I have just had a few days of snowboarding with friends, which was booked a long time before we decided to name Arvia in Barbados. I was tempted to cancel the trip as I wanted to be there for the team working on the various aspects of the naming ceremony but I also realised that four days of mountain air, time off emails and a clear mind would set me up to be in the optimal headspace for the event next week.

For those of you who ski or snowboard you will know that you have to concentrate, you can’t do what I, and most of us, usually do everyday, which is try to multi-task. You have to be focused on getting down the mountain safely. Losing sight of that, even for a moment, could be a costly mistake.

It is this focus which is also essential for what is the biggest event we have ever done for P&O Cruises. It comes at a critical time for the business – we have emerged from the challenges of the past three years, we have the right teams in place who have put together what will be the highest profile, most compelling and exciting event to ever be put in front of current and future guests.

It is a gamechanger in many ways – with Trevor Nelson and Sara Cox as hosts of the ceremony, Olly Murs performing and last but certainly not least, Nicole Scherzinger, a godmother and new entertainment partner who is a total step-change for us. Collectively, this is the most contemporary line up we have ever had for any P&O Cruises ship naming ceremony.

To set out what we really wanted to achieve though we had to take risks – and the biggest risk of all is not to take any risks. We have set ourselves very high targets but they are absolutely necessary in order to change perceptions amongst a new to cruise audience, to showcase Barbados and the Caribbean as a must-do holiday experience and to highlight all of Arvia’s USPs, all while retaining the loyalty and goodwill of our returning guests who we never take for granted.

Embracing modern culture and lifestyle while reflecting the new face of cruising that Arvia clearly illustrates was always seen as a priority – to stand out from our competitors – so I am deeply grateful for all the dedication and hard work that everyone has put in behind the scenes both onshore and at sea in order for us to pull off such a coup.

I just can’t wait to witness all of this effort crystallised against an amazing Caribbean sun and beach backdrop that perfectly encapsulates all that is so brilliant about our incredible brand. It is evidence of us doing things very, very differently and testament to everyone who puts in the hours, creativity, time and passion to support our pledge to provide the most joyful and memorable holidays for our guests of all ages and those we will entice to sail with us in the future.

I don’t think anyone really appreciates the extent of detailed planning, liaison, communication, scheduling and even contingencies needed to enable an event of this scale, not least because we have chosen a stunning offshore location for the first time.

I encourage you all, your friends and family to watch the live broadcast on the P&O Cruises YouTube channel next Thursday evening and to recognise and embrace the rewards of this focus.

Let’s look to the future…

Take care

Watch Arvia’s naming ceremony live on 16 March at 19:00 GMT


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