Silversea Cruises New Payroll System Sparks Concern Among Crew Members

Sep 12, 2023

Silversea Cruises' partnership with Northlane's Salary@Sea Prepaid Card has drawn mixed reactions from the cruise line's crew members, raising concerns about the new payroll system. Crew Center has received messages from crew members expressing their apprehensions regarding the recent changes to their payroll.

Silversea Cruises' payroll division recently introduced the Salary at Sea card, a prepaid card onto which crew members' salaries are deposited on every payday. However, the transition to this "new" payment method has not been without challenges, according to feedback from crew members.

Here are some of the key issues raised by the crew:

1. Registration Challenges: Crew members have reported difficulties registering the new card. While instructions are provided, they have encountered frequent crashes on Northlane's website, making the process less straightforward than anticipated.

2. Spending Freedom: With a physical card in hand, crew members have newfound flexibility to make purchases at various ports. This has raised concerns about potential overspending compared to the traditional method of direct salary deposits into local banks.

3. Transaction Fees: Silversea Cruises' crew members receive their salaries in USD. To access their earnings, they must transfer funds from the Salary at Sea card to their local bank accounts, incurring a transaction fee of 1.5% of the transfer amount. This fee is seen as a significant drawback compared to the previous method of direct deposits via VShip.

4. Delayed Transfers: Crew members have reported delays of 1 to 3 days before they receive funds transferred from the Northlane Salary@Sea Card to their local bank accounts.

5. Unfavorable Exchange Rates: The exchange rates offered through the Salary@Sea Card are perceived as less favorable when compared to VShips, the previous payment provider.

6. Payment Timing: Unlike VShip, where payments were typically received in the first week of the month, some Silversea crew members with the Salary at Sea card have reported not receiving their salaries until the second week of the month.

These concerns have led to unease among a significant portion of Silversea Cruises' crew members. Many prefer the previous payment method through VShips and hope that the Salary@Sea Card remains optional rather than becoming mandatory. The introduction of this new payroll system has added complexities and uncertainties for crew members and their dependents.