“Kiss the fish! Kiss the fish! Kiss the fish!” Thousands of voices chanted from Statendam’s pool deck.
On December 16, as we crossed the equator, it was time for our traditional ceremony where King Neptune and his Queen judge the pollywog’s fate. There were 25 pollywogs, all of them crew members who had never crossed the equator before. There were representatives from each department including the deck department, engine department, housekeeping department, administration department, front office and entertainment department. All pollywogs were dragged by pirates from the Oasis to the lido deck where they were caged while waiting for their fate to be decided.
The King and Queen took their thrones, followed by the Captain and other staff. The judge started to call on the pollywogs and asked them to face King Neptune. He read all of the sins of the pollywogs and then waited for King Neptune and the Queen to give out their sentences. All of the pollywogs were asked to kiss the fish and then the medical team drenched them with slime. At the end, the Captain and ship’s staff placed their thumbs up or down to indicate which pollywog would be tossed into the pool or left to bake in the sun. It was a great time not only for all the guests, but also for all of the participants who took part in the King Neptune’s Ceremony.
Photo credit: Hadi Susanto, chief housekeeper
Henry Bin Uyu Hidayat is Statendam’s human resources clerk.