This Nightmarish TikTok Went Viral And Made Everyone's Cruise Anxieties Skyrocket

When you book a cruise, you look forward to days of lounging on the deck under the sun as your ship sails from port to port. Unfortunately, a trip at sea isn't always so idyllic, and sometimes, Mother Nature swoops in to interrupt the fun. That's what happened in January 2024 during Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas journey. 

TikToker @brooklynbrandt02, who was on the cruise, documented scenes from the ship as it sailed through a heavy storm. The video, set to ominous-sounding music, shows powerful waves crashing behind a flooded deck and an interior corridor with rainwater covering the floor. Another image shows a different room with the lights off and a rush of water on the ground.

Commenters on the clip felt uneasy after watching, especially those who had already booked their own cruise vacation. "I did NOT need to see this two days before going on my first ever cruise," wrote one user. "Not me on a cruise ship rn seeing this," quipped another. Others took the video as a reason to stay on land indefinitely, with one person commenting, "There's not enough money to convince me to go on a cruise."

A strong storm flooded and tilted the cruise ship

The Voyager of the Seas was heading back to Galveston, Texas, when it encountered multiple storms, as passengers shared with USA Today. The treacherous weather brought high winds, heavy rain, and even hail, causing rooms to flood and, according to some passengers, the vessel to tip to one side.

TikToker @brooklynbrandt02 wasn't the only one to capture the scary experience. Another passenger named Jessica Helms (via Storyful) recorded the moment rainwater came gushing under her stateroom balcony door. "I hope there's nothing electrical that we're gonna get electrocuted on," she can be heard saying in the clip. Instagram user @creekgrown also shared a now-viral video of flooded ship floors, crew working to clean broken glass, and water dripping into an elevator.

Similarly, YouTuber Let's Get Wanderlost showed the chaos on board in a short clip, where deck chairs got swept away by the wind, the balcony flooded with rain, and buffet diners struggled to walk upright due to the ship's tilt.

Is it safe to be on a cruise during a storm?

You might find major cruise deals during storm and hurricane seasons, but are the lower prices really worth the risk? Generally, cruise ships are safe even during the most ferocious storms. They're designed to hold up in strong winds and have been tested in severe weather conditions to ensure passengers remain safe throughout their trips. Even a little bit of tilting to the side is completely normal and to be expected. And if the ship gets rocked too much by the choppy waters, it can employ its built-in stabilizers to help the vessel cruise over powerful waves.

However, cruise liners may decide to avoid a storm if conditions are too severe. As James Van Fleet, former Chief Meteorologist at Royal Caribbean, explained in a blog post for the company, "If a storm is coming your way on land, you have fewer options. Your home is a potential target that can't be moved. On a cruise ship, captains can sail out of the way — and quickly." 

If the ship is already near a port, the captain may also decide to stay put longer than scheduled until the storm dies down. For cruises that continue to blaze through rain and wind, flooding and water leaks aren't the norm. In fact, Royal Caribbean was forced to compensate guests who would be impacted by the "residual odors from the seawater and rain" following its January 2024 flood, per CruiseHive.