Grand Princess Cruise Ship Passengers Finally Head Home

The Grand Princess cruise ship pulled into San Francisco Bay on March 9, 2020 carrying at least 21 people who are infected with COVID-19.
Photo credit Matt Bigler/KCBS Radio
By KCBS All News 106.9FM and 740AM

The nightmare is nearly over for thousands who'd been passengers aboard the coronavirus stricken Grand Princess cruise ship, as they prepare to finally head home after two weeks of isolation at Travis Air Force Base.

It’s been a month since Lynn Hamilton, a San Francisco native, left her home in Gold Country for a family vacation aboard the Grand Princess.

From now on, Hamilton said she will never take for granted a hot cup of coffee in the morning, a hot shower or a cloth towel to dry off.

Such simple pleasures vanished as the cruise ship ended up circling off the California Coast in limbo, waiting for somewhere to dock. The ship returned early to the Bay Area after several apparent cases of coronavirus developed.

After docking at the Port of Oakland with the rest of the passengers, Hamilton hunkered down with her husband at Travis Air Force Base waiting out a two week quarantine. 

They will be taken to an undisclosed location on Tuesday to get picked up by family, but Hamilton said she’s a little apprehensive about going from forced containment to a voluntary one.

“I mean, we hear what it’s like in the outside world, but we haven’t experienced it,” Hamilton said. “So you can’t help but be a little anxious about what it’s like.”

Their granddaughter is set to pick them up using their truck so that her and her husband can go straight home from there.

“We don’t want to be around a lot of people,” Hamilton said. “We definitely want to shelter in place, and do what everybody on the outside world is doing, as well, so they can keep that virus somewhat confined.”

She said that at home they will at least have some square footage to walk around and can go out on their patio for fresh air.

Hamilton and her husband are getting graduation-like certificates that prove they are symptom-free and eligible to buy their own groceries.

She said the first thing they’ll do when they get back is to wash all of their laundry again. They were also told to wipe down the inside and outside of their suitcases and set them out in the sun to sanitize.

Other passengers are being taken to San Francisco International Airport, the Sacramento airport, or back to the Port of San Francisco to get their cars.

The ship itself is still officially in quarantine and anchored in the San Francisco Bay.