It’s a 274-day, jam-packed journey crossing multiple seas – and passengers on Royal Caribbean’s “Ultimate World Cruise” are sharing what the experience has really been like.
On TikTok, a select group of content creators have banded together to document nearly every day of the voyage, from sea conditions, to what they eat and the off-boat excursions taking place.
“So far the cruise has been amazing, so I can’t complain about anything,” Amike Oosthuizen, who hails from South Africa, told Fox News Digital. “I’ve always wanted to see the world, and this is such an exciting experience, and you get so excited to see so many new places and places each day. And it’s just crazy to think the world is so big, and we get to see it.”
“It’s pretty cool that we blew up so much on TikTok. I think it’s so fun,” she continued, “and crazy that so many people want to actually see our journey.”
Oosthuizen and her family represent just a few of the slew of passengers participating in the 9-month cruise, which departed from Miami on Dec. 10 for its worldwide trip that visits 11 world wonders and more than 60 countries.
The cruise’s itinerary is broken up into four geographic “segments” for a total of 17 unique sailings, and guests also had the opportunity to separately pick and choose certain destinations as opposed to traveling the full 9 months.
Starting prices for the experience range between $60,000 and $117,000 per person, not including excursions, according to the Royal Caribbean website.
Prior to embarking on the Serenade of the Seas, Oosthuizen’s family had only been on a handful of cruises.
But a once-in-a-lifetime expedition such as this was her father’s retirement wish.
She estimated total costs and accommodations for 9 months’ travel was between $500,000 and $700,000.
“My dad saw a news article back in 2020 that Royal Caribbean is launching this world cruise. And then he showed us the article, and he said by that time he wants to be retired and he wants to take the whole family on the cruise and do like a big voyage out of it,” she explained. “So we didn’t believe that it would ever happen, but then in 2021, he books it and surprised us with it.”
Oosthuizen’s TikTok account originally started with a fashion and beauty focus, but surged with millions of views and likes once she started posting daily updates from the Ultimate World Cruise.
“Coming on the cruise, I knew I might get a chance to grow my account more and maybe create more opportunities,” she noted, “but I honestly did not think it would blow up this much… I also think someday I can go back and look at all the videos of all the different places I’ve been… it’s also like a special memory to keep forever.”
In an opinion piece published earlier this month, The New York Times called the Ultimate World Cruise vloggers “TikTok’s favorite new reality show.”
Between her and the other creators, Oosthuizen detailed a sense of community and friendship, and argued there’s no “drama” like a real reality series.
“All the people I’ve met [are] so nice. I don’t think it’s really like a reality show. Everyone is so nice, there won’t be drama, and the people creating the drama is like people not on the ship, I feel. So that is just funny to me,” she said.
Even though the first month has sailed by, the Ultimate World Cruise hasn’t been completely smooth: passenger videos showed how heavy rain could flood some of the common areas, and this week the boat travels through the infamous Drake’s Passage on its way to Antarctica.
While she didn’t witness last week’s flooding firsthand, Oosthuizen did see “very wet” floors amid heavy wind and rain, and explained that the flooding in the video occurred when a set of automatic doors wouldn’t stay shut.
“It wasn’t a massive flood. I wouldn’t call it something to worry about,” Oosthuizen said. “To be honest, I feel like even now the conditions were worse than back then. So I didn’t think there’s anything to be concerned about, and the staff on the ship, they have so many safety drills, and they’re so cautious about everything. I think we’re in very good hands.”
One month in – and eight more to go – the TikToker reflected that she’s learned how minimalist living can open up travel perspectives.
And while she’d be happy to travel the world again, Oosthuizen admits she couldn’t spend another 274 nights on one cruise.
“What’s cool about this trip is that you get to see so many places… in such a short time period. If I hadn’t done this before, I would definitely do it again,” she said. “I’m so grateful to be on this cruise, and I feel so blessed to be here, and I don’t think I will ever take this opportunity for granted.”