Our First Video to Go Viral

Ok, so self-admittedly, that headline might be a little bit dramatic. You see, “viral” is typically associated with millions (or even billions) of views. However, for fledgling bloggers just learning how to create videos, the term viral looks a little different.

In August of 2022, I was sailing on the beautiful Mardi Gras cruise ship. The ship holds a special spot in our hearts as she was the very first YouTube video we ever posted (a YouTube Short of my reaction stepping onto the ship). That first video earned a couple hundred views and we were excited:

How do we replicate that success?

With this being our most popular video for a long time, I decided that since I was on the Mardi Gras again, I’d post another YouTube Short. One of my favorite spots on Mardi Gras is Fortune Teller Bar as they have some truly unique and cool drinks.

I decided I would upload a video of a drink called the Crystal Ball as it features a bubble being blown and added to the top of the glass. Unique and cool idea, right?

Well, in an instant, that video became our most popular. My friends and I were exploring the ship when Rocky texted asking if I had seen what was happening (with 3 mind blown emojis). There were 1,380 views in the first hour! As we were texting back and forth, the video climbed to 1,500 views. We couldn’t believe it!

I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but I was so excited about how it was going that I bought internet for the week as we were sailing away from Port Canaveral – just so I could see how the video continued to perform! lol

As I type this, that video now has just over 2,100 views:

Keep it going!

The next day, I decided to upload one more video (I now had internet after all). I kept with the theme that got us our most views of a video ever and recorded another one at Fortune Teller Bar.

This time, I decided I would feature a drink called Abracadabra. Like the Crystal Ball, it’s another unique drink as it changes color when the recipient adds a special potion to the glass and says the magic word, appropriately, “abracadabra.”

I recorded our bartender Evangely making the drink and my friend Darci speaking the magic word as she added the potion. Happy with the result, I uploaded the video to YouTube and we headed to Serenity to lay out.

Less than an hour later, Rocky texted me a screenshot from YouTube with the word “Uhhh…”

6,200 views. (1:28pm)

My response: “WHAT???? I JUST LOOKED AND IT WAS 300”

I jumped up from my lounge chair and ran over to where my friends were eating a salad they had made at Fresh Creations. “Darci has over 6,000 views,” I exclaimed! Without a whole lot of context, my friends just smiled and were like, “oh, that’s nice” and continued to eat their salads. lol

3 minutes later (1:31pm) Rocky texts, “Now 11k”. I tell my friends and they were mildly intrigued. 7 minutes later (1:38pm)Rocky texts: 14.5k views and included a screenshot from YouTube.

After 7 months, my first Mardi Gras video had 300 views; after the first 2 hours, this video had over 14,700!

Building On Our Success

I posted several additional videos from Mardi Gras and Fortune Teller Bar. While I wasn’t able to go “viral” again, 4 videos earned another combined 9,000 views (more than our entire channel had prior to Mardi Gras embarkation day).

While the views have definitely cooled off, Rocky and I have looked for ways to bring impactful content to the channel. Fun videos like the above drive a lot of views (and hundreds of likes!), but we’ve also taken the time to share the things we love about cruising. Sail away videos, cruise port and cruise food reviews, and even some cruise news and our take on things happening in the industry.

It may be a while before we go “viral” again, but we’re learning and having fun along the way!

If you’ve made it this far, I likely don’t even have to say it, but here it is: Please don’t forget to check out our channel, and remember to like and subscribe.
-Mark and Rocky

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