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A couple from South Carolina find themselves marooned on an island off the coast of Africa after being denied re-entry onto their cruise ship. Jill and Jay Campbell embarked on the Norwegian Dawn in Cape Town, South Africa, for a journey around the continent. During a private tour on São Tome and Principe, a small island off western Africa, they were delayed in rejoining the ship. Despite the tour operator informing the captain of their delay, when the São Tome coast guard returned the group to the port, the ship had left. Stranded in São Tome’s seaside capital alongside seven other passengers, including five Americans, the Campbells watched helplessly as the ship sailed away.

Jill and Jay Campbell were stranded on São Tome and Principe, an island off western Africa, after their cruise line sailed off without them

Jill and Jay Campbell found themselves marooned on São Tome and Principe, an island off the western coast of Africa, when their cruise ship departed without them.

The Campbells (left) are among a group of nine passengers who were denied re-entry on the ship and left behind

The Campbells (pictured left) are part of a group of nine passengers who were refused re-entry onto the ship and subsequently abandoned.

The group is comprised of seven Americans and two Australians, including four elderly passengersOne person has a heart condition, another is a paraplegic, and one woman from Delaware is pregnant

The group consists of seven Americans and two Australians, including four elderly passengers. Among them, one individual suffers from a heart condition, another is a paraplegic, and a pregnant woman from Delaware is also present.

another is a paraplegic, and one woman from Delaware is pregnant

The group comprises seven Americans and two Australians, with four of them being elderly. One passenger has a heart condition, another is a paraplegic, and a woman from Delaware is pregnant.

According to Jay Campbell, speaking to WRAL, “The Harbor Master tried to call the ship, but the captain refused the call. We sent emails to Norwegian Cruise Line, the NCL customer service emergency number, and they said the only way for us to get in touch with the ship is to send them emails, and they’re not responding to our emails.”

Among those stranded is an 80-year-old woman who suffered a concussion and partial loss of vision during a previous cruise line tour.

The Campbells, currently 5,960 miles away from home, stated that the woman was abandoned at a local hospital without any money or belongings, and her emergency contact was never notified by the cruise line.

A spokesperson from Norwegian Cruise Line explained that the group was denied re-entry after missing the 'all aboard' time of 3 pm local time

A representative from Norwegian Cruise Line clarified that the group was refused re-entry due to missing the ‘all aboard’ time of 3 pm local time.

One woman attempts to get on to the boat, as she is held back by officials

An official restrains a woman attempting to board the boat.

‘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 said. ‘God forbid what would have happened to that lady if we were not here.’

The South Carolina couple 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, they were just over a week into a 21-night cruise continuing onward to Barcelona.

Throughout the troubling ordeal, 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.’

With assistance from the U.S. Embassy in Angola, the group is expected to fly to Gambia on Sunday. However, they they can only re-join the cruise if Norwegian approves their request.

‘We’re trying to get written permission from the cruise line to re-board,’ Jill Campbell explained.

Despite numerous attempts to reach the cruise line, the stranded travelers have gotten no response.

In a statement to media outlets, a spokesperson from Norwegian Cruise Line said the guests missed the last tender back to the vessel on March 27 and failed to meet the ‘all aboard’ time of 3pm local time.

Jay Campbell praised his wife for her 'strength, guidance and compassion for others' throughout the distressing ordeal

Jay Campbell commended his wife for her resilience, leadership, and empathy towards others during the challenging ordeal.

The group of stranded vacationers pose for a selfie amid their troubles in Africa

Amid their trials in Africa, the group of stranded vacationers pauses to capture a selfie.

The South Carolina couple have spent more than $5,000 on hotels, food and toiletries for the groupThey are expected to catch a flight to Gambia on Sunday

The couple from South Carolina has expended over $5,000 on accommodations, meals, and essentials for the group. They are scheduled to board a flight to Gambia on Sunday.

The group has tried to make contact with Norwegian Cruise Line, to no avail

The group has attempted to establish communication with Norwegian Cruise Line without success.

The statement emphasized that while the situation is regrettable, guests are responsible for adhering to the published return time, communicated through various channels including the ship’s intercom and daily announcements. It clarified that guests are accountable for any travel expenses incurred to rejoin the ship at the next port of call.

Furthermore, the statement mentioned that when the guests failed to return to the vessel at the designated time, their passports were left with local port agents for retrieval upon their return. The cruise line’s team has been collaborating with local authorities to ascertain the necessary requirements and visas for the guests to rejoin the ship at the next available port.

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