Cruise worker shares just how common it is for customers to pass away while onboard

@zoiemadigan/TikTok Khairil Azhar Junos/ShutterStock Lighthunter/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘No one’s talking enough about this 9-month cruise’: Cruise worker says it’s common for passengers to pass away

'The median age is like in the 60s for sure.'


Tiffanie Drayton


Posted on Jan 15, 2024   Updated on Jan 16, 2024, 12:39 pm CST

A cruise worker revealed a very morbid fact that is causing quite a stir online.

In a viral TikTok video that has amassed over 128,000 views, user Zoie Madigan revealed that people often die while on vacation during longer term cruises.

“Something I feel like no one is talking enough about this nine-month world cruise is how often people just simply pass away of natural causes while they are on vacation,” the worker said in the clip.

Zoie worked at hotels and resorts in the past but began working on a cruise that sails for nine months about a year and a half ago. She says that deaths on these vacations happen more often than we imagine.

“Not every week,” she said. “I’m not trying to scare you guys but a lot of elderly people do come on vacation and then they just like pass away in their sleep or something happens.”

The cruise worker did not name the exact company she works for. However, she did note that the demographics for it tend to be a bit older compared to other ships like Carnival or Disney.

“The median age is like in the 60s for sure,” she continued.

Ultimately, due to the age of the passengers and the length of the cruise, she believes passengers should be required to get cleared by a doctor before boarding.


Not to be morbid but it does happen 😬😬

♬ original sound – Zoie | Cruise ship life 🛳️

“I feel like they should have had to have a doctor sign off on this and like give the ‘OK’ for them to be on a cruise that long,” she said.

Zoie also noted that the deaths also impacts the life of the workers, who grow accustomed to seeing passengers frequently and may even build relationships with them. She called the possibility of customers passing away potentially “traumatic” for her fellow employees and others who may work on ships that have longer sail times.

In the comments, other cruise workers and TikTokers shared their own stories that confirmed this does happen.

“My grandma passed away on a cruise that’s when I learned they keep a morgue,” user suck medic wrote.

“We had a few people pass when I was onboard doing South American 14-day itinerary,” user Cruise Staff Sarah said. “Death happens every day. The only guaranteed in life.”

“A lady had a stroke or smth while snorkeling and passed away when I went on my first cruise,” another user added.

According to Space Coast Daily, 623 people died on cruises between 2000 and 2019, though some estimate that it’s about 200 people annually who pass away on commercial cruises.

The Daily Dot reached out to Zoie via email for comment.

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*First Published: Jan 15, 2024, 5:00 pm CST