Upon my return from a 12-day cruise aboard a new expedition ship, the Seabourn Venture, the first questions from family and friends weren’t about the vessel or the sightseeing or the food or the people. They all wanted to know what it was like to have Covid on a cruise ship. Fortunately, because I contracted it early in my voyage and didn’t get very sick, I could tell them in all honesty: Not bad!
Since I had been vaccinated (again) just three weeks prior to boarding, I felt unperturbed as our driver coughed and coughed all the way from our hotel to the port for embarkation. In fact, I didn’t think about it once — until three days later.
That’s when I first felt the niggle in my throat, which I misattributed to the dust in Lima, Peru, and the arid Paracas National Reserve. Confident that it was allergies and certain the Covid test would be negative, I went to the infirmary for nasal spray — such naïveté! A maskless nurse swabbed my nose, and within minutes her visage turned from “happy to see you” to “quite alarmed to see you — and so close!” Stepping backward from me, she said, “Ohhh, noooo… let me get a mask.” After two years of taking precautions, it had happened: The virus had finally nabbed me, far from home, aboard an expedition ship off the coast of South America.