Passenger Dies Onboard The ‘TikTok’ World Cruise With Royal Caribbean

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A passenger on the Royal Caribbean world cruise on Serenade of the Seas – dubbed as the ‘TikTok cruise’ by many – has sadly passed away.

The Serenade of the Seas

The passenger’s identity has not been revealed by the cruise line, though they are reported to be an elderly female. It’s also been reported that she passed away in her own solo cabin, away from other guests.

The cruise line has provided the following comment:

A guest sailing onboard Serenade of the Seas has sadly passed away. We are actively providing support and assistance to the guest’s loved ones at this time. Out of the privacy of the guest and their family, we have nothing further to share at this time.

The cruise ship is currently on a 9-month world cruise, having set sail in December. It has gathered a lot of attention online, especially on TikTok, with many users on that platform sharing videos from the cruise, although many are fake – they include footage of the wrong ship, or generic footage of the ship from elsewhere online.

It’s primarily from the TikTok reports that details of the passenger death have emerged, with the cruise line releasing its statement later to confirm the incident.

People passing away on cruise ships is quite common, with several hundred deaths on board each year. With over 30 million people taking cruises each year, it makes sense that some of these people would happen to die on board. Death at sea is more common on world cruises because the average age of the guests is considerably higher than it is on shorter cruises.

Cruise ships are well prepared for deaths at sea, and every ship has a morgue on board with space for at least three bodies. On the largest cruise ships, the morgues can store up to ten bodies.

The morgue is usually located on a lower deck, close to the medical centre. In the unlikely event that there are multiple deaths and the morgue becomes full, other freezers may be used in an emergency. There’s a rumour that if cruise ships hand out free ice cream then you know the morgue is full, but that’s probably just an urban legend!

Bodies of the deceased may be kept on board until the end of the cruise, or they may be disembarked when the ship reaches the next port of call, which is usually within a day or two. Arrangements will usually be made for the body to be returned back to the deceased’s family members for the funeral.

All of this can be very expensive, particularly if flights are required. It’s vital that everyone taking a cruise has comprehensive travel insurance so as not to leave their families with large bills should the worst happen.

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Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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2 thoughts on “Passenger Dies Onboard The ‘TikTok’ World Cruise With Royal Caribbean”

  1. Do cruise ships still have chaplains on board to deal with
    ‘ end of life’ situations?

    • Yes, many do but not all. Often, religious leaders are allowed to cruise for free but not paid for their services on board, so there won’t be one on every cruise. Jenni

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