So, if you are on tik tok, you have likely been seeing endless videos about the The Royal Caribbean Ultimate World Cruise. This is the stuff of nightmares for me – a NINE MONTH world cruise. I don’t about you but I don’t know if I could last for two weeks on a cruise, eating the same food, seeing the same people, watching the same entertainment, trapped in my little stateroom. Maybe a week, but, NINE MONTHS?
I love boating but there is no way I could do it but I need to replace doom scrolling with something fun. There are already allegations of a class system emerging, swinging rumours, a flood, some covid, allegations of racism, and outrage at the cramped quarters.
Taking place on the Serenade of the Seas ship, this cruise has all the makings of a reality show. We have a colourful cast of cruisers, a well-defined class system, ripe for resentment and drama. People are vlogging from the boat as well as other tik tokkers providing running commentary and links. They are “unlocking” new characters, creating cruise bingo cards with spots for “crew sleeping guest” and “someone overboard”. It’s like watching Love Island unfold in real time.
Serenade of the Seas is steadily attracting a lot of social media attention; the hashtag #UltimateWorldCruise has over 155 million views, and #WorldCruise has over 128.9 million. Although many things go viral on the app, this one is now spilling over into the media and it looks like it could get juicy. So, let’s dive in:
The 20 year old boat, Seranade of the Seas set off for a 274 day cruise. Originally, people could only sign up for the full 9 months, visiting over 60 countries. The full cruise cost between 60K for an interior cabin to over 100K for a suite with a balcony and included anything you could think of, including laundry service, and business class airfare to and from the ship from your home.
As you can see, the prices for the individual segments were much cheaper. Many people had originally wanted only part of the itinerary but were forced to book the whole shebang.
When it became clear that this was NOT going to come close to selling out, they decided to break the cruise up into 4 parts. This pissed off some of the original cruisers who refunded their trips and bought the four segments, separately, hoping to save some money. Turns out that they then lost many of the perks that they had as full cruisers. They were demoted from top their and were no longer considered full-timers. Some people dispute this. Regardless, drama ensued.
Sea Tea Director, @nchimad is one of my favourite people who have made it their mission to report on the shenanigans. She is spilling tea all over the place, she is fun to listen to and seems to have inside sources. Following her is a great start to get your feet wet and, more importantly, get the lay of the land.
The Cruise Characters
So, far we have a beautiful black woman, Brandee Lake, travelling with her sister and her parents who was asked, multiple times, if she works on the boat. Before she even got ON the boat. Gonna be a long 9 months for Brandee.
We have the Pinnacle couple – Pinnacle is the highest level of insane cruisers who have attained at least 700 days on a Caribbean cruise. Seriously. They are treated like royalty and Adita and her husband may, or may not be, swingers. Maybe they just like pineapples.
Then there is the wholeome “cruise mom and dad” who go by the handle of Spending Our Kids Money. They were the first to report that the cruise is running out of wine! Enough said.
I love this guy. Anthony Antoine gives off chill, lovely vibes and I don’t think he will get caught up in any drama, but he might step up to mediate at some point. That is my hope.
There is an unamed single man who was in the Facebook group, having dinner with his new friends nightly etc. Until that fateful night when he revealed he was only on the first leg of the cruise. It seems he was promptly kicked out of the Facebook group and when he went to join them for dinner, they had replaced him with another new, full-itinery friend lol!
How Do I Get Started?
The various tik tokers who have appointed themselves commentators are the people to follow first. Nothing is going to get past these people and it’s easier than following individual passengers. I’m also quite fond of this woman’ commentary. Here she is sharing a video from the first influencer to be asked to join the cruise as a sponsored guest by a brand.
So, if you love Below Decks, The Housewives series, Survivor and Big Brother, this real-life show, will be a must-watch.