One hundred and twenty children today ‘took over’ Pacific Explorer – the latest addition to P&O Cruises’ fleet – in a first of its kind naming ceremony on Sydney Harbour.
Fresh from a multi-million dollar transformation adding a host of fantastic new features, Pacific Explorer had the 'slime of her life’ when one of the world's most loved adventurers, Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer, christened the ship by breaking a giant bottle piñata which burst with colour in front of hundreds of guests on the ship’s upper deck.
In her first official duty as Godmother, Dora was joined by her closest Nickelodeon friends including SpongeBob SquarePants, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Skye from PAW Patrol who performed a celebratory welcome dance with families and the ship’s crew.
P&O Cruises President Sture Myrmell was spectacularly ‘slimed’ by four honorary junior 'mini-me' crew members - a Kid Captain, Snack Boss, DJ Cruisin’ and Chief Entertainment Officer - who had won a competition to lead the festivities.
During her recent dry dock Pacific Explorer emerged with exciting new features including the longest and wildest waterslides on an Australian cruise ship and an interactive water park, an outdoor lawn bowling green, P&OEdge - the cruise line’s signature adventure ground - and the new Southern Cross livery emblazoned on her hull.
Building on the success of P&O’s partnership with Australian chef and restaurateur Luke Mangan, the ship was fitted with ‘Luke’s’ an al fresco fast-casual dining option offering gourmet burgers and a seven-course degustation experience called ‘A Taste of Salt’.
Onboard today, the children had an opportunity to play with SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star in the interactive waterpark, rolled lawn bowls with Skye from PAW Patrol and watched Patchy the Pirate get a birds-eye view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House from an 80-metre zip line.
At lunchtime the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles surprised guests who were tucking into traditional Neapolitan pizza at the ship’s new ‘fast-casual’ dining outlet, 400 Gradi, from award-winning Melbourne chef Johnny Di Francesco.
NSW junior surfing champion Sabre Norris who shot to fame on the American hit TV talk show Ellen was one of the children who met the world’s best pizza maker and paid a special visit to the Captain and the ship’s crew.
Mr Myrmell said Pacific Explorer’s official naming ceremony was an action-packed extravaganza and a fitting celebration of P&O’s latest ship and its many onboard features.
“Two thirds of our passengers are families and couples so it made sense for fun loving children and families to lead the celebrations while sampling all that Pacific Explorer has to offer,” Mr Myrmell said.
“Pacific Explorer is the fifth ship in our fleet and the next stage in the evolution of P&O’s very popular modern Australian holiday offering. With more than 60 activities to do every day, the ship has something for every Australian from the young to the young at heart”.
Vice President and General Manager of Nickelodeon Australia and New Zealand Ben Cox was delighted Nickelodeon characters were part of the festivities and Dora was selected to be Godmother.
“Dora the Explorer is one of Australia’s most loved household names and is a family favourite who enjoys adventure and trying new activities. For all these reasons she is the perfect Godmother for Pacific Explorer. We know that children love Dora and all her friends at Nickelodeon and we’ve been thrilled to make hundreds of kids dreams come true by giving them the chance to meet their favourite characters onboard P&O’s latest ship,” Mr Cox said.