After more than five years, Norwegian Cruise Line will be ending their contract with Nickelodeon and the iconic Spongebob Squarepants. Spongebob, Patrick, Squidward and the rest of the Nickelodeon gang have been handed their P45 and given the order to disembark.
This includes other family-friendly activities and shows that Nickelodeon own the rights to, such as Dora’s Music Party, the interactive game show Slime Time Live and pool games under the banner Nick Live Poolside.
The branding will be officially removed from Norwegian Epic in September, with the Gem, Jewel, Breakaway and Getaway all having any branding removed by January 2016. Norwegian Escape, which is currently under construction, will no longer feature the planned Nickelodeon branding when it debuts in October.
The cruise line has not yet offered explanation as to why Spongebob has been walked off the plank, however the cruise line have mentioned the popularity of some of their other family-friendly options, such as the kid’s Splash Academy and the teen-focused Entourage. Andy Stuart, President and Chief Operating Officer has said that the cruise line will continue to invest in programming and entertainment – will they be focusing on their own original programmes, or perhaps partnering with another child-friendly brand? Cartoon Network, perhaps?
The Norwegian Escape which will debut this October will feature some brand new original entertainment, such as Guppies Nursery for infants and toddlers as old as two.
We think that Spongebob and his pals just might not be as popular as they once were, it has been more than five years since he made his NCL debut! But what do you think? Does Spongebob still have his charms or are the kids moving on? Comment below!