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Cruise Nightmare: Aussie Couple Among Eight Left Behind in Africa

Eight passengers, including two Australians, are fuming after a major cruise line allegedly abandoned them on an African island. Their crime? Running a bit late on a shore excursion.

The disgruntled vacationers, who include a pregnant woman, a person with a heart condition, and someone who is paraplegic, are now on a frantic chase across Africa to catch up to the cruise ship.

The ordeal began last Wednesday on the Norwegian Dawn, docked at São Tomé and Príncipe, an island nation off the west coast of Africa. Passengers, including the two Australians and US couple Jill and Jay Campbell, disembarked for day trips.

The Campbells alerted their tour guides that they needed to be back by 3 pm, but the tour ran long. The guides assured them they’d be back in plenty of time, but upon returning to port, the Norwegian Dawn had sailed away.

Despite pleas from the harbor master and the passengers themselves, the captain refused to let them board. The group was then left stranded without their credit cards, medication, or even some belongings.

The situation worsened when they encountered another abandoned passenger, an 80-year-old woman who’d been hospitalized after a separate incident. According to the Campbells, NCL never contacted her emergency contact and left her without her belongings.

With help from the US Embassy, the elderly woman was flown out, while the remaining passengers, including the Australians, embarked on a 15-hour journey to The Gambia, hoping to board the ship at its next stop.

Unfortunately, due to low tide, the Norwegian Dawn couldn’t dock, leaving the group stranded yet again, now 3,000 kilometers away from their original departure point.

The Campbells claim NCL hasn’t contacted them despite the ordeal. The cruise line maintains they are “in communication” and blames the passengers for missing the designated boarding time. NCL says they’re “working” on how the passengers can rejoin the ship, but the passengers are on the hook for any travel costs.


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