Mariner of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International's (RCI) newest cruise vessel in the making, will be a sight to behold when it first begins traversing the eastern and western Caribbean from Port Canaveral this October. Over a thousand feet long from bow to stern and capable of comfortably accommodating 3100 passengers and a crew of 1200, Mariner ranks as one of the world's largest luxury liners to date.

As one can imagine, a ship of this magnitude features a spectacular range of amenities, including a five-story 1700-seat theater, nightclubs, a full casino and lengthy promenade with countless chic restaurants and shops - plus unique recreational facilities like an ice-skating rink, rock-climbing wall and miniature golf course.

To design and install audio, video and lighting systems for the ship's 33 separate venues/areas, Royal Caribbean once again turned to Cincinnati-based TeleDimensions International, Inc. (TDI). In addition to previously working on several of RCI's most recent Voyager-class luxury liners, TDI has performed systems retrofits for many of its existing vessels as well.

For signal processing and routing duties, BSS is often the preferred brand for TDI, and this installation was no exception. Six of the primary entertainment areas onboard Mariner of the Seas now benefit from a combined total of 26 FDS-336 Minidrives, a dozen 9088ii Soundweb units, another dozen DPR-402 dual compressor/de-esser/limiters, four DPR-504 quad noise gates and a quantity of 9012 wall panels.

"We specify BSS for several reasons," says Marc Goossens, TDI CEO. "First, the sonic quality is exceptional - there's no argument that the units simply sound great. Second, Soundweb, in particular, allows us to consolidate what would otherwise be a number of products into a single piece. As a result, we can increase the flexibility for the customer while reducing our installation time - so it's less wiring, fewer headaches and lower costs for them.

"And Royal Caribbean is every bit as comfortable with using BSS as we are. They've had Soundwebs on many of their ships for quite some time now and had very few 'issues' with them. The bottom line is that they work, and work well, which is good considering that we're talking about an installation site that is out on the ocean most of the time and therefore not the easiest place to make a quick service call to."

Royal Caribbean Sound, Light, Video and Rigging Specialist Christopher Vlassopulos, who is in charge of over $200M worth of production gear spread out across RCI's 18 ships, comments, "My impression of BSS processing is that not only is it robust, but it's widely considered by systems integrators and other professionals to be the Rolls-Royce of signal processing. It's both easier to program and more versatile, and we've had the luxury to be able to use it extensively throughout our fleet.

"We also generally install quite a large number of Clair Brothers Audio loudspeakers, and, according to them - the manufacturing and installation side of arguably the largest touring sound reinforcement company in the world - it's one of the select few processors of choice. So, needless to say, we're very confident in our decision to use the product."

BSS Audio is a member of The Soundcraft Group, which stands as a symbol for excellence in British manufactured professional audio. A subsidiary of the Harman Pro Group, which includes consolidated brands such as JBL, dbx and Crown, the Hertfordshire-based collective provides mission-critical solutions across the full range of professional audio requirements... in broadcast and recording studios, industrial and commercial installations and high-end concert touring.

BSS Audio, an industry leader in digital signal processing equipment, will be celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

BSS Audio USA www.bss.co.uk