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San Francisco festivities mark Ruby Princess maiden call

Jake Tomlinson
Port of San Francisco maritime director Peter Dailey with Ruby Princess Capt. Giuseppe Romano
Princess Cruises hosted a plaque exchange ceremony on board Ruby Princess to mark the ship's maiden call at the Port of San Francisco. The 114,000gt vessel was alongside at the James R. Herman Cruise Terminal at Pier 27 from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday.

Ruby Princess officials included Commodore Giuseppe Romano, senior captain, who first visited San Francisco in 1977 with Sitmar Cruises; staff captain Michele Bartolomei, cruise director Billy Hygate and customer service director Paolo Rellini.

Present from US Coast Guard Sector San Francisco were Capt. Gregory Stump, commander, and Cdr. Matt Thompson, Response Department head. Port of San Francisco officials included Peter Dailey, maritime director; marketing managers Michael Nerney and Gerry Roybal, and marketing research specialist Denise Turner.

The Marine Exchange of San Francisco Bay Region was represented by Capt. Lynn Korwatch, executive director, and Christopher Hicks, director of information technology.

A number of volunteer cruise ship greeters were also on hand.

Ruby Princess called as part of a seven-night California coastal voyage. The ship arrived from Los Angeles and continued on to Santa Barbara.

On April 4, Ruby Princess will sail from Los Angeles to Hawaii, then to Mexico, and finally up the Pacific Coast to begin weekly cruises from Seattle to Alaska’s Inside Passage, from May 3 to Sept. 13.

Princess is currently the Port of San Francisco's largest cruise customer. Scheduled to call in coming days are regular visitors Star Princess (Sunday) and Crown Princess (Monday). Grand Princess, Coral Princess and Golden Princess are also booked this year when 82 cruise calls and a record 300,000 passengers are forecast.

Other lines with ships scheduled to visit in 2015 include P&O Cruises, Cunard, Norwegian, Silversea, Costa, Oceania, Regent, Disney, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, NYK, Ponant and Holland America.