Richard Silver has been a big fan of Oceania Cruises, even receiving a loyalty pin as a reward for taking a fifth cruise with the line.
So it was a no brainer which cruise line he’d choose to celebrate his birthday this summer.
But weeks before Oceania’s Sirena was to set sail in Europe in August, Silver said he received a phone call from a cruise company representative.
“They told me ‘you’re banned for life.’ Why am I banned? What did I do?,” Silver questioned.
Rather than receiving an explanation, Silver said he only received his money back for the trip. Despite numerous follow up phone calls and emails over the past few months, Silver said he has yet to hear back from Oceania.
But Silver said he believes he is being punished for speaking out to the media.
“I will bet everything I have it’s because I squealed on them when I was on a previous cruise,” he said.
In December 2014, Silver was on board Oceania’s luxury ship Insignia when a fire broke out in the engine room. A crew member and two contractors were killed. He described the chaotic ordeal as “hell” in an interview with Global News back then and took pictures of the crowds as the ship was being evacuated.
“It was really bad publicity,” Silver said.
Silver also claims he has been banned from all cruises operated by Norwegian Cruise Lines, the parent company of Oceania, as well as NCL’s subsidiary Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
Global News reached out to the cruise company for an explanation, but the company provided a short response.
“We shall not be commenting on this matter,” Tim Rubacky, the head of public relations for Oceania Cruises, wrote in an email.
Upon further inquiry, Rubacky explained over the phone that, “It’s a matter between the line and Mr. Silver. There are hundreds of other cruise ships in the world which I’m certain Mr. Silver would find will meet his vacation expectations. We wish him well.”
Silver has since moved on by planning to book another cruise with a new line that will set sail next year. But nonetheless, he would like some closure.
“If Oceania called and apologized, I wouldn’t go on Oceania.”
For Silver, that ship has sailed.