Update: Ruby Princess departs San Francisco after repairing dock collision damage

SAN FRANCISCO – On Sunday, the Coast Guard gave approval for the Ruby Princess cruise ship to leave San Francisco, and it set sail at 3:45 p.m., ending an unscheduled 3-day stay in the city.

Earlier in the day, Princess Cruises officials said repairs to the punctured hull that forced the ship to remain at Pier 27 over the weekend had been certified.

“Princess Cruises can confirm that repairs on the Ruby Princess have been completed and, following inspection and certification by the US Coast Guard, the ship is safe and fit to sail,” the cruise line said in a statement.

If you̵[ads1]7;re going to be 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. In the following days, the disabled ship became something of a tourist attraction in its own right.

“It could be worse, right?” said passenger Kat Hanson. “We could be in the middle of the ocean, and God forbid, anything could be worse.”

The hole was patched and repainted, and while that happened, a few thousand casual tourists got to explore the city by the bay.

“We actually had a chance to go to the Embarcadero and Pier 39 mall,” said passenger Linda Wong. “This is like an extra shore excursion for us, right? But it’s free. So, pretty good. We bought some souvenirs too.”

Most passengers on board the vessel stayed upbeat, despite their planned trip being shortened by three days. Passengers got their money back if they wanted to travel and those who stayed got a 75 percent discount on a future cruise.

Princess Cruises said it would travel with 2,677 guests on board and a crew of 1,161, or about one crew member for every two passengers.

Stuart Sousa was willing to persevere, but he was not happy that they would only visit the towns of Ketchikan and Prince Rupert before heading home.

“So, we’ll just go to a town in Alaska and a town in Canada and then we’ll come back,” Sousa said. “We were hoping to see the glaciers and all that, but we had already planned this time.”

But Emil and Seda Dzhandzhapanyan had decided to focus on the positive, and during their stay they had a great time.

“Free food! Free hotel! Everything — entertainment — everything!” exclaimed Emil.

Ruby Princess embarks on a 7-day Pacific Northwest/Alaska cruise, visiting Ketchikan on July 12 and Prince Rupert on July 13, returning to San Francisco on July 16 for disembarkation as originally scheduled. It had been planned for a 10-day journey before the accident that damaged the vessel on Thursday.

Oakland resident and passenger Bleacher Dave, as he’s better known, 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 his first time seeing Alaska.

“So the first thing I thought … was to get the hell out of this thing, because we live in Oakland,” Bleacher Dave said, describing his initial reaction upon hearing the announcement.

Last year, the Rubin Princess was in the headlines after returned to San Francisco from a cruise to Mexico with passengers who tested positive for COVID-19.

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