Royal Caribbean’s ‘Ultimate World Cruise’ is now one of the hottest reality shows on social media – and Australia has played a part.
As videos from the cruise flood the internet, gathering hundreds of millions of views in the process, scores of passengers are posting their versions of what’s happening. And they are a very willing audience.
When the Serenade of the Seas set off on December 10th, it’s unlikely Royal Caribbean foresaw the cruise becoming the viral phenomenon that it is.
Just about a month into the voyage the cruise has already drawn all sorts of headlines. Headlines vary from outlets referring to reports of ‘swinging’ onboard, dramatic videos of the ship flooding, complaints from cruisers that others are receiving ‘preferential treatment’ onboard, the cruise ship allegedly running out of wine, a journey through the Drake Passage, and plenty more.
Cruise Passenger has every piece of gossip ready for you, with all the latest on what’s going down on the cruise sending the internet into a frenzy.
An ultimate swinging scandal?
A world cruise passenger was showing off her cabin on TikTok when one detail caught the eye and sparked the imaginations of social media. On the door of the passenger’s cabin was a sign of a pineapple, known to be a signal for interest in partaking in ‘swinging’ with other couples or individuals.
The video shot past four million views, with the majority of comments speculating on the significance of the pineapple.
The TikTokker Adita responded to the drama by pouring more fuel on the fire. Initially, she insisted she and her husband do not partake in such a lifestyle, but filmed the video while wearing a shirt with a pineapple on it. The content creator also shared another clip of a different cabin door which was also donning a pineapple, in this instance, an upside-down pineapple.
Are all passengers equal on the Ultimate Cruise?
Further drama has emerged, with some guests unhappy over the alleged preferential treatment that some guests are receiving.
The below TikToke user explains that Royal Caribbean Pinnacle members, those with a high loyalty status, are receiving certain exclusive benefits not available to other passengers. It’s not new news that those with loyalty status receive extra perks on a cruise, however, eyebrows are being raised at the nature of some perks.
Reportedly, Pinnacle members are being invited to meetings to discuss choices made about the ship, which other cruisers are not privy to. Furthermore, the creator says that Pinnacle Members were offered the chance to see the Northern Lights, but not other cruisers.
The video also highlights that while some have booked and paid for the cruise in full, others have booked just segments of the cruise. The video goes on to say that those who have only booked segments feel they are being treated differently by the cruise line and are unhappy with the ongoing situation.
Ultimate ship floods
One thing passengers may not have anticipated on their cruise of a lifetime is the boat hitting rough seas and dramatically flooding within the first month.
The flooding occurred off the coast of Brazil, enroute to Uruguay. Wind speeds as high as around 60 kilometres per hour were peppering the ocean, leading to large swells and flooding. The flooding reached as high as Deck 12, affecting many guests’ balconies.
A Royal Caribbean spokesperson said the ship “experienced heavy wind and rain.”
“One set of elevators and six rooms were impacted by some of the rain,” the company wrote in an email.
“Our team on board is managing the minor cleanup and elevator repairs.” Serenade of the Seas continued to Montevideo as planned, where it arrived Thursday.
The below videos show water seeping quickly into the boat as adverse weather conditions continue outside the ship.
Running out of wine
Generally, most cruises incur additional fees for those wishing to purchase a drinks package. However, all of those who booked the Ultimate World Cruise received a drinks package, and from all reports, the majority have been making full use of it.
TikTok couple Mike and Nancy reported: “They’ve told us here, we’ve gone through more wine than they ever anticipated. That includes three palettes of just the Oberon Red, not cases, three palettes.
“They’re hoping to get restocked, they’ve been trying in all the different ports. They tried to restock in Barbados, they just tried to restock in Rio and got a little, but I don’t know, this is drama.”
The couple provided an update later, revealing that Royal Caribbean added two new local wines, from Uruguay and Argentina, adding new options to the wine menu.
The Drake Passage
The mythology and dramatic swells of the Drake Passage have long been a trending topic on social media. Currently, Serenade of the Seas is taking on the famous sea, with passengers and those on social media concerned, given the boat has already suffered flooding in rough seas.
The ship will be sailing through the Drake Passage earlier than anticipated after rough seas led to an itinerary change. The cruise was meant to be heading towards the Falkland Islands first, but instead will head straight for Antarctica, due to predicted rough seas a few days from now.
Guests were told they would sail through the Drake Passage for 22 hours, with four to five-metre swells expected. Undoubtedly, the world will be watching closely to see how the ship deals with the infamously rough seas.
Trouble in paradise?
The viral nature of this cruise is leading to pieces of gossip escaping that may not normally get aired out publicly. With social media interest high, even fighting couples are being put online for the world to hear about.
For an extra bit of gossip, TikTokker ‘lifeofagypsy’ recounted a couple’s dramatic spat while the ship was docked in Recife, Brazil.
“It’s 10:30 am and I’ve already heard a couple arguing in the hallway by our room when I went to the laundry room down another hallway to get my clothes out of the dryer, a woman took her husband’s wet clothes and threw them all on the laundry room floor and told me she can’t live with him anymore, in their small room.
“I tried to give her a few tips but she just wasn’t having it.”