In a previous post from this amazing Around the World cruise, W1702 – Crossing the Line 2, I described the fun ‘Crossing the Line’ ceremony held as we approached the Equator sailing north to south off the coast of South America.
Now as we sailed south to north from Bali towards Singapore we would cross the Equator in the opposite direction, and once again this was marked by a ‘Crossing the Line’ ceremony. With a different Captain and Cruise Director on board for the return half of the voyage we decided to attend thinking the ceremony might be a bit different this time, and got there early to secure a scarce seat in the shade as it was blisteringly hot and sunny. Our instincts were correct as a while before the ceremony was due to start, 10 or 11 crewmen came staggering onto the poolside deck carrying a huge wooden pole, which they manoeuvred into position across the width of the swimming pool.
Once again it was down to the Cruise Director to be master of ceremonies, and he introduced ‘Neptune’ and his ‘stunning wife’, plus an assortment of mermaids, pirates and other assistants:
As before the Captain, various members of the crew and various entertainers were brought before Neptune charged with various heinous crimes, inevitability to be found guilty and punished. Sometimes like the Captain they had to kiss Neptune’s wife, but always they had to take part in an arm-wrestling match on the pole over the swimming pool. Naturally the loser went straight in for an early bath, but the pirates and mermaids ensured the victor went in too rather than escaping back across the pole to safety.The Captain pulled rank and commanded a junior crewman to represent him in the arm-wrestling, who despite being much smaller then the pirate he fought was victorious:
Next two very young and junior crewmen were brought before Neptune, and then two female crew:
When it was the turn of a musical duo to be brought before Neptune, the pirate sent to fetch the wife of the duo was so much smaller and lighter, roles were reversed and the duo lady carried the pirate forward to Neptune, much to the amusement of the crowd. The wife then used her size advantage to beat her husband at the arm-wrestling:
Next up were another couple – two of the show company had got engaged in New Zealand and were brought before Neptune to account for this ‘crime’. Finally Neptune and his wife had an arm-wrestle over the pool:
At the end of the ceremony not even an impressive bit of levitation by the Cruise Director could save him from being thrown in the pool, swiftly followed by the mermaids:
Once again it was an immensely fun way to mark a significant landmark in our voyage, not least due to the very funny script from the Cruise Director full of in-jokes about our voyage.
At lunchtime the next day we sailed into Singapore for a two and a half day stay, my adventures there will be the subject of my next few posts.