United States

8 Norwegian Cruise Passengers Were Left Stranded. What If It Was YOU?

If you happen to miss your cruise ship, don't panic! It can happen, as eight Norwegian Cruise Line passengers found out during a stop in São Tomé and Príncipe. See here's what to do.

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A recent incident involving a group of Norwegian Cruise Line passengers left behind during a port stop in Africa has sparked concerns among travellers. The incident, which occurred while the Norwegian Dawn was visiting São Tomé and Príncipe, saw eight guests missing the last tender back to the ship. The passengers, who were on a tour not organised through Norwegian, found themselves stranded when their excursion ran longer than expected.

According to statements provided by two passengers, Jay and Jill Campbell, their tour extended beyond the scheduled time, leading to their delayed return to the ship. Despite numerous attempts to contact Norwegian officials, they were denied boarding by the ship's captain. Even efforts by the island nation's coast guard to transport them to the ship proved futile, with instructions to return to shore.

In response to inquiries about the incident, a spokesperson for Norwegian Cruise Line emphasised the importance of adhering to the published all-aboard time. The spokesperson clarified that while the situation was unfortunate, guests bear the responsibility of ensuring their timely return to the ship. Cruise ships operate on tight schedules while in port, necessitating adherence to departure times to maintain itinerary integrity and ensure passenger safety.

The passengers involved in the incident have since been working to rejoin the cruise at the next available port of call. Norwegian Cruise Line has been coordinating with local authorities to facilitate their return, including addressing visa requirements and logistical arrangements.

What Can You Do In Such Situations?

In such situations, travellers are advised to promptly notify the cruise line and seek assistance from their travel agents, if applicable. Contacting the nearest US embassy may also provide additional support.

Concerns have also arisen regarding financial responsibilities in the event of missed boarding. Generally, travellers are responsible for arranging and covering the costs of reaching the next port of call independently. While travel insurance may offer coverage for certain travel disruptions, missed connections due to excursion delays are typically not included.

In this instance, Norwegian Cruise Line has opted to reimburse the affected passengers for their travel expenses from the point of disembarkation to the next port of call. However, such compensation remains an exception rather than the norm.

To mitigate the risk of being stranded during a port stop, travelers are advised to book excursions through reputable vendors or directly with the cruise line. Ensuring excursion providers guarantee timely returns or arrangements to the next port can help prevent unforeseen delays.

Additionally, travellers should carry essential documents such as passports and have a means of payment readily available. Setting devices to ship time and allowing extra time for return to the ship can further minimise the likelihood of missing boarding deadlines