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Americans stranded by Norwegian Cruise Line after island excursion, left without money, vital meds: report

Americans stranded by Norwegian Cruise Line after island excursion, left without money, vital meds: report

Six American cruise passengers, including a pregnant woman, and two Australians were stranded on an African island during a vacation getaway, according to reports. 

And it's only gotten worse. 

A South Carolina couple – Jill and Jay Campbell – said Norwegian Cruise Line left the group on the island of São Tomé, a Central African island nearly 6,000 miles from their home, without their belongings, and allegedly refused to let them board, despite the Coast Guard's help. 

They worked with the U.S. Embassy in Angola and planned to fly to the Gambia in West Africa to meet them at the next port, but the ship wasn't able to dock because of low tides, according to ABC 15 News, so the group remains in scramble mode. 

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Norwegian Cruise Line didn't immediately respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment.

The cruise line said in a statement to news outlets over the weekend that the passengers were left on the island "on their own or with a private tour" and missed the all-aboard time.

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The Campbells, who live in Garden City, South Carolina, said they were eight days into a 21-day cruise and touring the beautiful tourist island when there was "an issue" and the tour guide "didn't get us back" to the cruise in time on Friday.

Despite their tardiness, the cruise was still anchored on the island when they returned and the island's Coast Guard took them on a boat to the ship, but the captain refused to let the group board, WRAL.com reported. 

The U.S. couple said they're with some elderly passengers, including one passenger with a heart condition who's been without his medicine for five days, a paraplegic and a pregnant woman from Delaware, according to Fox Carolina. 

"We were waiting for the tender boats to come back and get us because our boat was anchored off the harbor, but they didn’t come back to get us. So, we’re stranded here," Jay Campbell told Local 4 KSNB Hastings.

It seemed like the situation was going to be rectified by Sunday, but the cruise wasn't able to dock at the meetup point in the Gambia and now they're headed to a port in Senegal, where the cruise is scheduled to dock on Tuesday, ABC 15 reported. 

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They're going through the logistics of that headache. 

"What we looked at was some type of van transportation for eight people, the quadriplegic woman included, driving from here," Jay Campbell told ABC 15 News. "We have to cross the ferry to get into Senegal. 

"We just learned from the gentleman that the ferry hadn’t been working, but he said no problem, if the ferry is not working we will get another little boat and then pick up a car on the other side. And then once we get on the other side of Senegal, it’s another four-hour drive."

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The cruise line responded to the accusations on Friday – before the latest docking issue in the Gambia – saying it's "a very unfortunate situation" in a statement to the local South Carolina Fox outlet. 

"Guests are responsible for ensuring they return to the ship at the published time, which is communicated broadly over the ship’s intercom, in the daily communication and posted just before exiting the vessel," a spokesperson for the cruise line said.

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But many of the passengers were separated from their belongings that are still in their cabins, including money, medicine, vaccination certifications required by immigration, among other important items, according to Fox Carolina. 

"We have never had an experience like this before," Jill Campbell told WRAL News. 

The cruise line released this statement to the media over the weekend. 

"While this is a very unfortunate situation, guests are responsible for ensuring they return to the ship at the published time, which is communicated broadly over the ship’s intercom, in the daily communication and posted just before exiting the vessel.

"Guests are responsible for any necessary travel costs to rejoin the ship at the next available port of call. When the guests did not return to the vessel at the all-aboard time, their passports were delivered to the local port agents to retrieve when they returned to the port.

"Our team has been working closely with the local authorities to understand the requirements and necessary visas needed if the guests were to rejoin the ship at the next available port of call. We are in communication with the guests and providing additional information as it becomes available."

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