Princess cruise ship departs San Francisco after letting off COVID positive patients

Once again, the Bay Area finds itself in a situation where a cruise ship has disembarked passengers infected by COVID; this time during the surge of the omicron variant

The ship is the Ruby Princess. It was docked at San Francisco's Pier 27 cruise terminal before it headed south towards Mexico, Thursday around 4 p.m.  

As big as it is, the Ruby Princess, capacity 3,080 passengers, set sail with only about 1,300 passengers, despite CDC recommendations not to cruise, to enjoy sun and fun south of the border. 12 infected passengers disembarked. 

The passengers we met expressed confidence in Princess and their own conduct; none more than one woman waiting to board.  "My name is Sharon ‘Get Me On A Ship’ Pettis," said Pettis who, along with her husband are confident, after having already cruised 145 times, including last month. 

"I feel very safe on a ship because everybody is very responsible. The food situation is handled beautifully. They follow all the rules really stringently," said Pettis. "We all had to be vaccinated to go  on this cruise. We had to show proof of vaccination and we all got tested before coming on board showing we've been negative," said fellow passenger Geoff Orr from Denver.

According to Gerald Eason's daughter, the Eason family is going on the cruise. "We're celebrating my father's 89th birthday, so that's why we're doing the cruise and you know, he really wanted to do a cruise again," said Karen Eason. 

"Quite confident that things are working out and that things will go well. Above all, we're looking to the Lord for his grace," said Gerald Eason. Eason believes there's too much fear mongering. "Way overblown as far as I think the news media has done us a disservice," said Mr. Eason.

This is far, far different than March of 2020 when I stood for day after day in a remote part of the Port of Oakland where another Princess ship, the Grand Princess was forced to dock and disembark its passengers who had been infected by COVID; then a novel deadly disease with no known cure. One hundred and three people  turned out to be infected. Seven of them died

And make no mistake, social media is playing a powerful role. "There's a lot of talk, a lot of people are following what's going on online and seeing that the ships seem to be taking care of us, said Orr.

FROM 2021: Grand Princess cruise ship passenger reflects on pandemic one year later

This very ship, The Ruby Princess, in March of 2020, had to cut short an 2,,700 passenger Australian/New Zealand cruise. A COVID outbreak then ultimately infected 576, 28 of whom eventually died.  As of today, this cruise's 12 infections were all considered mild.