The first cruise ship to make San Francisco its home in years was set to depart Saturday at 4 p.m. on its inaugural voyage to Hawaii, but it was delayed until just before 10 p.m.
The Grand Princess is scheduled to make round trips to Hawaii, Alaska, Mexico and the California coast. Cruise liners usually travel along the Embarcadero, but this is the first time in years a ship has made San Francisco its home base.
Princess Cruises Grand Princess pulled into port Saturday morning
Once passengers disembarked they faced long lines for a cab. Meanwhile, thousands of new passengers tried to board the ship at the same time to get to Hawaii.
"You got 2,400 passengers coming off," said Nate Carraway, Sgt. of Security for the Longshoreman's Union. "You have 2,700 coming on."
Expect to see more big crowds like this getting on and off the ship in the future.
Pier 35 will be the home port for the Grand Princess over the next 15 months, bringing 100,000 passengers to San Francisco.
Some passengers said they felt the city was a little unprepared for this first-time crowd.
Diane Piercey told KTVU she feared she may never make it to her hotel because of the massive lines.
"I might end up taking a taxi to the airport," she said.
Porters and taxi drivers weren't complaining because big crowds mean good money.
"It may be a lot of money," said Merlin Jackson, a pedicab driver. "Yes, it's good business, good for my business."
Port officials said they hope it'll be good business for the entire city. They estimate the cruise liner passengers will spend more than $1 million over the next 15 months.
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