Madison Schwetje is living the Suite Life on Deck onboard the viral 9-month Ultimate World Cruise fr...

A TikToker Shares A Day At Sea On The Viral 9-Month World Cruise

Madison Schwetje is living the Suite Life on Deck.

Emma Chao/Elite Daily; Getty Images; Photos Courtesy of Madison Schwetje

It’s one thing to go on a cruise for four or five nights, but guests currently traveling on the Serenade of the Seas have committed themselves to sailing around the world for nine months straight. Royal Caribbean’s Ultimate World Cruise, which set sail on Dec. 10, has taken over TikTok — or CruiseTok — with users following those on board like they’re cast members in a reality show.

A fan favorite among the Ultimate World Cruise guests is Madison Schwetje (@madisonworldtravler), who is cruising with her entire family, including her sister Brooklyn. Not only is she seeing the world while sailing the seas, but Madison is also studying online as a full-time student at the University of Central Florida (UCF). For those with wanderlust, she’s living the dream.

I enjoy having others online share these once-in-a-lifetime experiences with me.

When the Serenade of the Seas first set sail, the 274-night itinerary included seeing 11 World Wonders and more than 60 countries. Though the ship has had to make a few schedule changes along the way, Madison tells Elite Daily, “This trip is already such an amazing experience.”

Getting to share her travels with everyone on TikTok through daily vlogs with more than 4.5 million views has only made Madison love the Ultimate World Cruise more. The Pi Beta Phi sorority sister says, “I pride myself on making positive content, and I enjoy having others online share these once-in-a-lifetime experiences with me.”

Below, Madison shares what a typical (and not-as-dramatic-as-you-may-think) day is like on the Serenade of the Seas, from waking up to the sun rising over the Pacific Ocean to studying for classes in one of the ship’s cafes.

A Typical Sea Day Morning Filled With Working Out & Sunbathing

6 a.m.: I enjoy getting an early start to my day and catching the sunrise. My first alarm goes off at 6 a.m., and by 6:30 a.m., I am out the door and ready to start my day. I am obsessed with skin care, so I’ve been trying to add new products from around the world into my morning routine.

Madison Schwetje/TikTok

Every stop so far has been filled with its own experiences that have made it extremely special. The Caribbean was filled with fun days in the sea, and South America was a region of the world that I had never visited before. Experiencing the beautiful cultures, delicious food, and kind people has been priceless, but today, we aren’t stopping in any ports.

It’s a sea day, and my first stop on the ship is to head up to Deck 12 to watch the sunrise over the Pacific Ocean.

7 a.m.: About an hour after I wake up, it’s time for my daily workout, which is mainly a mix of lifting and cardio. What I love the most about exercising on the ship is the view from the gym. It is surrounded by windows, so you can see the water.

Madison Schwetje

8:30 a.m.: After my workout, I fuel up at the coffee shop with a vanilla latte, then head back to my stateroom to change into my bathing suit.

Once I’m ready, I head up to Windjammer, the buffet on the ship, to eat breakfast. I normally have an omelet and yogurt with fresh juice. It’s sooo refreshing.

9 a.m.: Every sea day morning, there is a 45-minute Zumba class out on the pool deck, which is an amazing energy booster. Once I’m sufficiently warmed up and sweaty, I jump into the pool to cool off.

10 a.m.: I spend about an hour and a half reading out on the pool deck. This has easily become one of my favorite sea day activities.

Madison Schwetje

As a souvenir, I will go into a bookstore when we’re in port and ask the bookseller their favorite book. I take their recommendation and ask them to sign their name along with where we are in the world. This has become a tradition for me that I love.

On one of our stops, I visited a used bookstore. I asked the bookseller for any recommendations they had. With it being a used bookstore, everything was pretty random, but the first novel she pulled off the shelf was my favorite book of all time: Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.

Over the summer, I visited the Greek island where the movie was filmed. It is a very special film for me and my family. The cover of the book was different from my original copy, so I had to get it. I am now able to reread one of my favorite stories, and I have a very special memory of finding this copy.

11:30 a.m.: Lunchtime! I eat lunch with my family and friends while we talk about all the different topics that fill our time together. Through this experience, other guests and crew have become like our new family.

Editor’s note: Meet cute alert! Through this trip, Madison and her sister frequently run into fellow creators, like Christian Hull, Little Rat Brain, and Brandee Lake.

Madison Schwetje

A special moment we all shared was when we were in Rio for New Year’s Eve, and we got to experience ringing in 2024 together. Meal times have become one of my favorite times, because I spend it with the people I am closest with.

An Afternoon Spent Studying For Class In One Of The Ship’s Coffee Shops

Madison Schwetje

12:30 p.m.: After lunch, it’s back to my room for a shower before getting ready for the rest of the afternoon. I love to use Glossier, Patrick Ta, and Charlotte Tilbury for my everyday makeup routine (not #sponcon).

1 p.m.: Ah, yes, another latte run at the coffee shop (the caffeine obsession is real). Then it’s full speed ahead to find one of the open tables around the ship to begin my workload. I am currently a full-time student at the University of Central Florida.

I enjoy being in school, and doing it while seeing the world has been one of the most incredible experiences.

I am majoring in health sciences, and I plan on starting nursing school in the fall; I would like to become a travel nurse. I enjoy being in school, and doing it while seeing the world has been one of the most incredible experiences. If I can use my nursing degree to help others while continuing to travel, that would be the dream.

Despite being away from campus and working remotely, I don’t have any FOMO for things going on at UCF. I am so eager and excited to be on this journey with my family, who are the closest people to me.

Madison Schwetje

Plus, I can study with friends who are also in school on the ship. We handle our workload while also looking forward to our upcoming ports of call. I cannot wait to see Asia, Africa, and Europe.

2 p.m.: During this time, I can usually be found wrapping up school assignments, creating videos, or dealing with logistics back home. The Wi-Fi on board the Serenade has never failed me (so far).

4:30 p.m.: I return to my cabin to change again. Tonight is extra special because it’s a formal night on board, which calls for suits, ties, cocktail dresses, or even evening gowns if you’d prefer.

Editor’s note: On a typical three- to five-day cruise, there might be one formal night; on a seven-day cruise, there are usually two; on ~two-week cruises, there are usually three or four.

5 p.m.: Snacking before dinner is a must. My sister and I love to spend this time in the lounge chatting with other passengers on board.

One of the largest accomplishments of this trip so far was making it to Antarctica, and I will never forget going into Paradise Bay and enjoying the scenery with everyone else.

A Fun Formal Night With Dinner, Dance Parties, & Shows

6 p.m.: One of the best times on the ship is when dinner opens. There is a small dance party with a song relating to the theme for the night. One night, we had an ’80s-themed party, where the guests all dressed up. It is so much fun to dance with the crew and chefs before we eat dinner.

Madison Schwetje

Another reason this is one of my favorite times on board is the food. It’s amazing, and I have been able to try and eat a variety of dishes every day.

7:30 p.m.: There is a Broadway-style show in the theater after dinner. As a family, we have enjoyed attending these shows throughout our voyage. We look forward to show times and love to support the cast.

8:15 p.m.: My sister and I head to the pub and a few of the other bars around the ship to enjoy the formal night festivities.

Madison Schwetje

9 p.m.: There is always something going on around the ship, such as live music in the centrum, so my sister and I join our friends for yet another fun night.

11 p.m.: As the night ends, I head back to my stateroom once more and get ready for bed. I am excited to some rest in before another sea day tomorrow.

I have met so many people, experienced numerous cultures, and had the most amazing time.

This entire trip has been such a learning experience. I have met so many people, experienced numerous cultures, and had the most amazing times in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru... all the way to the end of the world in Ushuaia.

We’ve had such an enriching time so far — and we’re not even halfway through the entire experience.

This as-told-to has been condensed and edited for clarity.