Whether it’s first-year college students vlogging sorority Rush week or influencers documenting their Coachella adventures, TikTok users love a behind-the-scenes moment. And with a handful of creators starting to post their experiences on a nine-month-long cruise, the short-form video app has a new obsession.
Welcome to WorldCruiseTok
Over the past week, TikTok users have begun sharing content from the Ultimate World Cruise onboard Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas®.
The trip takes a total of 274 nights and passes through all seven continents. Leaving Miami on December 10, the ship has officially embarked on its journey with the 700 passengers. However, with the itinerary broken up into four segments— the Americas, the Pacific, the Mediterranean, and Europe— only some passengers will be aboard for the entire trip.
With that in mind, the cruise’s cost varies based on the passengers’ chosen segments and rooms, with bookings spanning from approximately $12,000 to $117,000 per person. The cheapest option for all four segments costs nearly $60,000.
While some TikTok users are experiencing extreme FOMO, others are questioning why people would book a 9-month-long cruise— and the discussion is all unfolding under the #WorldCruise hashtag.
At the time of publication, #WorldCruise has accumulated 52.8 million views. Meanwhile, other hashtags like #UltimateWorldCruise and #SerenadeOfTheSeas have amassed a combined 80.7 million views and counting.
As with anything on TikTok, the World Cruise content has spawned a community of dedicated commentary creators— with these users following along with everything going down on the ship.
Though quite a few passengers are capitalising off this viral moment, Pamela has listed five accounts to watch— Brooklyn (@brooklynschwetje), Andrew and Ale Kenney (@aa.kenney), Angie (@angielinderman), Ami (@amike_oosthuizen) and @little_rat_brain.
It’s pretty standard for TikTok users to seek out creators they can connect with as they follow along with their daily lives. Picking a “favourite character” from a viral moment has almost become a tradition— followers of Bama Rush have been doing it every year.
However, one question remains unanswered: What about this nine-month cruise intrigues so many TikTok users?
As Pamela compares the cruise content to a “reality show,” it’s clear that many users are excited to follow along because of the drama that will inevitably ensue. With 700 people confined to a boat in the middle of the ocean for nine months, many accompanied by their family and friends, something big will likely go down. But that is not to say that the creators will publicise it.
“Nine months on a cruise when some are going with friends and family? How are you not going to get bored of them?” Beth of @livingwith.adhd says in a TikTok. “Nine months in a room with them? You are so brave.”
That being said, the prospect of pregnancy seems to be another significant point of interest for many TikTok users.
Several creators following the World Cruise saga have noted that it is possible for a guest to both get pregnant and have the baby during the trip. This has led many viewers to question whether the cruise has adequate health facilities on board.
“What if you get pregnant on the ship?” TikTok user @erinraii questions. “There are doctors on board, but I doubt they are able to do like ultrasounds or deliver a baby…”
“If you’re going to be reckless, you better have some travel insurance…[there is] no guarantee that you will get your money back,” she adds. “But if you are going to be reckless, wait towards the middle of the trip…you gotta be careful y’all.”
Replying to @Ly Love #greenscreen what happwns when you get pregnant on a cruise ship? Royal Caribbean Ultimate World Cruise recently set sail to travel around the world for 9 months! #pregnancy #cruisetok #royalcaribbean #fyp #foryou #seatea #ultimateworldcruise♬ Carti Wave Beat – Staysee
Beyond the potential drama and scandal, it’s safe to assume that some TikTok users are following along for the escapism of it all. As many young people continue to recover from the pandemic, following creators as they journey around the world serves as a virtual vacation— a way for “travel-starved [TikTok users] to make up for lost time.”
While embarking on a world cruise might not appeal to everyone, watching others as they begin a once-in-a-lifetime experience (and hopefully enjoy themselves) is the type of feel-good content that TikTok needs.