The team at Nautilus Entertainment Design is completing the entertainment facility designs for five luxury cruise ships this year - for Carnival Cruise Lines, Costa, Holland America and Cunard. This month saw the birth of a new Carnival Conquest-class ship, the Glory. The Glory uses color as its central design theme, with each public room celebrating a different shade of the rainbow. Old Glory, the main atrium, features paintings of U.S. flags and colorful rooms from history have inspired some of the other decor on board. For example, the Platinum and Golden Dining Rooms are designed after the famous Silver and Golden Temples in Kyoto, Japan.

As typical of ships in this class, the Glory boasts a fully outfitted three-deck 1,400-seat main theatre, with a four-deck high stage house. Called the Amber Palace, the theatre is named after Russia's famous Amber Room, a gift by Frederick the First of Prussia to Peter the Great in 1715. The theatre is complete with a versatile audio system including surround-sound and an extensive lighting system using the latest in Ethernet-based DMX distribution and moving light fixtures. Also included is a full-height automated scenery fly system with 25 motorized scenery bars, 8m diameter turntable with integrated step unit, and a motorized orchestra pit with rolling bandwagon.

In addition to the Main Theatre, NED also coordinated the designs and commissioning of the ship’s 26 other entertainment systems including lounges, bars and clubs, as well as the Health Spa audio/video systems, corporate meeting rooms, children’s areas, and various crew areas.

In keeping with the colorful theme of the ship, Glory’s interior design incorporated extensive LED backlit ceilings on the main public deck. Envisioned by interior design architect Joe Farcus, these ceiling panels, which were aluminum with plexi-glass panels formed in various shapes - backed with lengths of red, green and blue LED strips - provided continuously changing kaleidoscopic effects. HMS Italy engineered and built the ceiling panels, with NED coordinating on behalf of the architect and owner. Due to the large quantity of control channels required, the system was controlled with 3 separate Whole Hog PC controllers.

HMS Italy engaged Prelite New York to model the entire system with WYSIWYG pre-visualization software prior to commissioning. NED’s Michael Lindauer explains, “Prelite NY worked in their studio, producing videos for each of the areas programmed, which were sent to the architect in advance. The architect was able to approve the programming well before the system was completed, significantly reducing the number of man-days required for on-site programming. Prelite’s Rodd McLaughlin flew to Italy for just two days of touch-up programming – which were mostly timing changes.”

The "kaleidoscopic" theme was extended into the three-deck tall Main Atrium wall. NED investigated several options for projection to fulfill the architect’s concept of "light that creates a giant abstract painting that will never look exactly the same . . .” For a number of reasons including size, lamp life, and simplicity of operation, NED chose the Optikinetics GoboPRO projectors with liquid oil effects wheels on rotators. NED also commissioned the completed system, then focused and supervised the programming at the time of delivery.

In total, NED was responsible for the specification and commissioning of 27 areas on the ship as well as the programming of the public area house lighting, specialty house lighting (LED and atrium projection) and Broadcast Center commissioning.

Following right on the heels of the Glory, the NED team wrapped the Oosterdam for Holland America and the Mediterranea for Costa. Before the year is up, two other NED projects, the Costa Fortuna and Cunard’s new Queen Mary 2 will hit the high seas.