As the annual floating musical festival “Holy Ship!” set sail in early January 2018, an image purportedly showing an official memo from Norwegian Cruise Lines informing passengers that the Open Pizza Bar was for consumption only and that passengers should refrain from engaging in sexual activities with pizza started to circulated on social media:
Although this regulation was posted on the ship, it was not an official memo from the Norwegian Cruise Line issued in response to a passenger’s having engaged in sex with a pizza. The document was created as a prank by an attendee of Holy Ship!
This image first gained widespread attention when it was posted by New York DJ Kill the Noise via Twitter:
The phony memo was then picked up by several web outlets, who shared it in articles reporting that it reflected a genuine message from the Norwegian Cruise Line. Sites such as Uproxxx and Vanyaland eventually updated their articles to state that the message merely a joke, but as of a week later other outlets such as Pigeons and Planes continued to host articles declaring the memo to be real.
A representative for the cruise line told Vice that the memo was “a prank carried out by one of the guests” and that all of the letters were immediately removed once they were discovered.
Twitter user @hoescrabshack claimed responsibility for the prank:
this is greatest thing we’ve ever done. if there’s anything to take away from 4 days on ship, it’s pranking an entire boat & 100 media outlets. don’t fuck the pizza https://t.co/tZHcTMMZ61
— david (@hoescrabshack) January 10, 2018
Although some Holy Ship! attendees may have encountered messages warning them not to perform sexual acts with pizzas, these memos were posted as a prank and were not official messages from Norwegian Cruise Lines.