SAN FRANCISCO — On Sunday, the Ruby Princess cruise ship was cleared by the Coast Guard to depart San Francisco, and it departed at 3:45 p.m., ending an unscheduled 3-day stay in the city.
Earlier in the day, officials with Princess Cruises said repairs to the perforated hull had forced the ship to remain at 27 for the weekend.
“Princess Cruises can confirm that repairs on the Ruby Princess have been completed and that the ship is safe and seaworthy following an inspection and certification by the US Coast Guard,” the cruise line said in a statement.
If you’re going to get stuck somewhere on vacation, San Francisco isn’t a bad place to do it. On Thursday, the Ruby Princess was damaged when it hit the dock while landing at Pier 27, punching a hole in the side. For the next few days, the crippled ship became its own tourist attraction.
“It would have been worse, wouldn’t it?” said passenger Kate Hanson. “We could be in the middle of the ocean and, God forbid, something bad could have happened.”
The hole was patched and repainted, and while that was happening, a few thousand casual tourists explored the town on the bay.
“We actually got a chance to go to the Embarcadero and the Pier 39 shopping center,” said passenger Linda Wong. “It’s like an extra beach trip for us, right? But it’s free. So, great. We even bought some souvenirs.”
Most passengers on board, despite their planned trip being cut short by three days. Passengers get their money back if they want to leave and those who stay get a 75 percent discount on future travel.
Princess Cruises said they had 2,677 guests and 1,161 crew on board, or one crew member for every two passengers.
Stuart Souza was willing to stick with it, but he wasn’t happy that they would only visit Ketchikan and Prince Rupert before heading home.
“So, we only go to one town in Alaska and one town in Canada, and then we come back,” Sousa said. “We were looking forward to seeing the glaciers and all, but we’ve already planned this time.”
But Emil and Seda Djantjabanyan decided to focus on the positive, and during their stay, they had a blast.
“Free food! Free hotel! Everything — entertainment — everything!” Emil exclaimed.
Ruby Princess embarks on a 7-day Pacific Northwest/Alaska cruise, visiting Ketchikan on July 12, Prince Rupert on July 13, and returning to San Francisco on July 16 for her originally scheduled disembarkation. It was planned ahead of the 10-day trip.
Oakland resident and traveler Bleacher Dave shared photos and videos of people enjoying the pool and socializing over the past 24 hours.
It was his first post-pandemic trip and his first time visiting Alaska.
“So the first thing I thought about … was to get myself out of this thing, because we live in Oakland,” Bleacher Dave said, describing his initial reaction upon hearing the announcement.
Last year, Ruby Princess was then in the headlines.