Bay Area couple books trip on Grand Princess despite being quarantined on ship last year

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- As California reopens, many of us are thinking about a vacation and this comes as cruise ships are about to make their return to San Francisco.

One Bay Area couple is ready to get back on board, even after being quarantined on the same ship which became the early focus of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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"We're going back on the Grand Princess in December, the same ship," said Maureen James.

James from San Mateo is making some vacation plans on board the very same ship she and her husband Bill were quarantined on in February 2020 due to a massive COVID-19 outbreak.

"We sailed in circles for several days before going to the Port of Oakland then two weeks quarantine at Travis Air Force Base," she added.

Maureen said both she and her husband tested positive for COVID-19 after disembarking the ship but were asymptomatic.

More than a year later, the Grand Princess and other cruise ships are ready to sail again, some from San Francisco's Pier 27.

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The Grand Princess cruise ship was keeping passengers under quarantine in their cabins as it made its way to the Port of Oakland with 21 people on board who tested positive for novel coronavirus.



"We have bookings, we have bookings as robust as pre-pandemic so we will be welcoming cruise visitors," said Port of San Francisco Executive Director Elaine Forbes.

Princess Cruise Lines says ten cruises will sail from San Francisco beginning this October but with strict guidelines.

In a statement, the company said:

"Princess Cruises sailings through 2021 are available for guests who have recieved thier final dose of an approved Covid19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination."

Despite protocols and proof of vaccination, last week two guests aboard the first major cruise since the pandemic began, tested postitive for COVID-19. It happened on board the Celebrity Millennium from St. Maarten.

James says even after her experience she isn't worried about her next trip.

VIDEO: This is what life aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship looked like
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About 15 miles off shore, over 2,000 passengers aboard the Grand Princess Cruise ship are growing weary and some are turning their concerns into melodies.



"We love cruising, it's a nice relaxing vacation not have to pack and unpack. We're scheduled for Dec. 5 and making plans for 2022 as well," James said.

The return of cruise ships and hungry passengers is what restaurants like nearby Pier 23 has been waiting for.

"It means we're getting back to normal, it's going to bring a lot of people and we are looking forward to it," said Pier 23 owner Mac Liebert.
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