Stranded Norwegian Cruise Lines passengers missed ship ‘by more than an hour,’ company reveals

Stranded Norwegian Cruise Lines passengers missed ship ‘by more than an hour,’ company reveals


The six American and two Australian passengers who were stranded on an African island when a Norwegian Cruise Line ship sailed off without them have returned to the vessel to continue their African voyage, as the cruise line revealed that the group caused their travel headaches over the past few days by missing their departure time by over an hour.

The eight passengers reboarded the ship making a 20-day journey across Africa on Tuesday morning in Dakar, Senegal, a spokesperson for Norwegian confirmed to The Post.

Kurt Gies, the son-in-law of an elderly woman who was also left behind by the ship after she suffered a stroke on a tour, also said he received a text message from one of the group members, Jill Campbell, saying she and her husband reboarded the ship but have not yet spoken with anyone from guest services or Norwegian Cruise Line.

Jill and Jay Campbell Jill and Jay Campbell

“The only thing we have received so far is [a] small note from the food and beverage director with six little treats left in our state room,” Gies said she texted him.

The crew had to race through seven different countries in 48 hours to meet the ship in Senegal on Tuesday.

But by the time South Carolina couple Jill and Jay Campbell arrived in the country, they said, they weren’t even sure whether they even wanted to get back on the ship.

“After what we witnessed, we truly believe there is a set of rules or policies that the ship may have followed — they followed those rules too rigidly,” Jill Campbell told the “Today” show.

“I really feel that they forgot they are people working in the hospitality industry and that really the safety and well-being of their customers should be their first priority,” she added, claiming the crew of the ship had a “basic duty of care that they had forgotten about.”

The eight passengers — including a pregnant woman and an elderly man with a heart condition — claimed they were left behind with no money and without vital medications after the Norwegian Dawn left São Tomé without them.

The Campbells claimed the ship was still anchored off the coast of the Central African island when they showed up on Friday, but the skipper refused to let them board.

A passenger is kept from boarding the ship. ABC News 4
One elderly passenger who was abandoned. Jill and Jay Campbell
Some of the stranded passengers. Jill and Jay Campbell

A spokesperson for Norwegian Cruise Line, however, said the group had missed the all-aboard time by more than an hour after taking a private tour of the island.

“When they missed the all-aboard time of 3 p.m. by more than an hour, their passports were left with the local port agent for retrieval when they returned to the port from their private tour (not organized by us), per the protocol,” the spokesperson said.

The Campbells have acknowledged there was “an issue” on their tour of the island, and that the guide “didn’t get us back” to the ship in time on Friday.

“We were like, ‘Our time is getting really short,’ and they were like’ ‘No problem, we can get you back within an hour,’” Jay said, adding that the tour operator contacted the captain to let them know about the delay.

Eight cruise ship passengers were left stranded on an African island. AP

In its statement, the company said that “once the guests did not make it back to the ship at the previously communicated all aboard time, we worked with them and the local port agent to assist with obtaining the necessary visas for them to rejoin the ship at the next available port.”

Attorney James Diamond from TWC Lawyers said it is a “hard and fast rule” that a ship can leave once a final call has been made.

“They pay a lot of money for docking fees, and renting out the space,” he told ”Seven’s Sunrise.”

“They have times that they have to leave, those times are published and unfortunately, I know it’s morally incorrect, but they do have the right to leave,” he said.

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