Close to midnight, as the ship was sailing through the Bahamas en route to St Maarten, the ship's officers picked up a distress call from a trimaran that had lost navigational power and was drifting, with three French nationals on board.
Ruby Princess changed course and put down a lifeboat, which picked up the three sailors. Hundreds of passengers and crew witnessed the rescue, which was recorded by passenger Anton Anderssen from Michigan (with thanks to cruise blogger Captain Greybeard for alerting us to this video).
A spokeswoman for Princess Cruises in the U.K. told Cruise Critic that none of the three had required medical attention, and that the U.S. Coastguard and Bahamian authorities had been notified. Ruby Princess arrived in St Maarten on schedule.
Here's how the rescue unfolded:
--by Sue Bryant, Cruise Critic Contributing Editor