It certainly couldn’t be called a conventional naming ceremony.  But then, P&O’s new Pacific Explorer isn’t exactly a conventional ship.

The latest in the line of newly-refitted vessels, she’s quite a surprise – and amazingly family friendly.

Which explains whey Dora the Explorer, and not same faded film star, is her godmother – and performed the honours yesterday her naming ceremony at Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal.

More than 100 children joined Dora, SpongeBob SquarePants and the Ninja Turtles in a rousing event.  Instead of a bottle of champagne over her bows, a huge tub of green slime was dumbed over P&O’s president Sture Myrmell.

Pacific Explorer emerged from her recent refit in Singapore with exciting new features, including the longest waterslides on an Australian cruise ship and an interactive water park, an outdoor lawn bowling green, and the new Southern Cross livery emblazoned on her hull.

Restaurateur Luke Mangan has switched his usual “Salt” offering for ‘Luke’s’  – an al fresco fast-casual dining option offering gourmet burgers and a seven-course degustation experience called ‘A Taste of Salt’.

The ship has a new ‘fast-casual’ dining outlet, 400 Gradi, from award-winning Melbourne chef Johnny Di Francesco, who told Cruise Passenger about the secret “gasses” that make his bases so light, you’ll never feel you’ve over-eaten.

He has never cruised before – but it hoping to put in a surprise appearance onboard soon to see how passengers are reacting to his menu.

“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”.

In the afternoon, Pacific Explorer set off on one of her first cruises into the Pacific – with 500 kids on board, thanks to the school holidays.

Her itineraries include a 3-night Food and Wine cruise departing Sydney on 21 September, 2017. Fares start from $369 per person twin share on the Explorer Sale.

For more information visit, call 13 24 94  – or see a licensed travel agent.