From laundry to food: Passengers open up about Royal Caribbean’s nine-month cruise

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Although Royal’s Caribbean’s nine-month world cruise only set sail a few weeks ago, the experience has already gone viral on social media, with passengers opening up about their time on the boat.

On 10 December, the Ultimate World Cruise officially started its tour, with the ship – the Serenade of the Seas – departing from Miami, Florida. As noted by Royal Caribbean’s itinerary, the trip consists of 274 nights, with visits to 11 “world wonders” and over 60 countries. Some of the destinations include Aruba, Barbados, Japan,  Italy, Greece, Spain, Denmark, Germany, and France. The cruise concludes in the United States, as it docks back in Miami on 10 September 2024, after a day in the Bahamas on 9 September 2024.

Passengers will also have the opportunity to bond “with like-minded explorers over global discoveries across all seven continents”, according to Royal Caribbean’s website. In addition, travellers will have the chance to “connect with countless distinct cultures, soak up the most spectacular landscapes on Earth, and marvel at World Wonders that showcase mankind’s boundless imagination”.

Since the cruise began, passengers have documented their experiences on board, from the size of their rooms, to the meals being served, to some additional perks if they’re part of the Royal Caribbean’s Pinnacle Club, which travellers get to join after accumulating over 700 cruise points from the previous cruises they’ve taken. When posting videos on TikTok, passengers often use the #UltimateWorldCruise hashtag, which has more than 119.2m views as of 27 December.

From how to do your laundry to the cost of a room on board, here’s everything we know about the Royal Caribbean’s Ultimate World Cruise from TikTok.

What are the rooms on the ship like and how much do they cost?

As noted by Royal Caribbean’s website, the most inexpensive room option for the 247 nights is $59,999 per person for an interior stateroom. Prices for other rooms are in a higher range, with the junior suite starting at $117,599 per person. However, regardless of the type of room passengers get, they are all offered amenities like a VOOM internet package, wash and fold laundry service, and a deluxe beverage package.

On TikTok, many passengers have shared in-depth tours of their rooms, with many showing off the relatively tiny spaces. For example, Ale Kenney recently shared a video of a room, which started with footage of the living room area, where there was a blue couch with a blanket on it. She and her husband, Andrew, decorated the walls with a banner, pictures, and sketches. There was also a desk and closet, which Kenney opted not to open because it was “really tiny” and she didn’t want everything in it to fall out.

She then made her way to their small bathroom, where there was a tall shower right across from the sink. The bathroom also included a white toilet, underneath a magnetic shelf that the couple brought for extra storage. She noted that in addition to “cramming [her] makeup and medicine” in the storage section underneath the sink, she had a “very tiny” mirrored cabinet that opened. Kenney then made her way back through the living room and concluded her video with a shot of the king-sized bed in her room.

What kind of food is offered on the cruise?

While aboard the Ultimate World Cruise, guests are offered a variety of food options, from “snacks to speciality dining”. Royal Caribbean notes that one frequent spot for meals is the Windjammer, which is a buffet that’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. On TikTok, passengers have shared some of the meals they’ve eaten daily.

For example, a TikTok user who goes by the name Amike shared a video last week of what she ate in a day on the cruise, starting with breakfast at the Windjammer. Some of her food included fruit, yoghurt, a muffin, oatmeal, and a smoothie. For lunch, she returned to the Windjammer, where she had a salad, a burger patty with cheese, a plate of vegetables, and a coffee. For dinner at the buffet, she had some fish, noodles, corn, and slices of watermelon.

Amike also acknowledged that while she’s received multiple questions about the food, her meals on the ship have been “so good”.

How do passengers do their laundry throughout the next nine months?

Each passenger on the cruise receives a laundry package, as noted by Royal Caribbean. The package includes a complimentary wash and fold service where passengers can send out up to three bags of laundry per week.

In a video shared to TikTok, passenger Brandee Lake went on to document her 10th day on sea, which included her plans to do laundry that day. She noted that while she didn’t necessarily want someone else doing her laundry, she opted to go to the “self-service laundry” that was offered on board, which is free for passengers to use.

Is there a certain age range among travellers on the cruise?

Throughout the first few weeks of the cruise, many TikTok users have questioned who the passengers are on the trip, given its hefty price and lengthy time period. With that in mind, social media users have noticed that a lot of people who share content appear to be a part of Generation Z, meaning they were born between 1997 and 2012. However, according to Kenney, that’s not necessarily the case.

“I would say the majority, like the overwhelming majority of passengers, are retirees (or seniors),” she said during an interview with Today, as she noted that 90 per cent of passengers were retired.

That doesn’t change the fact that cruises are a popular travelling experience for adults. According to Gavin Smith, vice president and managing director of Royal Caribbean AUNZ, there’s still a growing interest in cruises among young people.

“Our Caribbean and European cruises are attracting younger Australian guests, with short Caribbean sailings proving immensely popular, including our new Oasis Class ship Utopia of the Seas which launches in July,” he told News.com.au.

Regardless of the ages of passengers on the Ultimate World Cruise, people on social media have joked about what drama could occur on the nine-month trip. One woman named Kates, who goes by the name @whimsysoul on TikTok, went on to share “The Ultimate Bingo Card” for the next year for “anyone else who is buckling in for this nine months TikTok reality show”.

Some of the spaces on her Bingo Card included “someone goes home early”, “staff dates passenger”, “lobster style sunburn”, “brands sponsor passengers,” and “minor mystery to solve”.

The Independent has contacted Royal Caribbean for comment.


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