A Deep Dive Into the 9-Month Ultimate World Cruise

Royal Caribbean Passenger Dies Aboard 9-Month World Cruise

If you don't fear cabin fever, perhaps nine months at sea is for you.

But if even the very idea of a 274-night cruise has you reaching for Dramamine, you can always just stay on land and scroll TikTok.

Because much like Taylor Swift's Eras Tour, you can see a lot of what's happening aboard Royal Caribbean's Ultimate World Cruise without shelling out five figures for a plum seat, in this case thanks to some of the younger-than-average cruisers making good use of the free Wi-Fi.

Well, free with the entry-level $53,999 price for passage aboard the Symphony of the Seas, which will reportedly carry 27,000 guests in total over the four legs of the trip, while more than 600 were booked for the entire itinerary.

And, naturally, many people are just making TikToks about the cruise, hoping for some Below Deck-meets-Love Boat-style intrigue, with maybe a little Triangle of Sadness thrown in for schadenfreude.

photosThe Most Dramatic Below Deck Firings Ever

"Imagine eating unlimited cruise food for nine months, like what that's going to do to your body," TikToker Grassmoons pondered on Dec. 14. "I just worry people aren't going to pace themselves and it's going to be really hard on their bodies."

Nevertheless, her post was captioned, "You best believe if I had $60k id be on that ship."

Jeff Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Meanwhile, content creator Marc Sebastian predicted "mutiny" in a Dec. 20 TikTok: "There's going to be bloodคำพูดจาก สล็อตเว็บตรง. Someone is going overboard. I want to watch. Bravo, where are you? I need eyesคำพูดจาก สล็อตเว็บตรง. We're witnessing Fyre Festival, Alabama Rush and no one is rushing there."

Within two weeks after the ship's departure from Miami on Dec. 10, TikToks tagged #UltimateWorld Cruise had been watched more than 54.8 million times, according to NBC News. That number had grown to more than 150 million by the time the clock struck 2024.

And Sebastian, 33, ended up going aboard for an 18-day stretch in January courtesy of Simon & Schuster's Atria Books, which enlisted him to host a virtual book club. His trip included a choppy ride through the Drake Passage ("Drake's best work since hotline bling," he captioned a post), the body of water between South America's Cape Horn and Antarctica's South Shetland Islands. 

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He also made oodles of TikToks, poking his phone into every nook and cranny of the ship and documenting his experience on, as he cheekily put it, "this floating retirement home with a Cheesecake Factory attached."

The admitted cruise skeptic told NPR before he disembarked, "I really did think at the very beginning that I was going to find a lot of interpersonal drama within the people. But unfortunately, they're all so nice —crazy!—and they are all really kind. There's a really amazing sense of community."

And while the cruise has been going viral since it was first announced in 2021, it made more unfortunate headlines following the death of a passenger this month. 

The person's identity was not released, Royal Caribbean telling E! News in a Feb. 14 statement, "We are actively providing support and assistance to the guest's loved ones at this time" and would not be sharing further details "out of the privacy of the guest and their family."

According to People, another passenger said in a since-deleted Feb. 11 TikTok that the deceased was an "elderly lady" who'd passed away the previous night.

But since the Ultimate World Cruise has another seven months to go, we may as well dock and unpack what's been happening onboard right here:

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