P&O Cruises is strengthening its foothold in the family cruise market by expanding its collection of cartoon characters onboard. The line had already announced that Noddy -- the wooden boy with a wobbly head recognizable from children's books, toys and television programs -- would be onboard its newest ship, Ventura, when it sets sail in April. Now we've learned that starting in July, he'll have presence onboard the other ships in the fleet, as well: Aurora, Oceana and Oriana.
Also, P&O Cruises is adding a second children's favourite to the roster -- Mr. Bump of "The Mr. Men Show," an animated sketch comedy series based on the original Mr. Men and Little Miss books created in the 1970's by Roger Hargreaves. "Mr. Men" is returning to TV screens after a decade hiatus -- first appearing on TV in 1974, with later series in 1983 and the mid-90's. The new "The Mr. Men Show" will air on Channel 5 in the U.K. and Cartoon Network in the U.S. True to his name, Mr. Bump (pictured) can't seem to help having accidents and is covered in bandages.
While parents relax and enjoy their cruise, the duo will join youngsters for breakfast or play board games with them in P&O ships' revamped kids' centers. Along with the familiar faces, the line has given youth facilities a unified identity and brand name across all ships -- The Reef, with an ocean theme. Each age group also has a fresh name along with the familiar faces of Noddy and Mr. Bump:
2- to 4-year-olds will be known as Splashers
5- to 8-year-olds turn into Scubas
9- to 12-year-olds become Surfers
13- to 17-year-olds can be part of H2O
Noddy will be in charge of the 2- to 4-year-olds while the next oldest age group will be entertained by Mr. Bump.
P&O joins the ranks of many cruise lines featuring famous cartoon characters or unique mascots for kids. Of course, Disney characters are permanent fixtures onboard Disney Wonder and Disney Magic. Among the rest are Officer Snook, the whimsical fish that heads up Norwegian Cruise Line's Water Pollution Program; Labadee Luc, a pirate who graces signage in the children's area on Royal Caribbean's private destination in the Caribbean; and Fun Ship Freddy, Carnival's famous red and blue funnel come to life.
--by Kelly Ranson, Associate Editor
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Mr. Bump Joins Noddy Aboard P&O
March 14, 2008