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Cruise ship docks in San Diego one day after CDC's new guidance

Posted at 12:20 PM, Dec 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-31 15:20:08-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – One day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asked that the public avoid cruises for the time being due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, another cruise ship arrived in San Diego.

The CDC on Thursday suggested travelers stay off cruise ships regardless of vaccine status, with the agency’s new guidance coming as the highly-contagious omicron variant spreads across the country, leading some hospital systems to become overtaxed with patients.

"The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads easily between people in close quarters on board ships, and the chance of getting COVID-19 on cruise ships is very high, even if you are fully vaccinated and have received a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose," the CDC's update said.

On Friday, the Ruby Princess -- a Princess Cruises ship -- docked at the Embarcadero for the day after arriving from the Bay Area. Passengers were allowed to disembark.

Cruise passenger Dale McNamara told ABC 10News he and his wife have been trying to take a cruise for a couple of years, but they were unable to because of the pandemic. McNamara said when this cruise became available, he and his wife got on board.

McNamara said he and his wife are fully vaccinated and both have received booster shots. Like the rest of the passengers, the McNamaras had to take a COVID-19 test before boarding what seemed like an empty ship.

“What’s weird about this cruise, instead of it being a full ship at 3,400 passengers, there are like 700 passengers,” McNamara said.

The Ruby Princess’ arrival comes a few days after a Holland America ship pulled into San Diego. That ship was supposed to make a final stop in Puerto Vallarta but was turned away after a COVID outbreak on the ship. Officials say 21 crew members tested positive, but all were mild cases.