King Neptune Ceremony

                                         KISS-THE-FISH!! KISS-THE-FISH!! KISS-THE-FISH!!

March 8, 2012

The King Neptune ceremony is held when we cross the equator, to appease the god of the seas.  This is always a fun time, and this year they apparently needed to have more ‘vile polliwogs’ (newbies crossing the equator for the first time), because by the time we held the ceremony it was the fourth time we had crossed the equator.  The first time was on our way to Belém, the second and third times were when we were leaving Belém, and the last time was when we were en route from Indonesia to Hong Kong.

Some of the characters remain the same from year to year, including the judge, played by Bruce Scudder, the cruise director and creator of the script, and the janitress played by Barbara Haenni, the port lecturer.  This year King Neptune was played by Bret, who was Bruce’s assistant, and his wife by Adele, who was the hostess/party planner for this cruise.

Then came the ‘doctors’ and the vile polliwogs with their escorts. 

The polliwogs are held in a cage until their name is called, at which time they are required to ‘kiss the fish’ (yes, really, and it is a real, stinky fish!) and then brought to the judgement seat, where a list of their crimes is read to the audience.

Following this they are escorted over to the surgeons, who cover them thoroughly with foam.  The photo  shows Debby Bacon, our wonderful piano bar entertainer, being escorted to the surgeons.  Clearly the surgeons have way too much fun torturing the poor polliwogs.

There is a jury that includes the captain and some of his officers.  They are the ones who decide if a polliwog will be spared (which means sit and bake in the sun while they are covered in foam), or go into the drink (the pool, which is really the more merciful decision on a hot day).  In the end, just about everyone jumps into the pool.

Then came cleanup.  As you can see, everything was pretty much a mess.  Here is Chief Housekeeper Shiv Charan supervising the cleanup. 

A good time was had by all, except perhaps, by the cleanup crew…  Even though we’ve seen the ceremony before, each time there is something different that makes it special.  Best of all, you can always count on getting a good laugh from the proceedings.

There are more photos in the album.                                                                               

Adele (Queen Neptune) and Bret (King Neptune)

© Susan L. Stone 2015