The Ultimate Homeless Shelter New York City Looking At Retired Cruise Ships As Shelters The Pacific Princess (aka: The Love Boat) left service in October. Could it be a new homeless shelter? A stateroom on the Pacific Princess. Nov 20, 2002 7:46 am US/Eastern (CBS) (NEW YORK) New York City officials will fly to the Bahamas on Wednesday for a "fact-finding mission" to determine whether retired cruise ships could be used to house the growing number of homeless people, a spokesman for the Department of Homeless Services said. "They will be looking at a couple of retired cruise ships," said the spokesman, Jim Anderson. "They will be questioning whether they would be safe and appropriate shelter space for homeless clients." The officials, including Linda Gibbs, the city's commissioner of homeless services, are being flown to the Bahamas on the mayor's private jet. The trip is scheduled to last for a few hours. Gibbs said the officials would be evaluating the cost-effectiveness of using cruise ships to accommodate homeless people, adding that all options must be explored. "We can't reject any idea that's offered," Gibbs said on Tuesday night. "I think we have to be unafraid to think creatively and to explore options that maybe haven't been looked at in the past." Homelessness in New York City is at an all-time high, with 36,000 people staying in shelters each night, according to the Coalition for the Homeless. The city is bound by law to provide free temporary shelter to those who say they have no place to live. City officials are expected to conduct an annual census of homeless people this winter.