SAN FRANCISCO – On Sunday, the Coast Guard gave the Ruby Princess cruise ship clearance to leave San Francisco and it set off at 3:45 p.m., ending an unscheduled 3-day stay in the city.
Earlier in the day, officials at Princess Cruises said the repairs to the flat hull that forced the ship to remain at Pier 27 over the weekend are approved.
“Princess Cruises can confirm that repairs to the Ruby Princess have been completed and, after inspection and approval by the US Coast Guard, the vessel is safe and seaworthy,” the cruise line said in a statement.
If you’re going to be stuck somewhere on vacation, San Francisco isn’t a bad place to do it. On Thursday, the Ruby Princess sustained damage when it hit the curb while landing at Pier 27, punching a hole in the side. In the next few days, the crippled ship became something of its own tourist attraction.
“It could have been worse, right?” said passenger Cat Hanson. “We could be in the middle of the ocean, and God forbid, something could have been worse.”
The hole was patched and repainted, and while this was happening, a few thousand casual tourists were able to explore the town next to the bay.
“We actually had a chance to go to the Embarcadero and Pier 39,” said passenger Linda Wong. “That’s an extra beach excursion for us, right? But it’s free. Well, we bought some souvenirs, too.”
Most of the passengers are on board, though their planned trip was shortened by three days. Passengers get their money back if they want to leave and those who stay get a 75 percent discount on a future cruise.
Princess Cruises said it will leave with 2,677 guests and 1,161 crew on board, or roughly one person for every two passengers.
Stewart Sousa was willing to commit to him, but he wasn’t happy that they would only visit Ketchikan and Prince Rupert before returning home.
“So, we’ll just go to one city in Alaska and one city in Canada and then come back,” Souza said. “We were hoping to see glaciers and all that but we already had a schedule for that time.”
But Emil and Seda Dzhandzhapanyan decided to focus on the positive, and during their stay, they had a blast.
“Free food! Free hotel! Everything-entertainment-everything!” shouted Emile.
Princess Ruby embarks on a 7-day Pacific Northwest/Alaska cruise, visits Ketchikan on July 12 and Prince Rupert on July 13, and returns to San Francisco on July 16 for disembarkation as originally scheduled. The trip was scheduled to take 10 days earlier.
Oakland resident and passenger Bleacher Dave shared photos and videos of people enjoying the pool and socializing over the past 24 hours.
This was his first post-pandemic cruise and it will be the first time he’s ever seen Alaska.
“So the first thing I thought … is to get me out of this thing, ’cause we live in Oakland,” said Blecher Dave, describing his initial reaction upon hearing the ad.
Last year, Princess Ruby was in the headlines then.
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