Imagine if Fyre Festival and Below Deck had a baby — that’s what the internet wants #UltimateWorldCruise to become. Batten down the hatches, sailors. Cos’ we’re diving deep into this social media phenomenon that right now, seems to be more show than substance.
On December 10, a cruise departed Miami on a 274-night adventure that promised to span 11 Wonders of the World and 60+ countries. Sounds amazing, right?
Just weeks into the trip, the ship’s passengers have turned the cruise into a viral sensation on TikTok with #ultimateworldcruise clocking over 73 million views at the time of writing.
With over eight months still to go, a handful of the holidaymakers have become minor celebrities and onlookers are certain there’s drama brewing.
So how did this all come about?
It all started two years ago when tickets first went on sale at a hefty price, as explained by Aussie TikToker Christian Hull.
According to Hull, there were only two options available: either the full nine-month ticket, costing USD $53,999 (approximately $80,000 AUD), or a ticket to one of the four “segments” per NBC.
These four segments (or “legs”) were The Americas, Asia and the Pacific, The Middle East & Mediterranean, and Europe.
The cruise didn’t sell as many tickets as the operators were expecting, so another option was offered. People could now purchase a ticket to multiple segments, meaning those who’d initially purchased the full nine-month ticket wanted to switcheroo their tickets for the shorter (and more economical) multi-segment ticket.
This allegedly caused pandemonium.
Who’s on board & what’s the drama?
The main event thus far has involved Brandee Lake, a traveller from the US.
Lake said she’d been asked if she worked aboard the cruise multiple times, which is pretty messed up. Once by a passenger and another by a crew member.
“Apparently it seemed far-fetched to some that a Black woman (and family) could be a guest on the once-in-a-lifetime experience,” she wrote.
Lake’s TikTok recounting the experience has been viewed two million times.
More TikTokers including @AngieLinderman (136k followers), Brooklyn Schwetje (145k) and Amike_Oosthuizen (167k) all look like they’ve been having a decent time thus far, with their day-in-the-life videos consistently reaching tens of thousands on the platform.
What’s in store for the next eight months?
The internet has also started speculating about what’s in store.
One onlooker even created their own bingo card which they’ve been crossing off as events occur on board.
All in all, nothing too batshit has happened yet. Nothing documentary-worthy.
Maybe that’s why they script some “reality” TV shows…
But, with the eyes of the internet all keenly focused on this floating town, anything could happen over the next eight months of the nine month cruise.
Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.