For passengers on the Costa Deliziosa, the last few weeks of their round-the-world cruise must have seemed like a replay of the legendary ship doomed to sail forever and never make port. But yesterday, in Barcelona, the epic journey came to an end.
Their 15-week itinerary, which started in Venice early in January took a strange turn after visiting Australia in mid-March. After that, the ship only stopped for refueling and supplies, leaving passengers bereft of port calls, but protected in what became essentially a virus-free bubble, unlike other ships that became hotbeds of infection.
One passenger was taken from the ship last week in Sicily when he fell ill, but it was determined that his illness was not Covid-19. Several hundred passengers, including 168 Spaniards left the ship in Barcelona; the rest of the 1800+ travelers will debark in Genoa later in the week. The original plan was an April 26 arrival in Venice. France had denied permission for several hundred French passengers to be dropped off in Marseille, despite the health clearance.
Aside from the lack of opportunities to leave the ship, life onboard continued normal except for a brief period when passengers were confined to quarters until the ill passenger was cleared. The ship is owned by Italy-based Costa Crociere, owned by Carnival Corp.