Perhaps the Royal Caribbean ship “Anthem of the Seas” should be called “Anathema the Seas”**. The ship is turning around for the 2nd time in almost as many weeks. Do you remember the Super Bowl Sunday storm that tossed the 6,000 capacity cruise ship up, down, and all around off the coast of North Carolina? Yeah. That’s the one. A skittish crew and new company policies since that first cursed tour has them turning tail at the thought of a repeat trip.


2nd Ward Townie Bruce Woodruff and his wife Deborah were aboard the Anthem of the Seas on the first ill-fated trip, where passengers reported lists up to 45-degree angles in the choppy waves.

“It wasn’t that bad,” Bruce said.

Here’s an ABC report with passenger footage:

Bruce and Deborah were cruising with friends who are experienced boaters and cruisers. Together, they used phone apps to measure the worst toss at about a 21-degree angle, with most of the leans averaging between 6 and 8 degrees. “I’m not gonna lie,” Bruce said. “It was bad. But it wasn’t nearly as bad as was reported.”

The Captain asked everyone to remain in their cabins while they navigated the rough. To pass the time, Bruce and Deborah watched a bit of the Super Bowl in their friends’ suite. The ship’s constant leaning eventually pushed every loose item onto the floor (except, Bruce noted, a magically anchored bottle of wine). When the couple eventually headed back to their own cabin, they employed a walking strategy that proved successful.

“You can feel when the ship is about to list,” Bruce told Havertownies. “You just walk to the opposite wall.”

picture of a cruise ship cabin

Bed alcove where Bruce and Deborah “made a t-shape” to brace themselves while Anthem of the Seas tossed and turned.

Atlantic ocean, calm

No storm on the horizon here. Bruce’s pic, before the troubles.

cruise ship deck under fluffy white clouds and blue skies

Blue skies on deck!

image of deck of cruise ship

Deck chairs, all nice in a row

front of cruise ship in deep waves

We have to say, that looks kinda bad, Bruce!

Watching the rest of the Super Bowl in their room also required some creative countermeasures. Bruce and Deborah fortified themselves in their bed alcove, forming a t-shape with their bodies and bracing their arms and legs against the floor and walls. “Not the most romantic position,” he admitted. But, they were able to watch the game (we thought that was considered romance in H-Town).

Despite the shakeup, Bruce has no regrets.

“We never lost power or wifi/internet. The Captain updated us constantly. Royal Caribbean gave us a total refund. We got free snacks and other perks while we were on board and we have a voucher to put toward another cruise,” he said. “We’re already booking that. [Royal Caribbean] went above and beyond what they needed to do. My neighbor is booked on the exact same ship.”

Is the neighbor on the ship now, coming back to port in Bayonne, NJ? We asked. 

“No,” Bruce assured us. “They don’t leave until May.”

Whew. Thought the Townies were doomed to curse cruises!

Thanks to Bruce for sharing his story and his pictures (even though we’re a little disappointed we didn’t get a selfie of the “t” he and Deborah made). He’s obviously a very good sport, and, may we add, the perfect cruising companion!



**Yeah, we had to look up “anathema” too: