9-Month Cruise Is TikTok's Favorite New 'Reality Show'
Over the past few months, Beth Fletcher, a 39-year-old photographer from Derbyshire, England, has appeared on the British reality show “I'm a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!” Gained a small following on TikTok by recapping and analyzing. When the latest season ended in early December, Ms. Fletcher ran out of material because, she said, “We don't have any more good reality TV shows until the summer.”
Then the TikTok algorithm gave: a Video Brooklyn Schweitze, a graduate student and influencer, shares a day in her life Ultimate World Cruise, A nine-month-long, around-the-world voyage with Royal Caribbean. Ms. Fletcher was immediately pleased. “I had never set sail and the thought of a nine-month voyage blew my mind,” she said. After finding more videos from other passengers on the cruise, something clicked: “Maybe it's our own reality TV show, but better.”
Since the ship launched from Miami on Dec. 10, TikTok has been flooded with posts from those traveling on land, including videos shared by cruise passengers and the ship as a makeshift arena for high-level drama. There is speculation on its capacity. Some are declaring it a “nine-month TikTok reality show”, with passengers becoming unwitting celebrities.
The video with the hashtag #UltimateWorldCruise has been viewed more than 138 million times on the social media app.
This isn't the first time that TikTok creators, competing for views with millions of other accounts, have mined videos posted by others to create their own style of online reality TV. In 2021, the University of Alabama sorority rush became an internet fixation known as #BamaRush (and eventually, a Max documentary). But like reality TV, the truth behind the content may seem beside the point.
With a 274-night itinerary, the Ultimate World Cruise is the longest cruise ever offered by Royal Caribbean. According to Royal Caribbean, fares for the full voyage – which stops in 65 countries – start at $53,999 per person and can go up to $117,599, excluding taxes and fees. Website, ship, called serenade of the seaThere is capacity for 2,476 guests, although a Royal Caribbean representative would not confirm how many people are currently on board.
From England, Ms. Fletcher Started Posting videos of herself talking about the cruise, introducing passengers whom she identified as “cast members” through their TikTok accounts and sharing information about their life on the ship gleaned from their videos .
More accounts dedicated to Cruz emerged: a creator Refers to herself as TikTok's “sea tea” director, updating her followers with “breaking news” (including claiming that someone left the cruiseand the other one had tested positive For Corona virus) another TikToker created virtual bingo cards With predictions such as “petty neighbor drama,” “a wedding,” “stowaway” and “pirate takeover.” That bingo card video received over 300,000 views and hundreds of comments, like “This is the new Hunger Games,” and “This should be a social experiment.”
Ryan Holland, 28 years old Entry Regulars say about cruises, people are “curious how people afford it” and “how people can stand on a boat for so long.” She sees two possible outcomes for trend determination. Either “it will blow over,” she said, “or it will change the future of reality TV.”
An unlikely star of #cruisetok is Joe Martucci, a 67-year-old recently retired from St. Cloud, Florida, who has been posting from the ship with the handle. @spendingourkidsmoney, Mr Martucci's four children encouraged him to post video updates on TikTok, which he had never used before. His first video has received about five lakh views.
“It’s not us trying to be famous,” said Mr. Martucci, who now posts daily with his wife, referring to themselves as “Cruise Mom and Dad” and captioning each video cheekily. Let's start, “Hi, kids.”
Mr Martucci, who now has more than 69,000 TikTok followers, says the attention has been mostly positive, but he worries about fan accounts dedicated to promoting the drama. “I think they're trying to make something,” he said. “They're in it for the views and followers.”
Another passenger, Lindsey Wilson, a 32-year-old teacher from Phoenix, said the attention was “very, very strange.” He and some other travelers who have amassed new followers on TikTok have since connected individually and via group chat to talk about their overnight stardom.
apart from some Mumble There are some real dramas yet to unfold, regarding the unequal treatment of passengers at different customer levels. However, there was one exception Video (currently 2.5M views) Posted on December 17 by Brandi Lake, a Black content creator and cruise passenger who said she was mistaken for a crew member once by a passenger and another time by a staff member Was. Neither Ms Lake nor Royal Caribbean confirmed whether they had been in touch regarding the issue.
Despite TikTok's association with Cruz (and hopes for drama), most Video coming Serenade of the Seas has been more mundane than entertaining. Ms. Lake described a typical day at sea: Zumba class, breakfast, coffee at Café Latte-Tudes and an activity like doing a team puzzle or building a gingerbread house. After dinner, she will sometimes participate in evening programming. silent disco, but usually she just goes to her room. “I'm trying to figure out where the drama is,” Ms. Lake said. “What am I missing?”
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