Couple: ‘Worst Experience of Our Lives’

( – Although being a senior does not always mean spending one’s golden years happily, an Australian couple shared their extremely upsetting experience after a Norwegian Cruise Lines ship abandoned them on an African island.

Doug and Violeta Sanders called the trip “the worst experience of our lives.”

According to a Sky News report, the couple said trouble began when a private tour they embarked on during a stop at São Tomé Island ran over schedule which caused them to miss the ship’s departure.

Violeta expressed their distress, stating, “It’s been the worst experience of our lives to be abandoned like that in a strange country, can’t speak the language — it’s Portuguese and African.”

She also noted their financial dilemma mentioning that they did not have money and their credit cards were not accepted. The couple, along with six other passengers, were left behind as the ship sailed away.

Despite seeking help from the U.S. Embassy in Angola and attempting to catch up with the ship in Gambia they faced further delays when the ship could not dock due to low tide and proceeded to Senegal.

A spokesperson for Norwegian Cruise Line clarified that the passengers were on a private tour not organized that the company did not organize and emphasized that they were not responsible for such arrangements.

Representing the cruise line, James Diamond explained the company’s position and stated that due to operational necessities, the ship has to depart once the final call has been made.

Sky News also reported that the abandoned passengers, including Americans Jill and Jay Campbell, endured a frantic journey through seven different countries in 48 hours to reunite with the ship in Dakar, Senegal.

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