Crossing the equator on a cruise ship is a good excuse for a party! The King Neptune ceremony is a fun spectacle for the guests, and a chance to haze new crew members who have never crossed the equator on a ship before.
It involves judges, pirates, mermaids, doctors and nurses, and other dressing up. The band plays everyone in with a march. Then, after the cast is introduced, they march in the “pollywogs”, the crew members who haven’t crossed the equator yet.
They pollywogs are let out of the prison according to department (deck, entertainers, bar staff, front office, cast, spa, etc) and are accused by the judge (fictional crimes). Then King Neptune announces the punishment, ever more disgusting interactions with the fish (kiss, lick, suck, french kiss, lick the eye, etc). Then every pollywog is covered in dish water and goo. Finally the officers put thumbs up or down, and the pollywogs either get to wash off in the pool right away, or sit to bake in the sun.
I was asked to be a pirate, but in the end I opted to take photos. I missed the very start due to forgetting to put the battery in my camera, but had a lot of fun capturing the event. The cruise director shared the photos on the internal ship network, and it’s been very satisfying hearing all the compliments from all the crew who took part and liked my photos.