I'm new to posting here, so I hope you guys don't mind a newbie :) I am slowly becoming a Silversea regular and have done a few voyages on the Muse and Wind and once on the Cloud. A friend who has travelled with me sent me this article (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/silver-cloud-cruise-crew-covid-19-allegations-1.5533900) on the Cloud, written for CBC NEWS. It's heartbreaking if true. I posted it on one Silversea group to find out more, and was completely shut down almost instantly and told it's fake news by Barbara Muckermann (PR / Marketing Director). The comments were disabled immediately so I couldn't ask more questions. Like why would anyone lie about something like this? Why would they risk their jobs for a lie? It made no sense.
I couldn't help feel there was more to it, so I got in touch with a couple of crew members I know already via Facebook to ask some questions.
One was still on a Silversea ship, waiting to be repatriated, and the other had just been repatriated and was on their way home from the Cloud. They both said that the ship crew were gathered together when the article came out, and reminded several times from HR/management on board, that that these 'expedition' crew who had spoken to the press were wrong to do so and were betraying the company, and that they were lying to get superior treatment. They were also told if anyone spoke out any further about anything on board, the whole ship would have their internet cut completely.
But the Cloud crew member said he was close friends with some of the expedition staff and that he had spoken to them about the situation - and that everything they said in the article was true. That they were threatened with no repatriation if they didn't sign a reduced pay, and then a zero pay contract! He also said that he and his friends were also given the same terms - ending in no pay at all towards the end, but they did not question it as they all so desperately wanted to get home and were scared the company would not allow them the flights.
He said it depended on your job position, what you were told and how you were treated. The crew were told because these expedition people complained they are now no longer hireable and will never work for Silversea again. They were all lied to about when they would get home - and were promised they could all leave in Tenerife. But then as they approached Tenerife, Silversea decided instead to combine the three ships (one of which had been infected) and found it was cheaper to take everyone to the UK, and hope to be let in. Apparently crew were told the UK was not doing health checks and so no one would notice that they were combined with an infected ship!!! They were also told there were no flights anyway from Tenerife. But then once this article hit the media, the team who complained were given tickets home... from Tenerife!
Now I know the industry is in a rough place, and there has been some seriously bad press around this pandemic, but I am shocked at Silversea for this. Until now, I loved everything about the company. Their crew is their biggest asset. It is those happy, genuinely kind faces that have kept me coming back and I am sure many of us feel the same. I expect more of a company who depend on the loyalty of their crew to provide such good service. They would be nothing without the crew and let's face it, the sales teams and office staff aren't nearly as amazing as the crew!!! I saw after I posted in the Silversea group that there have been back to back videos on Silversea's Facebook of the Cloud crew "having fun". No other ship, just videos from the Cloud. All expressing how happy and well looked after the crew on the Cloud are. Seems strange it is only that ship producing videos. I suspect this is a way to destroy any rumours and press sniffing around.
I feel so sad that they have been lied to, threatened and their health put at risk like this! What happens if they had the disease on board still, and the ship crews were combined. They will only find out in a week or so when they get sick!!! But I guess by then it won't be the company's problem.
Worse still, they have got away with it now as there is no way to prove any of it happened. Even though the crew know the truth, their jobs have been threatened and they have been told that the people who did speak out will not be rehired. It's just disgusting, really. Inhumane!
I have another cruise pre-booked in the Spring on the Muse and I am seriously considering cancelling. I think the good and not so good operators will be exposed, and it sounds like this may be happening here. Having probed some more (and using the Ship Tracker app), I see the Muse and Explorer (also infected) are at the Panama coastline, where a little googling tells me the borders are shut. What do they plan to do for those crews there?? Will they wait it out? Or will the company try to get them to a place they can be repatriated from like LA or Miami. It's not that far in the grand scheme of things!! I am watching this very closely and feel this will be my decider on whether I can keep my loyalty to Silversea. At the end of the day, these people are human beings and they just be terrified, just like us, for their families and about when they can get home. It makes me feel pretty sick when I think about it :(
I also don't appreciate being told to "stop spreading fake news" and then being cut off so I can't have a voice. Why do they not want these questions asked if they have done nothing wrong?
I'd be interested to hear people's thoughts and if anyone has heard anything more... I hope the remaining crew members get home safely, soon, and that this company are doing everything in their power to get those people home! At the end of the day, that is what matters most.