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Twist in the plight of stranded cruise passengers

The tourists who were at the center of a cruise ship nightmare when they were marooned on an African island without their belongings said they were “considering” not boarding the ship again despite crossing seven countries to to get there.

The group has now made its way by plane, ferry and car to Senegal, about 3,500 kilometers from São Tomé and Príncipe, where the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) ship left without them last Wednesday after they were late for the ship had returned.

“We believe it was a basic duty of care that they forgot,” said Jill Campbell, one of eight tourists, including two Australians, who were stranded when the Norwegian dawn sailed away, taking most of her possessions with her.

“Although there are a number of rules, they followed them too strictly,” she said on American television on Tuesday morning (US time).

Woman gets $1.5k worth of drinks on cruise for $800

The nautical nightmare began last Wednesday when the Norwegian dawn docked in São Tomé and Príncipe, an island nation of 220,000 people off the west coast of Africa in the Gulf of Guinea.

Jill and Jay Campbell, along with the two Australians and four other travelers, took a private tour of the island.

But despite the tour guide’s request to ensure they were back in port by 3 p.m., when the captain announced that embarkation would end, the group arrived late.

The tour guide contacted the ship and asked it to wait for the eight passengers – but to no avail.

Although the Norwegian Dawn While the ship was still at anchor and the São Tomé Coast Guard brought the group to the ship in tender boats, they were still denied boarding.

US-based shipping company Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) said it was a “very regrettable incident” but defended its actions because the passengers were late getting back on board.

NCL’s Asia Pacific division has not responded to’s questions about the welfare of the Australians who were also exposed.

While NCL dropped off passengers’ passports at the dock, the group claimed that all other personal items, including bank cards and medicines, were kept on the ship

It is said that one of the group had a heart condition and had no access to his pills.

The tourists, including a paraplegic person, spent a week trying to organize onward travel to the ship’s next port of call in order to get back on board.

They managed to reach Banjul in Gambia in West Africa, but the ship was unable to dock. Therefore, the passengers then had to travel by ferry and overland to neighboring Senegal.

The Campbells, from South Carolina, were the only people who had their bank cards and more than a few dollars with them. They said they spent $7,500 on room and board for their castaways.

Not allowed to board again

Jay Campbell told US broadcaster NBC Today’s show on Tuesday that the people of São Tomé and Príncipe were “very kind and hospitable” and took them to hotels and travel agencies.

Still, it was a challenging experience, he said.

“It is a very, very difficult process. You’re dealing with multiple languages ​​and different currencies and you have to find someone who will even accept dollars,” Mr Campbell said.

“I think we flew through six countries yesterday to get to The Gambia.”

The group managed to overtake them Norwegian dawn and arrived in Dakar, the capital of Senegal, on Monday evening before arriving.

NCL has now stated that it has decided to allow passengers back on the ship.

But Ms Campbell said she wasn’t sure she wanted to, although there was a possibility of continuing the cruise.

“We’re debating whether or not to board the ship,” she told NBC.

“We strongly believe that although the ship follows a set of rules or guidelines, it follows those rules too strictly.

“They have truly forgotten that these are people who work in the hospitality industry and that the safety and well-being of their customers should come first.

“It was a basic duty of care that they forgot.

“It worries us,” Ms Campbell said.

In a statement yesterday, NCL said it was “in communication with guests” and providing them with “additional information.”

“If guests did not return to the ship on time, their passports were handed over to local port agents to collect upon their return to port.

“Although this is a very unfortunate situation, guests are responsible for ensuring they return to the ship at the published time. This will be generally communicated in daily communications via the ship’s intercom system and announced shortly before departure from the ship,” NCL said in a statement.

The company said it was “working closely with local authorities” to determine how guests could get back on board the ship, including any required visas.

“Guests are responsible for all necessary travel expenses to reboard the ship at the next available port of call.”

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