The Crown Princess couldn't dock on time Tuesday night in order to get passengers onboard for a voyage to Mexico, due to extra-low tides and silt buildup in the Bay, leaving hundreds of passengers waiting around the drafty cruise terminal at Pier 27.
It was an inconvenience to say the least, but for some elderly cruise passengers, Tuesday night turned into a lengthy ordeal at Pier 27, as their ship was delayed from docking and embarking due to especially low tides and increased silt around the berth. And the delay, which had been previously announced, extended many extra hours into the night.
As NBC Bay Area reports, passengers heading to Mexico aboard the Crown Princess had been notified earlier in the day that their scheduled departure would be delayed until around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. But it sounds like not everyone got the electronic notification — and if it involved downloading an app, you can imagine not all the elderly guests had done this — and they showed up much earlier.
It would be another seven hours, almost, before the ship actually departed, and for hundreds that meant many long hours sitting on folding chairs in the terminal — and as one passenger tweeted, DoorDash wouldn't deliver there and no food was provided.
This is not right @PrincessCruises! My 82-year-old father & family plus thousands of other people are freezing in a drafty warehouse waiting to embark the #CrownPrincess out of #SanFrancisco. There is no food available & water is limited. You are unable to leave unless you want… pic.twitter.com/yi5oy9uiqC— Nicole Sanchez #ShareYou (@nicolemsanchez) December 13, 2023
It seems this was only the experience of a minority of passengers who stayed at Pier 27 — either because they didn't think the delay would go on so long, or because they wanted to be the first aboard. According to a statement by Princess Cruises, 1500 guests were shuttled over to the Hyatt Regency where they were accommodated and fed in a convention hall there, and "Many other guests opted to explore San Francisco."
For their trouble, guests were all given a $25 onboard credit.
The reason for the delay came from the Port of San Francisco, which had informed Princess Cruises that silt buildup, "in conjunction with unusually low tidal levels in San Francisco Bay, resulted in the ship not having the required under keel clearance to dock and embark at its originally scheduled time Tuesday morning."
It's not clear why time estimates were so off, and why passengers were told they could board by 6:30, given the tide schedule. Low tide was at 5:03 p.m. Tuesday, and high tide didn't come until 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.
The ship ultimately departed at 1:15 a.m.
"Although this delay was beyond our control, we do regret the inconvenience it caused," Princess Cruises said in a statement.