The ship returned from Port Canaveral to its New York homeport at 8 a.m. carrying no passengers -- only crew and maritime inspectors. "As we expected, " Princess spokeswoman Julie Benson tells us, "the Coast Guard granted the ship clearance to sail." The cause of the list, which caused superficial interior damage and injured 240 passengers and crew, is still being investigated.
Several Cruise Critic members are among those who boarded yesterday, including sbcs5390 who posted this message on our Princess forum from his balcony: "We are about to set sail, having just finished the muster drill. All is well on the Crown, there are very few visible signs of damage. Some carpet appears to be a little musty and there are things like new flowerpots. There are still tables and chairs in the Piazza area. I saw the International Cafe giving out cookies from their oven. They delivered a brand-new TV to our cabin after we arrived -- we got here very early."
Member hill6 e-mailed us from the ship with her thoughts: "I wanted to let you know that embarkation went smoothly with all the staff very personable and friendly. For the most part the ship is in good condition. There are three broken display cases in the middle of one of the shops. In another shop the broken glass on the watch cases has been replaced with Plexiglas. One of the bars has some tables that the marble tops were broken. There is also one section of carpeting up on the Lido Deck that looked like it had shrunk from recently being wet ... The passengers seem very upbeat. Even with the sail away delayed by the bad weather it was lively up on deck.
"We heard that there was over a 20 percent cancellation rate. The ship is carrying just over 2,700 including children. You can notice the difference in the amount of folks. Embarkation took 20 minutes from the time we entered the terminal till we were in our cabin and we arrived just before noon."
This cruise was originally scheduled to depart on Thursday, July 20, but the ship was delayed two days in Port Canaveral after the incident to allow for an inspection of the ship, interior repairs and disembarkation of passengers. Those sailing this shortened voyage will receive a 50 percent refund of their cruise fare; guests also had the option to cancel with no penalty.