Just a few weeks in, passengers on this nine-month cruise have already endured a COVID outbreak, racial microaggressions, and an emergent class system

I don't know about you, but I love a good reality show—call it my guilty pleasure, if you must. My current obsession isn't actually a reality show on any network or streaming platform, but, rather, Royal Caribbean's "Ultimate World Cruise," which is being shared via the social media accounts of folks who are currently onboard.

If you haven't heard of it, the Ultimate World Cruise is a nine-month (274 night) cruise that set sail out of Miami on December 10, 2023, and will return back to Miami on September 10, 2024, after visiting over sixty countries and eleven world wonders. Here's the itinerary if you want to see all the places they're going. The full cruise costs anywhere from $60,000 per person for the cheapest cabin, up to $760,000 per person for the Royal Suite. While many passengers bought the full cruise, others opted for one or more of four segments. The segment option became available after the cruise line realized it wasn't going to sell all of its cabin space for the full cruise.

If you want to know about what the cabins look like, what food is available on the ship, how passengers do their laundry, or the age range of passengers, this article in the Independent provides all of those details.

But the real news, to me, is that just weeks into the cruise, Black passengers are already experiencing racism and racist microaggressions (that actually took only a few hours), a class system has been established (full-length cruisers are being treated better than those only onboard for a segment or two), and a COVID outbreak has occurred (to nobody's surprise). 

If you want to follow the tea, the gossip, and the drama, you head over to "CruiseTok." I've made a list of some accounts to follow. Here's Kisha Peart, a former cruise line employee who is not on the cruise but who is curating content from folks onboard. And the following are passengers using TikTok to document their cruise journeys: Anthony AntoineBrooklyn SchwetjeAngie LindermanThe Frugal VagabondLittle Rat BrainAmike Oosthuizen, and Dr Jenny Travels.

My favorite passenger is Brandee Lake, who has discussed the racial microaggressions she has encountered since literally stepping onboard. She's cruising with her delightful family, and has posted videos showing what her room looks like, introducing staff, and documenting some of her onshore adventures.

Would you go on a nine-month cruise? I absolutely would not, because I personally hate cruising, for so many reasons. I truly wish everyone onboard the Ultimate World Cruise–but especially the staff–the healthiest, safest cruise possible


Ultimate world cruise staff covid outbreak #royalcaribbean #Ultimateworldcruise #royalcaribbeancruise #9monthcruise #cruisetok Disclaimer this video is for entertainment purposes

♬ original sound – UK Secret Travel📍🗺️ ✈️

If you need the context/explanation of the 9 month cruise this video is for you 😂👀 #popculturecommentary #popculturenewstoday #celebnews #celebritynews #ninemonthcruise #9monthcruise

♬ original sound – Melissa

Its 🍵 time! 🤭 Here is the latest insight I got on the drama happening on the ship. There is a divide umongst some while others have having a great time!! Can't make everyone happy, can you. 🤷🏾‍♀️ 😅#worldcruise2023 #worldcruise #cruiseship #ultimateworldcruise #lifeatsea #royalcaribbean #cruisetok #cruiseshiplife #cruiser #teattime

♬ original sound – Kisha Peart