From Abracadabra to Zenith, P&O Cruises has been overwhelmed with possible names for its two latest ships, with Australians and New Zealanders putting forward almost 20,000 suggestions in just one week.
With only four days to go until the quest ends, the cruise line says the most common choices have taken inspiration from jewels and gemstones, with the names Opal and Diamond each nominated more than 500 times.
But it seems Aussies and Kiwis also like celestial themes, with other popular names including Dream, Starlight, Moonlight and Twilight, often coupled with the word Pacific.
Other prevalent themes have included flowers, nautical terms, indigenous names and Greek mythology.
There’s also been a range of creative and quirky entries including Skippy and Blinky, Crikey and Croc, Heart and Soul, and Pizzazz and Charisma. Some people have even drawn inspiration from cult TV show Game of Thrones with suggestions such as Daenerys, Arya and Sansa, as well as The Lion King with Hakuna Matata.
P&O Cruises Senior Vice President Tammy Marshall said the cruise line had been stunned by the number of responses it had received since launching the shout-out last Monday.
“Within one week we’ve had close to 10,000 submissions, most offering two names which means there’s been almost 20,000 ideas. It’s a wonderful reaction which really shows us how much interest and passion Australians and New Zealanders have in their home grown cruise line,” Ms Marshall said.
With entries for the competition closing at 4pm this Friday (July 4), Ms Marshall said P&O Cruises was now starting to narrow the field.
“We’re looking for names that are different and that have never been used before – plus we’re very keen to see ideas that reflect contemporary Australia and New Zealand” Ms Marshall said.
Ms Marshall said the reasons accompanying the entries would also play an important part in choosing the final winner.
P&O Cruises’ two latest ships will debut in Australia in November next year taking the cruise line’s fleet to a record five ships. While the last six P&O Cruises’ ships have all shared the word Pacific in their name – including the present fleet of Pacific Dawn, Pacific Jewel and Pacific Pearl – Ms Marshall said the latest ships did not have to follow the same pattern.
Australians can submit their ideas via the cruise line’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/POCruises with the successful names to be announced on July 9.
The person who provides the best names, along with a theme and a reason for their choice, will win a cruise for two on the inaugural cruise of one of the ships with a partner or friend, and will also be a special guest at the naming celebration.
The additional ships, which will transfer to P&O Cruises from Carnival Australia sister line Holland America Line, will deliver much needed capacity in the world's fastest growing cruise market. Work is already underway to develop itineraries and home-porting arrangements for the expanded fleet, with details to be announced in the coming months.