The arrival of the newest P&O Cruises ship Arvia was always going to be a lavish affair, and the sunshine ship certainly received the official welcome she deserved yesterday (16 March 2023). Barbados played host to the star-studded event, which saw the 5,200-passenger ship docked off the coast of the idyllic Heywoods Beach – and it’s fair to say Arvia couldn’t have looked more at home in the sunshine surroundings she has been built for.
The event was live-streamed across the world via YouTube, including in the Cruise Bureau at Bolsover Cruise Club. Representatives from P&O Cruises held an extra-special party for tropical shirt-wearing members of our team, which included games, an Arvia-themed quiz and plenty of Caribbean food.
The ceremony marked a break from tradition in many ways. It’s the first time P&O Cruises has strayed from British shores for such an occasion, and the first time a Caribbean island has hosted a ship’s naming ceremony. Not only this, the usual champagne used for the bottle smash was substituted for a 15-litre demijohn of Mount Gay Black Barrel – which also happened to be the world’s largest bottle of rum.
DJs Sara Cox and Trevor Nelson hosted the incredible spectacle, while Olly Murs belted out some of his biggest singles during a special beachside performance. In a show-stopping finale, Arvia’s Godmother Nicole Scherzinger carried out the traditional bottle smash before taking to the stage to sing a selection of her hits.
The party then continued on board with a performance by Olly Murs in The Limelight Club, as Trevor Nelson hosted a DJ set under Arvia’s retractable SkyDome.
Arvia is now due to finish her maiden season in the Caribbean before returning to Europe for a series of Mediterranean cruises.