Sat. Apr 20th, 2024
alert-–-american-couple-left-stranded-by-norwegian-cruises-on-african-island-now-say-they-don’t-want-to-get-back-on-board-after-being-left-behind-–-despite-flying-through-seven-countries-to-catch-up-with-itAlert – American couple left stranded by Norwegian Cruises on African island now say they don’t want to get back on board after being left behind – despite flying through seven countries to catch up with it

The American couple who were stranded in Africa during a Norwegian cruise have travelled thousands of miles to reunite with the ship in Senegal, but are having second thoughts about getting back on board.

Jay and Jill Campbell were among the nine passengers, including seven Americans, who were stranded on the remote island of São Tomé and Príncipe on March 27.

Now the South Carolina couple say they aren’t sure they want to board the ship, after flying through seven countries in a 48-hour period to reach the port in Dakar.

‘After what we witnessed, we truly believe that although there’s a set of rules or policies that the ship may have followed, they followed those rules too rigidly,’ Jill Campbell told USA TODAY.

‘I believe that they really forgot that they are people working in the hospitality industry and that really the safety and the well-being of the customers should be their first priority, and that should be placed first.’

The South Carolina couple who were left in Africa during a Norwegian cruise have travelled thousands of miles to reunite with the ship in Senegal, but are hesitant to get back on board

The South Carolina couple who were left in Africa during a Norwegian cruise have travelled thousands of miles to reunite with the ship in Senegal, but are hesitant to get back on board

The tourists were stranded after they were denied re-entry to their cruise ship off the island of São Tomé and flew across seven countries to reach the ship in Dakar

The tourists were stranded after they were denied re-entry to their cruise ship off the island of São Tomé and flew across seven countries to reach the ship in Dakar

The Campbells say they may not get back on the ship, as 'there was a basic duty of care that they’ve forgotten about'

The Campbells say they may not get back on the ship, as ‘there was a basic duty of care that they’ve forgotten about’

The group had hurried to Banjul, the Gambia on April 1 to catch the Norwegian Dawn at its next stop. However, it was unable to dock due to adverse weather, and they continued on to Senegal.

‘We believe there was a basic duty of care that they’ve forgotten about so it does concern us,’ Jill Campbell said.

The Campbells became the unofficial spokesperson for the stranded passengers. Among them are a man with a heart condition, a paraplegic woman and an expectant mother.

Julie Lenkoff, 80, was also travelling with the group before she was sent home with an AirTag to receive treatment for a stroke she’d suffered during the trip.

A spokesperson for Norwegian Cruise Line told DailyMail.com that the eight remaining guests have been provided authorization to rejoin the ship in Dakar today.

‘Despite the series of unfortunate events outside of our control, we will be reimbursing these eight guests for their travel costs from Banjul, Gambia to Dakar, Senegal,’ the spokesperson said.

The troubling ordeal began when eight of the passengers were on a private tour on São Tomé and Príncipe last Wednesday.

Jay Campbell says the São Tomé coast guard ferried the tour group back to the ship, which was anchored off the island, but the captain ordered them to be taken back to shore as they had missed the the 3 pm ‘all aboard’ time.

Their passports were handed over to local port agents before the tourists were left in the seaside capital city of São Tomé, watching the ship sail away.

The cruise firm reiterated that 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 print communication and posted just before exiting the vessel.’

Nine passengers were stranded on the island of São Tomé and Príncipe on March 27 after failing to meet the 'all aboard' time at 3 pm

The group included seven Americans

Nine passengers, including seven Americans, were stranded on the island of São Tomé and Príncipe on March 27 after failing to meet the ‘all aboard’ time at 3 pm

Among the passengers was 80-year-old Julie Lenkoff, who suffered a stroke and was left in a hospital on the island

Among the passengers was 80-year-old Julie Lenkoff, who suffered a stroke and was left in a hospital on the island

Jill and Jay Campbell claim they traversed six countries to get to Banjul, the Gambia on April 1. However, the ship was unable to dock there due to high tides and they continued onward

Jill and Jay Campbell claim they traversed six countries to get to Banjul, the Gambia on April 1. However, the ship was unable to dock there due to high tides and they continued onward

A spokesperson from Norwegian Cruise Line said the group will be reimbursed  for their travel costs from Banjul, Gambia to the next stop in Dakar, Senegal

A spokesperson from Norwegian Cruise Line said the group will be reimbursed  for their travel costs from Banjul, Gambia to the next stop in Dakar, Senegal

Lenkoff, who was on a different tour, had suffered a stroke the same day. She was hospitalized and also left in São Tomé.

‘I truly believe sometimes we’re put in certain places for a reason, and I believe we were put in this place for the 80-year-old woman that was left alone,’ Jay Campbell told WRAL. ‘God forbid what would have happened to that lady if we were not here.’

According to the spokesperson, the elderly woman had been ‘medically disembarked’ following evaluation by an onboard medical team, ‘who thought it best that she receive further assessment and treatment as needed from a local hospital.’

The couple said she had been left without money or belongings and pointed out that her emergency contact had not been notified.

However, as she was released from the hospital in a ‘coherent state,’ the cruise spokesperson said, ‘our protocol is to contact the guest directly, as we would not have the authority to share any medical details with anyone else without their expressed consent.’

The Campbells connected with Lenkoff’s daughter back in San Francisco and helped coordinate getting her on a flight from São Tomé to Lisbon.

‘We put an AirTag on her mother so that her daughter could keep track of where she is,’ Jill Campbell explained.

The device sends out a signal that can be tracked through an iPhone app to determine where an object is located.

Norwegian confirmed that Lenkoff had landed in Portugal before she was ‘put in the care of airport staff to continue her journey to the United States.’

She has since returned to California, where she was admitted into the Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, according to son-in-law Kurt Gies.

The Campbells claim to have shelled out more than $5,000 to supply the group with food, toiletries and hotel rooms, as they are the only ones with a Visa card

The Campbells claim to have shelled out more than $5,000 to supply the group with food, toiletries and hotel rooms, as they are the only ones with a Visa card

Eight passengers remain after Lenkoff was sent home with an AirTag to reunite with her daughter

One person has a heart condition, another is a paraplegic, and one woman from Delaware is pregnant

Eight passengers remain after Lenkoff was sent home with an AirTag to reunite with her daughter. One person has a heart condition, another is a paraplegic, and one woman from Delaware is pregnant

The passengers were a week into a 21-night cruise ending in Barcelona when they were left in the capital city of São Tomé

 The passengers were a week into a 21-night cruise ending in Barcelona when they were left in the capital city of São Tomé

The Campbells claim to have shelled out more than $5,000 to supply the group with food, toiletries and hotel rooms, as they are the only ones with a debit card. 

At the time they were stranded, the passengers were around a week into a 21-night cruise continuing onward to Barcelona.

Jay Campbell says his wife has been a ‘saint.’

‘I don’t know where the whole group would be without her strength, guidance and compassion for others,’ he said. ‘I’m honored and blessed that I have the smartest woman in the world next to me.’

The couple say they have not been contacted by the cruise line, but Norwegian refuted this claim.

‘We remain in communication with the guests and are providing additional information as it becomes available,’ the spokesperson said.