Ruby Princess passengers stuck until Sunday after cruise ship smacks into Pier 27

A cruise ship that has been docked in San Francisco after it smacked into Pier 27, will stick around through the weekend pending clearance from the U.S. Coast Guard.

A spokesperson with Princess Cruises told KTVU late Friday afternoon that the Ruby Princess cruise ship won't set sail until Sunday at 4 p.m. The cruise line had initially hoped to get authorization to depart Friday.

"Following today’s inspection by the U.S. Coast Guard, Princess Cruises has been advised that Ruby Princess will be cleared to sail once the area damaged in yesterday’s incident in San Francisco has been fully repaired," the cruise line said in a statement.

As a result of the delayed departure, the company has modified the trip itinerary, from a 10-day voyage to Alaska to a 7-day trip.

Passengers have the option to cancel their cruise with a 100% refund, and they will also receive a 50% credit for a future trip. Passengers who want to continue their trip on the Ruby Princess will receive a 75% refund, and a 75% credit for a future voyage.

While the Ruby Princess is docked in San Francisco, passengers are free to come and go.

During a Zoom interview, Ruby Princess passenger Paige Gacayun, said that the ship is not chaotic and everything is calm.

"Everything is up and running and going, so it's like we're at sea. The only things we don't have access to are the casino and the boutique shops," she said.

She expressed confidence in the cruise line's ability to repair the damage and decided not to immediately inform the rest of her family who were traveling with her about the accident.

"As we were boarding, somebody in front of us turned around and said, ‘Hey, did you guys hear about the hole on the ship?’ And I was like ‘No, don’t tell them!’ My family was all surprised when they found out," she said.

The collision caused a large gash in the underside of the ship.

Gacayun and her husband, sister, and brother-in-law boarded the ship on Thursday around noon.

Upon arrival in San Francisco, the Ruby Princess made unexpected contact with the dock at Pier 27 while returning from a 10-day roundtrip to Alaska. No injuries occurred, and at no point were any of the 3,328 guests or 1,161 crew members on board in danger. All those passengers were let off Thursday morning.

A new round of passengers boarded the damaged cruise ship that afternoon, eager to take off for Alaska. But instead of making the 2,200-mile voyage north, they were stuck on board having to sleep overnight at the San Francisco Port.

Despite the long delay, some passengers seemed to be in an upbeat mood.

"The comedy show last night was great. Breakfast buffet was great," Lisa Barnes wrote on a Ruby Princess Facebook page. "I’m happy to be on the boat. Walked four miles around the ship yesterday, doing the exploring thing. Life is good."

Passengers told KTVU the captain has been giving updates on the ship’s status.

"They happen about every two hours," said passenger Tod Imperato. "I understand the captain is reading from a memo that’s been handed to him, but it would certainly be helpful to have more information to know what to expect."

Despite the situation, passenger Don Thompson maintains a positive attitude. However, he expressed his dissatisfaction with the limited information provided by the cruise line. Thompson mentioned that guests were not informed that there were problems with the ship until the originally scheduled departure time.

"Overall they kept it pretty quite, and I'm going to guess that 75-80% of the passengers had no idea until the first announcement came Thursday night," he said.

He added," there's a handful of frustration now about having to make a decision on whether to stay or whether to go."

Thompson has chosen to remain aboard the Ruby Princess cruise ship, hoping that the ordeal will ultimately prove worthwhile.

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