P&O Cruises’ Pacific Jewel welcomed some special visitors to its top decks on the weekend, with the ship’s crossing of the equator prompting a guest appearance by King Neptune and his royal entourage of family and helpers. In keeping with maritime tradition, King Neptune (convincingly played by crew member Ben Hinks) joined with a team of sailors who have already crossed the equator (known as shellbacks) to initiate those guests and crew who had never crossed the earth’s midline (known as pollywogs).
Overseen by Captain Hook and his team of pirates, the pollywog initiation rites included pasta tossing and fish kissing, resulting in much hilarity among the hundreds of spectators who lined the top decks – as well as considerable mess.
The crossing of the equator occurred on Saturday (May 16) during Pacific Jewel’s 14-night cruise from Fremantle to Singapore, where the ship will enter drydock. It is the first time the ship has crossed the equator since it was officially named Pacific Jewel in 2009.