Prior to sailing, the Krewe crowned the newest Monarch, King Zeus LXXVIII and his Queen. The colorful and music-filled extravaganza was directed by Zeus LXXIV and his Consort, Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Stockton Messer Jr.
Upon entering the theater, Krewe members and their guests were greeted by a drop screen, showing an elaborate cruise ship, ready for departure. It created an aura of excitement as they settled in to begin their adventure.
The narrator for the evening, Corey Evan Tator, welcomed guests to the 2018 Royal Cruise, and promised them a night of worldwide adventure.
All cruises have a cruise director, assistant cruise directors, and a crew of assistants to arrange all activities and shore excursions for the passengers. The cruise director for the Royal Cruise, his assistant cruise Directors, and their crew of assistants provided all of these services, in addition to entertaining the guests with great musical and comedic talent. The cruise director for this whirlwind tour was Dr. John Michael Lopinto. His beautiful assistant cruise directors were Molly Catherine Bowman and Shelby Aultman Phillips, daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Corbett Bowman and Mr. and Mrs. David Michael Phillips, respectively. The lovely and special members of the ship's crew, the Sailorettes, were Rachael Elizabeth Barbieri, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Rocco Anthony Barbieri, Clara Jane Granberry, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Senton Granberry Jr., Maggie Elizabeth Gratwick, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Hutchinson McFarlane Gratwick and Elizabeth Batey Griffith, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Cameron Stuart Griffith.
Three short whistle sounds, alerting to the required emergency-at-sea drill, interrupted the celebratory night. The narrator quickly and efficiently announced the arrival of the Royal Captains of the Krewe, who would assist in the mandatory lifeboat drill. The masked Royal Captains, each carrying a life preserver, were Dr. George Joshua Blair, Jeff Corbett Bowman, William Gregory Brett, Dr. John David Bullock, Dr. Arthur Dean Cromartie, Burnice Wesley Curry III, Hon. Burnice Wesley Curry IV, Dr. Eric Wiggins Enger, Daniel Herring Jussely, Dr. Joseph Troy McIntire, Dr. John Boone Roberson, Douglas Wesley Rouse, Samuel Jaron Sackler, Scott Joseph Schwartz, Dr. Ronald Louis Schwartz and the Captain of the Captains, Dr. Gardner Lee Fletcher.
Once the captains, an esteemed group of highly-trained professionals, were in place, and the safety announcements had been made, it was time for the narrator to introduce the former royalty of the Krewe. As the past kings and queens coursed the stage, they were escorted by the Sailorettes to their first-class seating in the royal boxes. The reigning royalty, Zeus LXXVII Dennis Gregory Garraway and his Queen Christina Penn Rutland, were welcomed and seated in their seats of honor.
Traditional Zeus fanfare signaled the time was near for the introduction of the new monarchs. As murmurings of anticipation crescendoed, the cruise ship screen was raised, revealing the new King of the Mystic Krewe of Zeus, King Zeus LXXVIII, Dr. George James Azar, III (pictured, with Queen Katherine Monroe McElroy on opposite page). Cloaked in trappings of royalty, King Zeus LXXVIII acknowledged the riotous applause and approval from his subjects. As he began his trek throughout the theatre, in the traditional flamboyant manner, he paused before the royal boxes where he offered toasts to the former kings and queens and to his family.
Returning to the stage, His Majesty made the clarion call for his queen. Amid musical fanfare and thunderous applause by her subjects, Her Majesty, the Queen to Zeus LXXVIII, Katherine Monroe McElroy, made her grand entrance on the arm of her father, Michael Eugene McElroy Jr. For her coronation, the queen was radiant in a gold silk gown with a custom rhinestone overlay, designed and created by Royal Design House of New Orleans. The gown featured an elegant scoop neckline, fitted bodice and graceful trumpet skirt. The neckline was encrusted with set crystal rhinestones and gold bugle beads in a swirling motif evocative of the queen's gorgeous diamond necklace. The rhinestones along the neckline adorned the bodice of the gown in a deep vee, until lines of crystal seed and bugle beads, and rhinestone banding trailed towards the hem. The beading swept to the back in a train which was adorned with more of the swirling rhinestone motifs. The jewelry she wore was from her grandmother's personal collection. The earrings were baguette, round and marquis white diamonds with fancy yellow oval shape diamond dangles. The custom-made necklace consisted of a double row of white diamonds with a pendant of round, pear shape and cushion-cut fancy yellow and white diamonds. The queen's crown and scepter were designed and created by Dynasty Collection Inc. of Mobile. The crown and scepter were made entirely of Swarov-ski crystals imported from Austria. The design of the crown was inspired by the tiara given to Princess Margaret by Queen Elizabeth. The base of the crown consisted of three rows of delicate round stones. Triumphal laurels made of Tiffany crystals, encrusted with marquis stones, rose above the base. Between the laurels were majestic pillars supporting a diamond-cut oval stone. The center back of the crown featured momentos that the queen holds dear to her heart. The design of the scepter complemented the crown, featuring swirls of crystals and topped with a large diamond-cut oval stone. The staff was of a French rope design, with a stoned puff finial at the top and the bottom. The crown and scepter were finished in 14k gold.
With his entire court assembled, His Majesty called for the royal families to be presented on stage and receive tokens denoting royal favor.
On behalf of King Zeus LXXVIII, the narrator expressed appreciation to the Musical Director, Tammy Strahan Mansfield, the Coronation Orchestra and the Royal Troubadours, Lauren Catherine Claire Leake, Alanna Jordan Hall, and Ryan Jude Anthony.
THIS YEAR’S MYSTIC KREWER OF ZEUS PARTICIPANTS:
Dr. Craig Sidney Howard • Dr. William Lewis Pace • Dr. Gregory Nolan Vickers • William Samuel McHard • John Webster Chain Jr. • Eli Walker Bullock • Elijah Mardis Smith • Brooks Buchanan Owen • Brady Reid Sackler • David Glenn Morris • Cameron Claire Moore Dex Walton Johnson • Dr. Robert Carrington Dews Jr. • William Ewing McLeod • Anna Caroline Chain • Kathryn Ella Slaughter • Nicholas Myers Bevon • William Sellers Chain • Lanier Roberts Tatum • Rebecca Taylor Rouse • Jon Dawson Weathers • Caroline Keene Hall • Rebecca Katelin Cooley • Mary Allen Grace Landry • Ann Elise Parrish • Olivia Christine Tator • Cameron Cooper Bevon • Maggie Moore Boucher • Mary Carter Callaway • Sarah Ellen Chain • Addie Dayne Gregg • Mary Catherine King • Bracey Elizabeth Koenenn • Emma Madison McHard • Sarah Dabney Whitehead • Robert Caden Cochran • Parker Guy Graham • Preston Stevens Sackler • Ethan Walker Tator • George Lane Underwood • Catherine Elizabeth Chain • Madeline Randolph Hinton • Hannah Renee Hopson • Virginia Hyde Hopson • Caroline Annabelle King • Mary Hollis Sharpe • Jill Ellen Underwood • Katherine Ashtyn Walker • Benjamin David Brett • William Pearce Brett • Donald Everett Hinton III • Daniel Dews Jussely • Jonathan Brooks McHard • Sellers Thomas Neuendorf • Jay Stewart Walker • Vivian Lowery Bishop • Marion Harris Curry • Ella Katherine DeFatta • Eva Marie DeFatta • Amelia Blythe Dillenkoffer • Hallie Carrington Jussely • Anna Caston Keene • Emily Cade Koenenn • Caroline Campbell Moore • Hayden McKenzie Shifalo • Patrick Graham Arrington • John Ramsey McQueen • Phillip Tyler McQueen • Robert Joseph Schwartz • Edmond Carter Carroll • James Randolph Swan • Robert White St. John • Hugh Curtis Baker • Andrew Bomboy Brett • Michael Cannon Callaway • Burnice Wesley Curry V • Bradley Kenamond Graham • William Cole Hinton • William Hatten Jussely • Gabriel Fisher Neuendorf • Gaines Baker Russum • Hammond William Sackler • Elizabeth Kate Boucher • Audria Rose Carroll • Caitlin Davis Cullepper • Carter Harris Culpepper • Mary Neal Curry • Cecilia Carlyle Duhon • Katie McKenna Finnegan • Katie Blanche Gregg • Jackson Dabbs Jussely • James Parker Jussely • Aiden Beck Neuendorf • Adda Laine Pattie • Adeline Brooke Smith • Warren Adrian Strickland Jr. • Wade Chapman Whitehead • Caroline Adelle Aza • William Clair Baker III • Morgan Ann Bevon • Anne Kathryn Bullock • Conner Anderson Cooley • Oden Tyler Dillenkoffer • Gregg Joseph Graham • Hermine Herring Granberry • William Senton Granberry III • Jackson Lake Hunter • Richard Jackson Pecunia • John Morris Pecunia • Owen Millard Simnicht • Jack Randall Schwartz • Anne Katherine Sharpe • Thomas Harrison St. John • Zoey Grace Swan • Richard Wayne McKenzie • Jesse Ward Conville • Richard Barnes Conville • Jeff Corbett Bowman Jr. • Robert Cooper Callaway • Maddox Luke Conn • Grayson Crews Hinton • Garner French Russum • Matthew Kalil Anderson • Billy Craig Chancellor • Dr. Nathan Lyle Compton • Dr. Daniel Keith Crane Jr. • Dr. Zachariah Lea Crawford • Troy Prothro Daniels • Dr. Christopher John Douglas • Michael Wayne Essary • Shawn Michael Harris • Steven Lidell Howard Jr. • Joshua Starks Ladner • Christian Juan Landry • Joshua Albert Mars • Michael Seth Miles • Dr. Alvaro Jorge Moreno • Dr. Jonathan Robert Nichols • Dr. Scott Steven Paladichuk • Eric William Parish • Christopher Guerry Smith • Garland Williams Sullivan III • Nathan Kyle Walker • Brent Burwell Waters • James Howard Wild • Richard Anthony Woodard