Just two weeks into Royal Caribbean’s fabled nine-month cruise, TikTok is already anticipating some world-class sea-faring drama. Viewers of what’s now being called #CruiseTok are following every move of the Ultimate World Cruise on the Serenade of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean vessel that set sail from Miami on Dec. 10 for a nine-month expedition taking passengers to over 60 countries, 11 world wonders, and all seven continents. But not without a heavy dose of drama.
At least that’s what users following CruiseTok — with 2.7 billion views and counting — are hoping for. Several followers have pointed out that the Serenade of the Seas is basically a floating small town, where any of the nearly 700 guests can get in anyone else’s business. Cram them together on a ship for the entire gestation period of a human baby, and you’ve got an environment rife for spectacle.
To be clear, this nine-month cruise is not the subject of a new reality TV show, and Andy Cohen is nowhere to be found (at least not yet). But this specific cruise seems to have unlocked the imaginations of TikTok, where users are already dreaming up a binge-worthy Royal Caribbean–sponsored series that’s some mash-up between Love Island and The White Lotus, with a healthy dose of Below Deck. What could go wrong?
Tune In To The Ultimate World Cruise
Certain CruiseTok fanatics are hoping to spill some of what is surely some all-you-can-eat-buffet-style bottomless tea, should it ever boil over. TikToker @nchimad, self-dubbed the “Sea Tea Director,” has already racked up thousands of followers from the dozens of cruise-related videos that now populate their page analyzing everything from the cruise’s dance parties and theme nights to the passengers’ dedicated Facebook group.
@nchimad’s first CruiseTok video, which now has over 3 million views, captures the horror and fascination that many people feel when they think of nine months at sea. Among other things, they ask: “Can you imagine eating cruise ship food for nine months?” Sometimes, you just can’t eat another popcorn shrimp.
Get To Know The “Cast”
The Ultimate World Cruise, with prices starting at nearly $60,000, is one of the longest commercial cruises available anywhere and promises to visit “all four corners of the globe,” according to the cruise website. But CruiseTok seems less interested in the ship’s destinations and more invested in the passengers on board, although some highlights include The Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu, the Pyramids of Giza, The Taj Mahal, and so much more.
Without any big network buy-in, TikTok has taken it upon itself to DIY a reality show, making videos to introduce cruise guests like a cast of characters.
Unsurprisingly, the ship is packed with plenty of influencers and social media professionals who will undoubtedly be racking up enough content to last them a decade. They’ve all been busy populating CruiseTok with exclusive tours of the ship and their rooms, with an emphasis on how they plan to stay organized throughout their trip.
But some cruisers have different reasons for being on board. USA Today reported Angie Linderman, an Oregon-based woman in her mid-30s with a genetic mutation that puts her at a high risk of developing breast, ovarian, and skin cancer, is on board. She recently underwent a double mastectomy and booked the cruise as a way to check off items on her bucket list.
While CruiseTok waits with bated breath for a wave of drama — preferably, it seems, in the form of a “mutiny” or an “overboard” — so far passengers seem to actually be getting along. They’re even leaning into the TV show vibe, like when South African content creator and passenger Amike Oosthuizen posted a reel with about a dozen of her fellow cruisers set to the “Friends” theme song on Dec. 20. Text over the video read: “Introducing the Ultimate Real World Cruise cast!”
Still, those drama-hungry and devoted CruiseTokers on land will be watching closely in case anything fishy does arise.