SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Cruise ship companies are in rough waters once again.
COVID-19 cases continue to surge and more ships are reporting outbreaks, including a Ruby Princess cruise ship that was docked in San Francisco. A dozen passengers tested positive and are now quarantined.
The cruise is operated as a vaccinated ship, meaning you have to be fully vaccinated to board. The 12 positive cases were discovered before the ship arrived in San Francisco.
As the Ruby Princess sat docked in San Francisco Thursday, a spokesperson from Princess Cruises confirmed that several passengers tested positive for COVID saying: “In accordance with our established protocols, those guests who tested positive will either return home via their personal vehicles or be taken to hotels coordinated in advance for quarantine.”
The ship had just returned to San Francisco after a 10-day cruise to Mexico.
San Francisco Port officials say that under a local health mandate, the crew of the Ruby Princess had to randomly test 25% of passengers and discovered that 12 people had the virus. Their statement says in part: “All individuals are either asymptomatic or experience mild symptoms. No passenger has required medical attention and no hospitalization is needed.”
A dozen COVID-19 cases were discovered just days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention raised its risk level for cruise travel to the highest category.
They say the virus spreads easily between people in close quarters aboard ships and that people should avoid traveling on cruise ships regardless of vaccination status.
The CDC recommends that if people do decide to go on cruises, they get tested one to three days before their trip and again three to five days after the trip, even if they’re fully vaccinated.
In October, cruise ships were allowed to start docking again in San Francisco, nearly two years after the Grand Princess had a COVID-19 outbreak that killed seven people and caused more than 100 to test positive.
Recently, Royal Caribbean Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line have had to cancel several itineraries.