So, the fun was planned for 2.30pm this afternoon, to mark our sailing into the northern hemisphere. Anyone who hasn’t crossed the equator before is regarded as a “PollyWog” and has to undergo a ceremony in front of King Neptune to achieve “Shellback” status.
We were reassured this morning that the only pollywogs to be initiated on this occasion would be crew members and that we guests were safe! So, we gathered on the pool deck this afternoon to await the fun.
We stood on the upper deck to get a good view of the goings on and with cameras in hand, awaited the arrival of the Pollywogs.
Half a dozen young cooks, waiters, dancers, a technical guy and a hairdresser were led down the steps by the “pirates”.
They were assembled at one end of the pool to await their fate whilst preparations were made at the other end.
The arrival of King Neptune and his Queen Myra was announced and a cheer went up as we recognised them through their disguise.
Next came the Captain, accompanied by a bevy of beauties, aka the ship’s dancers.
A young Belgian waiter, Kuhn went first. Laid out on the table, he was plastered with all kinds of yucky things by Andreana and Cody, dressed as a surgeon and his nurse, because allegedly, he’d sold the Captain some bad wine.
All in good humour, he laughed and went along with it before finally being dumped in the pool.
Next came the Filipina hairdresser, who was given an egg rinse because she had, allegedly turned all the clients hair grey.
After a “conditioning rinse” of sorts, she too found herself in the pool.
One by one, the Pollywogs approached the table and their “punishment” was dispensed.
These two dancers were plastered with blue goo before the final splash.
Before each victim was thrown into the pool, they also had to “kiss the fish” in allegience to King Neptune and Cody took great pleasure in enabling that little ritual.
And that was that – or was it? It was announced that a traitor had been identified and he would also need to be tried at Neptune’s court. The Captain was there on the top deck with the new Cruise Director who begins work tomorrow and sure enough, in a minute or two, he found himself down at the table. (He was given time to take his shoes off first!)
He put up quite a fight, pleading an Armani shirt amongst other things, but he faced the same fate as the other crew.
With a huge cheer, he was in the pool, Armani shirt as well.
As he swam to the other end, I spotted the Captain had taken his glasses off…
But he wasn’t going to be thrown in without taking the others with him
By the end of the ceremony, the whole bunch were in the pool, the fish as well!
Much fun, great camaraderie and huge kudos to all involved. No-one who has seen these silly ceremonies before could remember a Captain getting dunked too and it says a great deal about this particular group of people that they could pull it off with such good humour.
I guess we might all call ourselves Shellbacks now – and how thankful we are that we did it the quiet way!