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Don't be surprised if you get left behind when you're late back, says TikToker on the cruise that left 8 passengers stranded

Pete Syme   

Don't be surprised if you get left behind when you're late back, says TikToker on the cruise that left 8 passengers stranded
  • Eight passengers were left stranded on São Tomé and Príncipe after missing a cruise ship's boarding deadline.
  • The passengers took six days to rejoin the Norwegian Dawn cruise.

A fellow passenger on the cruise that left eight people stranded on an African island says it's a good example of why you should be on time.

After missing the boarding deadline, the eight people were stuck in São Tomé and Príncipe, an island nation of some 220,000 people off West Africa.

It took them six days to get back on the Norwegian Dawn cruise ship, as they missed a chance to re-embark in Gambia before finally getting on board in Senegal.

In a Wednesday TikTok video, Gracie O'Connor, who said she is a fellow passenger on the ship — though BI could not independently verify this — gave her thoughts on the incident.

O'Connor explained that São Tomé was the cruise's only tender port. That means the vessel is too large for passengers to step off onto the dock, so small tender boats are needed to reach land.

"You know, if you have to get on one of those lifeboats to get back on the ship, you better be there before the last tender," O'Connor said, adding that this was at 3 p.m.

"If you've ever cruised before, if you've ever gone to ports, you know you don't really want to be on that last tender out, so you should've already prepped to be there way before that 3 p.m.," she added. "At least by 30 minutes or an hour."

@gracieoconnnor

Replying to @bigfoot8835 what are your thoughts on this?? #cruisetok #cruisevlog #africacruise #cruisenorwegian

♬ original sound - Gracie O’Connor

O'Connor has been posting TikTok videos of her time on board the cruise over the last two weeks for her 82,000 TikTok followers.

She explained that cruise lines will hold the ship for passengers on an excursion organized by the company. But because the stranded eight went on a trip with an external firm, they should've made better plans to return.

O'Connor said she made it back to ship two hours before the time of the last tender boat, while the stranded group "didn't make it any time close to the last tender," she said.

The group must have been "seriously late" because the ship had time to send out another boat to drop off their passports, she added.

Jill Campbell, one of the stranded passengers, told NBC News she believed Norwegian Cruise Line had fallen short in a '"basic duty of care." But O'Connor thinks the cruise line doesn't deserve all the criticism.

The cruise operator previously faced criticism for removing Antarctica from a ship's itinerary after everyone had boarded. But the recent stranding is not as unique as that situation, since passengers are forewarned about the boarding deadlines.



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