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Why the Internet is obsessed with 9-month world cruise on Royal Caribbean cruise ship

23 Dec 2023
Matt Hochberg

It's no secret that Royal Caribbean has had its first world cruise planned for over a year, but social media took notice when the sailing began this week.

Serenade of the Seas

Royal Caribbean's Serenade of the Seas departed Miami to begin a 9-month Ultimate World Cruise on December 10, and TikTok has seen a flurry of interest for this kind of a cruise.

The world cruise will take 274-nights and visit every continent in the world, including Antarctica.

So far, there's been over 54.8 million views on the #UltimateWorldCruise tag on TikTok and it's caught the attention of a lot of people.

The interest began with passengers onboard sharing what it's like to live on a cruise ship for almost an entire year.

There's videos of passengers showing off their cabin, and how they're making it feel more like a home given how long they'll stay there.

People watching on TikTok seem quite intrigued by the idea of spending that long on a cruise ship, and it almost seemed like a reality show to viewers.

What is the world cruise?

World cruise logo

The Ultimate World Cruise will take 274 nights on Serenade of the Seas that will visit more than 150 destinations in 65 countries and 11 great wonders of the world.

Serenade of the Seas will sail roundtrip from Miami on Dec. 10, 2023 and through Sept. 10, 2024.

Royal Caribbean first announced the Ultimate World Cruise on Serenade of the Seas in late 2021, and it opened for bookings in early 2022. 

Serenade of the Seas in Maine

Guests had the option to book the entire 274 night voyage, or hop on for smaller segments.

Because the entire voyage did not sell out, the cruise line opened up smaller segments. This includes seventeen individual itineraries ranging from nine to twenty nine nights.

These itineraries visit everywhere from Antarctica to Australia, Norway, and South Korea.

Why is this world cruise all over TikTok?


World cruises aren't new, but this is the first one that Royal Caribbean has done and being a mainstream cruise line, the attention it's generating may be related to the fact it's more approachable than on smaller lines.

The combination of a new kind of cruise of a well-known cruise line and TikTok's tenacity for generating drama seems to have resonated with viewers.

In viewing all the TikToks posted, creators have seemingly created a real-time view of the cruise and given they'll be on the ship for 9 months, TikTok has become obsessed with what they're calling "a reality show".

Serenade of the Seas in Venice

“I made an Ultimate World Cruise Bingo card for anyone else who is buckling in for this nine months TikTok reality show,” user @whimsysoul posted right at the start of the cruise.

As is the case with so many things on social media, the spectacle for viewers is more interesting than the subject matter and a lot of comments have speculated on what might happen during the voyage.

So far we've seen a couple videos with people being unaware of the benefits top tier Royal Caribbean cruisers get on any sailing, but nothing substantial.

The buzz generated by the world cruise at its launch points to a lot of excitement surrounding the cruise, as well as a lot of people naive about how cruise ships operate wrapping their minds around going on a cruise for quite that long.  Even as a seasoned cruiser, taking a cruise quite that long is hard to fathom.

Who are the TikTokers on the world cruise ship?

Serenade of the Seas in St Lucia

We've found a number of TikTokers posting videos so far, and it varies depending on how often you want updates.

Here's a few of the more regular posters since the world cruise began:

How much does the world cruise cost?

At the time Royal Caribbean put the world cruise on sale, the price varied depending on which sailing you chose.

If you wanted the full 274-night trip, prices were between $53,999 per person to $117,599 per person.

Some itineraries were as low as $931 per person and others around $1,881 per person before taxes and fees in an interior room.

The majority of the smaller segment itineraries are priced around $1,200 per person. With taxes and fees added, this brings the average cost to around $3,173 total for two guests in an interior room. With many itineraries between 11-16 nights, the price per day makes the segments a great value.

Where does the world cruise go?

Here's a look at the four main segments of the cruise and where it visits.

Ultimate Americas Cruise 

Machu Picchu
  • 64 nights from Dec. 10, 2023, to Feb. 11, 2024
  • 36 destinations, including Cozumel, Mexico; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Los Angeles, California
  • 4 Wonders, including Iguazú Falls and Machu Picchu

Ultimate Asia Pacific Cruise 

  • 87 nights from Feb. 11, 2024, to May 9, 2024
  • 40 destinations, including Kailua-Kona, Hawaii; Manila, Philippines; and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • 3 Wonders, including the Great Barrier Reef and the Taj Mahal

Ultimate Middle East and Med Pacific Cruise 

  • 63 nights from May 9, 2024, to July 10, 2024
  • 44 destinations, including Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Alexandria, Egypt; Rhodes, Greece; Barcelona, Spain; and Provence, France
  • 4 Wonders, including the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Temple of Artemis

Ultimate Europe and Beyond Cruise 

  • 63 nights from July 10, 2024, to Sept. 10, 2024
  • 40 destinations, including Casablanca, Morocco; Paris, France; Bruges, Belgium; and Nuuk, Greenland
  • No Wonders

Matt started Royal Caribbean Blog in 2010 as a place to share his passion for all things Royal Caribbean with readers. He oversees all the writers at Royal Caribbean Blog, and writes a great deal of content on a daily basis.  He has become one of the foremost expert on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Over the years, he has reached Pinnacle Club status with Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program.

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